How E-Business and Customer Empowerment Affects Building Product Manufacturers
- < 5 Tips to Help You Get Specified on LEED Projects
- > How Construction Technology Startups are Changing the Game
There are three primary components of e-business that affect building product manufacturers. E-commerce, e-shopping, and e-customer service. All these components existed in the pre-internet age but in old school market behaviors. E-business has empowered the customer like never before. Customer empowerment has changed the marketplace forever.
Author Jim Blasingame, outlines multiple ways empowerment has changed our world. Let’s review how e-business and customer empowerment affects building product manufacturers. The internet has made knowledge available to customers with little or no barriers. Architects, specifiers, contractors, and designers can now access product information and make decisions quickly.
The Empowered Customer
Design professionals have access to multiple product manufacturer websites and can compare products, prices, options, warranties, performance attributes, etc. Customers have innovative new ways to evaluate manufacturers and choose what products they want for their building projects.
The internet disrupted the marketplace, putting more power in the hands of the design professional and less in the hands of the manufacturer. The greatest danger to manufacturers is becoming irrelevant. If a product is simply a commodity that is identical to others in the marketplace and offers no clear advantages over the competitors, then the battle is lost. How can a product manufacturer remain relevant in the age of the empowered customer and e-business world?
Building Product Manufacturer Website
One of the most crucial things a product manufacturer needs to be successful is a great website. If you haven’t updated your website in 10 years, you’re in trouble. To maximize online commerce the website must be well designed, be customized to the design professional’s needs, contain professional images, load fast, be responsive to multiple formats (laptop, phone, tablet, etc.), and create an awesome user experience.
The website must present a unique selling proposition, contain original content, be geared for search engine optimization (SEO), and be integrated with a social media campaign. Users should be able to easily access product documentation like 3 part guide specs, Health Product Declarations, product data sheets, and LEED product documentation.
Free Online AIA Course
Another significant tool for product manufacturers is a free online AIA course. Continuing education is one of the most effective tools manufacturers can use to educate designers, build name recognition, and increase specification opportunities. Manufacturers that don’t offer online education on a reputable platform with at least 100,000 subscribers are at risk at being irrelevant.
Design professionals want to find the right products, save time, and save money. Any manufacturer who wants to survive and thrive will have both a great website and an online AIA course. Manufacturers that don’t keep pace with e-business are doomed to fail. How does your company stay ahead of the competition in 2018?
For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank