International E-Commerce in Manufacturing

Learn all you need to know to succeed in international e-commerce. We share best practices from industry leaders.

In partnership with:

copperberg evident atlas_copco
International E-Commerce in Manufacturing

How to get started and scale quickly

Manufacturers can start their international e-commerce journey by selling packaged goods in one country, but this journey is going to become more complex over the years.

Soon questions need answers:

  • How do you integrate local logistics or distributors?
  • What needs to be done local, what can be managed centrally?
  • What about the ROI of this initiative and which (new) business models can be integrated?

Learn from Atlas Copco, Zeiss Meditec, Evident and Intershop how manufacturers can leverage digital commerce now and in the future.

3 digital strategies to succeed in international e-commerce

Manufacturers that run unique e-commerce solutions in different countries need to invest a lot of effort, money, time, and expertise. But there are more ways than that to set up a digital commerce strategy:

  1. The global centralized strategy: Companies emphasize global efficiency but don’t tailor each country’s channel to the local needs.
  2. The multi-domestic strategy: Companies take care to cater the local requirements but sacrifice global efficiency.
  3. The transnational strategy: Companies maintain a balance between global efficiency and the need to adjust to local preferences within different countries.

If you aim for efficiency AND local effectiveness, develop a transnational strategy! Standardized processes and country-specific customer experiences are usually the best way to go.

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Take-aways from Atlas Copco and Zeiss regarding international e-commerce

  • Make buying from you as easy as possible
  • Manage globally, act locally
  • Be prepared to scale in volume and requirements
  • Open your sales channel for complex products
  • Create one single point of information (a customer portal)

The speakers

Decision-makers of leading manufacturers - Marco Kranz (Zeiss Medical Technology) and Thomas Areskoug (Atlas Copco Industrial Technique) - came together to reflect strategies, success and discuss future plans to boost customer experience in multiple regions. Herbert Pesch,  Evident and Gerrit Enthoven, Intershop present the results of our latest survey report and discuss the findings with globally selling manufacturers.
Marco Kranz
Zeiss Medical Technology
Marco Kranz
Digital Product Owner E-Commerce Tools LinkedIn
Thomas Areskoug
VP Digital Platforms LinkedIn
Herbert Pesch
Founder / CCO LinkedIn
Gerrit Enthoven
Director EMEA-West LinkedIn
How to maintain digital commerce efficiency in international e-commerce

Businesses should always plan for growth. In short, you should think about scalability very early on when building a strategy and roadmap for B2B e-commerce. A business or technical process that is only marginally inefficient in a few online shops will become unmanageable when they multiply across the globe. The key is to eliminate inefficiencies and barriers to scale as early as possible.

The following are the minimum features needed to scale internationally with an e-commerce solution. It is also preferable that these are available out-of-the-box.

  • The ability to support various currencies, languages, taxes and provide local shipping options
  • The ability to connect with a variety of different back-end systems
  • The ability to manage product catalogs centrally and locally (huge plus if the catalog can be shared to local distributors)
  • The ability to store and display regional product attributes
  • The ability to assign roles with different permissions for users in the same organization
  • The ability to provide user-specific content and promotions
International e-commerce needs to adapt to local market dynamics

Survey each market to understand the local culture, market conditions, relevant business models, your market position, customer base, business partners, supply chain, competition, and more. Demand for your products and services may differ in each market.

This is partly due to the level of awareness of your brand, and partly to the size and maturity of your partner network and country sales organization. So, before you launch in a new country, create a localized marketing plan and determine which strategies will work best to support future growth.