The Thomas Blog

Functions of an online product catalog - product manager
Data Syndication

4 Important Functions Of An Online Catalog

More than 70% of today's B2B buyers are tech-savvy millennials. They prefer to research on their own about your company to see if you would be a good fit for their projects. So if you're selling industrial products or components and don't have an online product catalog, they might turn to a competitor. The good news is that there are many technology platforms that can provide you with the functionality B2B buyers expect your website to have.

There are a few features to look for in a platform that should be your non-negotiables to deliver the best digital customer experience possible to your customers and prospects. Let's review those four important functions that you’ll want to see in action when it comes time to choosing your dynamic online catalog platform.

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Supplier distributor relationship - factory inventory warehouse check
Business Tips

How To Improve Your Supplier-Distributor Relationship

A prospect that you’ve been chasing for months has been researching you as well, checking out your product catalog on a distributor’s website and downloading your CAD models. They’ve narrowed down their shortlist to you and a couple of your competitors, and now they’re visiting your website to gather additional details.

But when they arrive on your site, what they see doesn’t quite match what they saw on the distributor’s site. Part numbers are off, and specs aren’t aligning 100%. Plus, basic company information doesn’t match with what they read before and content looks outdated.

Reconciling the differences would take way too long, so instead they just cross you off their list. And you never even knew they were interested in the first place.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out all too frequently and prevents the supplier and distributor from meeting their goals. In some cases, the scenario results in a dropped key customer and the existing customer base begins to diminish.

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Thomas Navigator Vs. Shopify: What's The Best Catalog Management & eCommerce Platform For Manufacturers

Thomas Navigator Vs. Shopify: What's The Best Catalog Management & eCommerce Toolset For Manufacturers?

The rapid pace of innovation and the number of technologies available in the market have caused eCommerce to emerge as a major necessity for businesses in all industries, including the manufacturing and industrial distribution space. B2B buyers' expectations of personal shopping experiences and seamless online transactions have also been carving the manufacturing industry's path to transformation. 

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B2B eCommerce Website Example stat
Website Design

6 B2B Ecommerce Website Examples To Help You Sell More In 2021

Today, if you want to sell direct to consumers, you need to create a smooth online user experience that instills feelings of trust in your products and services. For industrial distributors, this means designing their website to include a comprehensive, digital product catalog. Engineers and sourcing professionals expect the websites they do business with to provide the same experience as personal shopping websites like Amazon or Target.

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Small business owner - online product catalog
Website Design

How To Create An Online Product Catalog With Thomas Navigator And Connect

For manufacturers, generating high-quality leads is all about having the right data, at the right place at the right time. Having your product data in one easy-to-access place allows engineers, procurement professionals, and MROs to find exactly what they’re looking for and quickly determine whether your company may be a good fit for their project. Thomas has been helping some of the most successful industrial companies sell complex industrial parts: 

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CAD models for lead generation
Data Syndication

How CAD Models Drive Lead Generation

Digitized information can help to make the sourcing process simpler and more efficient — especially for complex industrial parts, ultimately helping manufacturers generate more leads.

Manufacturers are increasingly optimizing their product data offerings with CAD files, drawings and configurable components, differentiating their digital customer experience from their competitors. Why? Because more engineers are downloading CAD files and demanding access to digitized product information in the formats they need to get the job done.

So if you're looking to drive more sales, read on to learn how to provide CAD models from your website.

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Closeup of young man in glasses with beard making blueprints on computer
Lead Generation

5 Things Every Product Manufacturer Must Know To Drive Leads

According to Forrester Research, rich omni-channel experiences deliver several competitive advantages for B2B businesses and manufacturers — especially those with complex products. A multi-channel experience is about providing more options while omni-channel supply chains serve customers across different channels and are fully integrated in order to provide a seamless customer experience.

Engineers and sourcing professionals rely on comprehensive, digitized product data in order to do their jobs. They need accurate data, and they need it fast. But some manufacturers are challenged with meeting the needs of B2B buyers and delivering a seamless customer experience. 

We’ve listed out five things all OEMs and industrial manufacturers must know to generate more leads, satisfy customers' needs and increase sales.

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