As customer expectations continue to evolve, manufacturers are finding that today’s B2B buyer has specific wants and requirements. Providing the best possible digital customer experience can be a big differentiator for any manufacturing business, but to set yourself apart requires a shift in mindset.

The traditional way of doing business, ‘hand-shakes’ and phone calls has been turned on its head, so it’s no wonder you’re grappling with the best way to lead your company to a best-in-class customer experience. The first thing required is to have an open mind about your customers. It’s time to get to know them and their buying journey in a whole new way while employing the right tools to use those insights to optimize the experience. Let’s get started.

1. Know who your customer actually is

When we talk about preconceptions, ‘who your customer’ is looms large. You likely see them as dealers, distributors, retailers, and other third-party channels that you know a lot about. Which is true, but you also need to dig a bit deeper. Your actual customer is the end-user of your product, and they have valuable insights to offer – not just to refine and improve your products, but to drive the customer experience.

While your research and development team may have a “voice of the customer” program, it’s likely focused on product improvement. Let’s say you make safety equipment and get feedback that a harness cuts across a shoulder. So, you add a pad. This works, but doesn’t do much to inform the overall customer experience. Who buys this harness? How can we better inform the end customer about it? How is it purchased?

The same research tactics you use to improve products can improve the customer experience.

Think of your strategy as a three-legged stool: The first leg is customer need, and to get your head around what they really need means building a robust set of both channel and end-customer personas. From there, you can build a set of specific ‘online’ buyer journeys based on where each persona is in your marketing funnel. You’ll decide how these different personas are best served – whether online, offline, through the channel, or directly.

Your research also informs the second leg – growth opportunities. The knowledge you gain about your customers can be used not only to find new customers but also to grow your existing accounts, retain accounts, and implement operating efficiencies. The last leg of the stool is the digital capabilities that match the customer need and the business outcomes you’re trying to drive.

2. Share as much information as you can

Your customers, no matter the channel, want access to pricing, inventory availability, and product information. They also want access to their account information – past purchases, custom pricing, etc. – as well as what their order is going to cost and when they’re going to get it.

It’s all about providing solutions for your customers without any friction, which means giving them a knowledge base with product information, self-service options for ordering, and the ability to track their shipments, plus the ability to diagnose and solve their problems.

3. View the buyer’s journey holistically

It’s really important to understand each customer tier in your value chain and develop deep knowledge of their end-to-end journey. This means taking a close look not just at the marketing journey or the sales journey, but how the entire journey is woven together. Your customer experiences for each persona – dealers, distributors, retailers, and end-users – must be optimized from the awareness stage through interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and finally, purchase.

4. It takes teamwork

A true digital customer experience touches all functions in the organization. It’s important to understand how every department in your company impacts the customer journey. Look at it this way: If someone is showing interest in a product because of a marketing campaign, that potential customer will have to interact with sales.

To provide the best customer experience and close the sale, sales needs every scrap of background information available on that prospect. Sales will need to provide customer service with the information they need to service the customer, marketing will want to know that their campaign worked so they know what to do next time, and so on. It’s important to know that every department in your company has an essential part to play in creating a great overall customer journey.

5. Data is almost everything

Product data, account data, pricing data, etc. are table-stakes customer expectations. For perspective, most B2B organizations don’t have this level of maturity and data organization – so you are not alone. To up your game, you need to have rich product content as well as good pricing and availability data, so they can see what it will cost and when they can expect to get it.

Customer and account data will let you contextualize what that customer needs and know how to route that to the right functional area of your company. It also will inform your personas and identify problems they might encounter that can be solved by your knowledge base.

6. Enable self-service

Today’s customers want self-service when it comes to shipment tracking, finding parts and service, and reordering. They don’t want to have to call to get this information, and offering self-service options means they won’t have to, which helps with call deflection.

While some issues will ultimately be best solved by direct contact, offering self-service has long-term implications – namely happy customers who have the ability to order on their own timeframe, a better buyer experience and in turn, lasting relationships..

7. Prioritize your efforts

Building optimized customer experiences takes work, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Prioritize the customer journeys you can impact now, which ones have the biggest impact on your business, and devise a plan for your efforts based on these factors as well as ROI.

Take your time, get to know your different customer personas intimately, and don’t take on too much transformation too quickly. Understand what will meet both customer needs and have the most business impact.

8. Manage change

I mentioned earlier the importance of involving teams across your organization. This means getting their buy-in and support. This is probably the hardest thing at most organizations. Remind them that technology won’t replace their jobs, but it will help them do their jobs better, create happier customers, and improve the company’s bottom line. You might remind them about how their own consumer behaviors have evolved with technology to create that aha moment that brings them on board.

 

 

This Article Originally appeared in Entrepreneur Media

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This year Shift7 was a proud sponsor inriver PIMpoint Digital 2021,  the world’s largest product information management event, dedicated to the future of digital commerce.

No matter where you are selling online – through retailers and marketplaces, or own e-commerce storefront, or all of the above – being able to deliver rich, accurate product experiences is an essential first step.

In this On-Demand Webinar, Shift7’s  very own PIM expert Todd Johnson had the opportunity to speak with client Hunter Douglas on their digital transformation and PIM journey.

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Shift7 was proud to receive the 2020 Partner Project of the Year award at PIMpoint for our work with client Lincoln Electric!

“We are proud to recognize the winners of the 2020 PIMpoint Digital awards as they represent organizations building amazing digital experiences that help sellers sell and buyers buy,” said Thomas Zanzinger, CEO, inriver. “The innovation shown this year is very impressive and indicative of the complexity of the projects and the environments we are working in. It’s no surprise the inriver ecosystem continues to set the bar high for excellence in commerce.”

Winners were chosen based on key criteria including overall performance, time to value, complexity of projects, and level of service on a global scale.

 

Check out the story of Lincoln Electric’s transformation here. 

 

 

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Manufacturers evaluating online growth strategies are weighing their options to drive revenue. Some focus on online distribution footprint, some extend their primary business model with a direct-to-consumer offshoot, and some launch and grow their own B2B ecommerce offerings to directly serve customers and dealers/distributors with an all-in-one online experience.

Whether it be for selling parts or finished goods, or for serving strategic accounts, or long-tail small customers, business models for growing B2B commerce abound, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Watch as Lincoln Electric, Melissa and Doug, LLC, and Shift7 Digital discuss the many routes to accelerating online revenue and how their organizations have started their B2B commerce transformations.

WATCH NOW

 

Recorded Live with Manufacturer’s Alliance, Jun 22, 2021

Speakers:

Greg Doria, Senior Vice President of Harris Products, Lincoln Electric (formerly Vice President of Marketing)
Dave Henderson, Chief Commercial Officer at Melissa and Doug, LLC
Randy Higgins, Chief Strategy Officer at Shift7 Digital
Brad Borman, Managing Director at Shift7 Digital

B2B Digital Experts

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About

The future looks bright for growth in the global construction industry, and manufacturers and distributors serving the sector with modern, digital B2B customer experiences are well positioned to reap the rewards.

Join leaders from USG and Shift7 Digital as they discuss customer personas in the building products sector, how USG has approached serving them through unique digital self-service experiences, and discover what these leaders see as next for the industry.

WATCH NOW

 

 

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Although marketers have focused much of their energy over recent years on promoting brands’ digital experiences beyond the corporate website, they shouldn’t put website investment on the back burner. The COVID-19 pandemic made that very apparent. CMSWire reports that in 2020 most companies invested in digital marketing to ensure their websites deliver experiences customers crave.

Our CEO Andrew Walker shared his thoughts with CMSwire why a website is a both a company’s backbone and digital face.

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The COVID pandemic transformed all industries including manufacturing. Old ways of doing business went by the wayside. “Down the road” plans for digital marketing became the central focus as manufacturers modernized their businesses on the fly. Companies realize that seamlessly connecting with current and prospective customers, resellers, and retailers through an integrated brand experience is now essential to survival.

Halfway through 2020, Shift7 surveyed hundreds of manufacturing business decision makers to learn how they were enduring the chaos.

The results were not what we anticipated. Our CEO Andrew Walker shared his thoughts with Entrepreneur Media. 

 

 

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As the one-year mark of COVID-19 becomes a reality, many businesses are shifting focus to what doing business will look like in a post-pandemic world. Today, Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, is sharing insights on how manufacturers can put their best foot forward and keep the momentum in digital they’ve built over the past year. The must-have nature of digital marketing, specifically a strong ecommerce presence, became impossible to ignore virtually overnight this time last year and Shift7 has helped several high-profile manufacturers transform and accelerate their digital presence; the agency is reporting 110 percent growth in their ecommerce services year-over-year.

“Manufacturers have undergone aggressive digital transformation over the past year, making smart investments in their customer experiences, ecommerce, and digital marketing and it has paid dividends,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Even those who only had a baseline knowledge of digital have upped their games significantly, but the key is going to be continuing to move forward. Innovation isn’t going to stop and the way they connect with customers is going to continue to evolve. Getting up to speed out of necessity last year isn’t going to be enough for long and we’re the critical partner these manufacturers need to continue to evolve in the digital space.”

Though it’s starting to feel like a post-pandemic world may no longer be that far away, with it will come a post-pandemic way of doing business. Digital isn’t going anywhere; as we’ve seen over the past year, the manufacturing industry is moving toward digital not being just an option for a customer’s experience, but the preferred customer experience. Here are three ways for brands to lean in on digital and carry the momentum into a post-pandemic landscape:

Spend Smarter, Not More

Last year, over two-thirds of manufacturers have moved marketing dollars from traditional to digital channels, but the world of digital marketing is vast and wide. Set your priorities and spend your funds wisely. Make sure you have the right internal and external (agencies, vendors, etc.) support to the vision, automate what you can, and get your high-touch content in order. Expect that you’ll have to make significant investments in this area to see an impact, but know that the time of these things being “nice to haves” is well in the rearview mirror.

Target and Prioritize

If expanding your ecommerce presence is part of the plan (and, yes, it should be), where you’re selling is just as important as what you’re selling. Prioritizing which channels you’re going to spend the most time and money on is absolutely essential. For some, this means taking the time to build out a stellar presence on their own website, for others it may mean investing more in external distribution channels or online marketplaces. Whatever the path forward is, know your priorities.

Never Stop Measuring

Once you’re clear on what you should be spending your budget on, and where you’re selling your products, be sure to implement measurement tools that will allow you to analyze the effect of all of your new initiatives. If you’re going to invest any amount of time or money, you should know how they’re performing for you. It’s essential that you’re able to see, with relative ease, the metrics for how your efforts are performing across any channel you’re selling on. Invest in analytics tools that can help tell the complete story of how well your digital marketing efforts are going.

 

Shift7 Digital collaborates with manufacturers to help transform their digital capabilities, including analyzing their digital presence, integrating the brand experience across platforms and streamlining a company’s digital properties. To learn more about how Shift7 Digital is helping the biggest brands in manufacturing, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

About Shift7 Digital

Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue. For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

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Allied Beverage

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New York, NY — October 26, 2021 — Experts predict holiday spending will be up as much as nine percent over last year. That said, due to predicted (and major) shipping delays expected this holiday season, early shopping will be the name of the game – with consumers still choosing to go online versus in-person to make purchases. Even for manufacturers, shipping and supply chain delays are likely to impact operations for the remainder of 2021. That is why Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, is releasing its top tips to help manufacturers prepare to meet holiday demand and mitigate supply chain troubles this season and beyond.

“The shift to digital has been in the works for years, but the pandemic accelerated the need in a way many manufacturers could not have predicted,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “The digital transformation is upon us and with the continued uncertainty as a result of COVID-19, the time is literally now for manufacturers to embrace and maximize the digital experience for their customers.”

To help businesses make the most of the increased traffic this time of year, the experts at Shift7 digital are revealing their top tips to help manufacturers prepare for the 2021 holiday season:

 

1 – Shopping Starts Now: Holiday shopping continues to start earlier and earlier each year. In fact 40 percent of consumers began shopping before Halloween in 2020. On top of that, worker and product shortages will make shipping times unpredictable. To prepare, manufacturers should plan for an extended season of shopping and be ready to pivot to maximize everywhere they can.

2 – Allocation Strategy is Critical – Tight forecasting that’s tied in with operations realities and constraints will help maximize profitability with available inventory, and mitigate issues lingering into Q1.

3 – Prepare to Merchandise: If inventory shortages look likely, be ready to play defense and effectively merchandise in those categories, recommending the products you have available with cross-sell and up-sell strategies, wait-lists and backorders.

4 – Double-Check Your Digital Experience: This holiday season and beyond, consumers will shop online and expect a seamless user experience. In other words, make sure you are providing a high-value, digital experience with a website that is organized, intuitive, and easy-to-use. Anyone visiting your brand’s website should be able to find a specific item within seconds.

5 – Move Marketing Dollars: The continued demand for online shopping means a shift in marketing dollars from traditional towards digital to reach your target audience.

6 – Provide Retailer Buying Options: If merchandise is not available for purchase on your website, make things easy for your visitors by providing a list of sellers for each item. Different people have different preferences, so it’s best to provide multiple retailer options.

7 – Monitor Your Brand Across the Web – Brand Managers face the tough challenge of having their products featured on distributor/retailer sites all around the world. Make sure your products are visible, accurate, and in-stock on your best performing channels.

 

“Supply chain shortages are affecting manufacturers across the country and the upcoming holiday season will be no exception,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Manufacturers have been ramping up to meet holiday demand and should have a playbook of strategies ready to maximize business in the light of an unusual holiday season ahead and into Q1.”

Shift7 Digital works with manufacturers to guide them through the changing digital landscape, including analyzing their online presence, integrating the brand experience across platforms and streamlining a company’s digital properties. To learn more about how Shift7 is helping today’s leading brands, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

 

About Shift7 Digital

Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue. For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

 

###

Media Contact:
Allison Stecko
Allison (at) superior-pr (dot) com
312.805.0383

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

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Driving revenue growth through digital demand

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Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

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Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

In this episode of the Agile Digital Transformation Podcast, Andrew Walker, Shift7 Digital CEO joins host Tim Butara to explore how manufacturing and distribution are embracing digital transformation.

They discuss the most important trends, the differences between B2C and B2B, and the need to focus on the customer experience. Andrew closes with an example of how a toy manufacturing client of theirs was able to embrace digital transformation as part of their corporate transformation.

Listen to the Agile Digital Transformation podcast, episode 65, here

 

 

 

Transcript

“The biggest trend I’ve seen is just C-level executives at B2B companies choosing to go forward with investment, with the decision to change how they’re doing sales models. And that’s exciting, and that’s the core part of our business, is helping with that transformation.”

Intro:
Welcome to the Agile Digital Transformation podcast, where we explore different aspects of digital transformation and digital experience with your host, Tim Butara, content and community manager at Agiledrop.

Tim Butara: Hello, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Our guest today is Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7, a leading digital agency for manufacturers and distributors. In this episode, we’ll explore the topic of digital transformation in manufacturing and distribution, and complete that with the best practices for digitalization and digital strategy in these areas. Welcome, Andrew. It’s great having you with us on the show today. Anything to add before we begin?

Andrew Walker: I’m just very glad to be here and always appreciative of others taking the time to talk to us about the front office digital transformation and B2B companies. It’s a topic that is our singular and exclusive focus, so it’s very near and dear to us, but it’s glad to see that it’s getting, definitely the last three or four years, more traction, and your interest is part of it. So thank you.

Tim Butara: Awesome. Yeah. You’re definitely the right person to talk to about this, then. So let’s kick things off with the number one question, which is, what have you seen to be the biggest trend or the biggest impact of the ongoing digital transformation on the fields of manufacturing and distribution?

Andrew Walker: Yeah, we have a phrase within our company. We call it the KISS method. KISS – keep it simple, shifter. And so I’ll keep my answer simple, because it is – the biggest trend is a simple one, and that is simply the desire and the initiative to go and to get started by these B2B organizations.

Many of these manufacturers, CPG and distribution companies have had the same sales model for decades. Often they were originating in the 80s or 90s. They were sales models just for refresher that were largely driven by in-person relationships, in-person sales maybe have gravitated towards catalog sales models and or using fax or even, frankly, taking pictures of an order sheet on a piece of paper and emailing it in. While that sounds that is digital, that’s still a little old school and archaic.

And so the biggest shift in trend is just the fact that these organizations that have watched financial services, retail, hospitality, all these companies move to a more digital customer experience in the 90s, in the 2000s. It’s 2022, and they’re just now on what we like to call generation 1.0 of digital transformation. And that’s okay. A variety of things have helped to get see that trend there, and we could talk about that today.

But the biggest trend I’m seeing is just C-level executives at B2B companies choosing to go forward with investment with the decision to change how they’re doing sales models. And that’s exciting. And that’s the core part of our business is helping with that transformation.

Tim Butara: I think the key point here is the transition to new sales models. Right. Because I think that if you took new elements and introduced them into the old sales models, which obviously have proven to be not as effective in the current age, there would be a lot of misalignment, I think. You could get lucky and succeed with that. But chances are much higher that you’ll need a new sales model to make the best use of all the new trends and all the new tools, and basically the shift in mindset. You mentioned that it’s the C-level executives that need to drive this mindset shift.

Andrew Walker: Yeah, there’s a combination of things, if I may. One is, there is a generational change. So the salespersons that were in their twenties and thirties in the 90s are now older, perhaps even retiring or moving to retirement. So these B2B organizations need to think about different sales methods, either new individuals or new ways to do it.

So there’s a new generation that wants to interact and even conduct sales themselves, if it is a human being, in a much more online way. Both themselves, they don’t want to carry out a catalog. They want to be able to email a product listing page to a potential client or customer. They don’t want to make a call to the back office to see if there’s an inventory of 5000 pieces. They want to be able to look it up on their phone to see, is there inventory for 5000 pieces?

And that’s just the sales folks; on the customer side, we all want to see, is the product available now? Can they ship it today or today? Can I see some specs on it? Can I see a video image? Can I turn it around 360? Can I see how it maybe is used in a situation or a project? I don’t want to call someone about that necessarily. I don’t want to read a manual necessarily. I want to have it my way. And I think that’s on the customer side.

So there’s a lot of different forces that are changing, as you said, the sales model, and I’d be lying to you if I told you that the last two years of the pandemic has not accelerated massively those desires, not just within B2B, but other industries and sectors. Obviously our own personal lives have changed, but in the B2B world, it has really helped accelerate it in a major way.

Tim Butara: And how are brands adapting to this acceleration and to all the new trends that are brought about with it?

Andrew Walker: Well, I guess the first thing I would say is, they’re really not new trends. They’re not new trends to you and me. And frankly, most of these B2B organizations and the leaders, they use Uber and they use Amazon and they use Yelp and DoorDash and they have their groceries delivered. So they’re, in their personal lives, they’re not a new trend to them. It’s a new trend, I guess you might call it, to the organization, how they operate.

But to your question on how are they adapting, it is a bit confusing. It is a bit confusing. The reason why I say it’s a bit confusing, and confusing may not be the perfect word, is that these organizations are not as educated and knowledgeable and smart as they think they need to be, which is true. There’s probably a bit of naivete or embarrassment around the lack of knowledge of how these modern 2022 tools, technologies, platforms can help their sales models be effective in marketing and ecommerce, et cetera. And so they know the nouns, they know the buzzwords, they know the phrases, but there’s a lack of depth of true understanding.

And if you were to go to a chief marketing officer of an online grocer or a CIO of a retail organization, whether it’s here in the US or in Europe, they would be sophisticated on the tools and the technologies and the features and the functionality. And the way it’s impacted these groups is they don’t have that basis of understanding. And so there’s a lot of learning. And my company, we do a lot of, while we’re selling, we do a lot of educating. We’re educating, educating, educating on how this will work and what does this mean. And so that is a big impact, to your question around these organizations. So we like to call it they’re drinking from the firehose, they’re taking a lot and really fast.

Tim Butara: We did establish previously that the mindset shift is one of the key elements in companies being able to take advantage of all these new trends and new tools and the changes, basically. And how else can they reach that mindset shift if they don’t have any education, if they don’t have any learning, if they don’t have any training? So I think that what you’re doing at Shift7 is definitely the right way to go about it.

Andrew Walker: Yeah, great question. If you’re watching this and listening to you and I talk about this transformation shift, what can you do as an executive at a manufacturer or a distributor? Great question. Obviously you can Google things, you can read articles, et cetera, you can tap into your board members, etc. But the best thing you can do is to hire an executive. We call them chief digital officers. They’re becoming more and more commonplace. It’s an expensive hire, it’s a talented individual. Often they come from non B2B industries because they’ve done this before in retail, financial services, et cetera.

But hiring an executive that has that knowledge base already, and they’re coming in and they’re going to learn the industry, they’re going to learn the sector, they’re going to learn the business model, but they’re bringing in the acumen and the business knowledge around digital customer experiences, digital technologies, how to do transformation.

Obviously, you can work with consultants like Shift7, of course, but it’s really important to have a steward and a champion internally at a B2B organization. Otherwise you are hiring a consultant like us to work with a CMO, a CIO, maybe somebody that– within a marketing team. But it’s all going to be new to them. It’s all going to be new to them, and it’s going to be an uphill job. Now, that’s okay, and that can be done. But the best way to do it in a fast and kind of a confident answer, a competent way, is to actually hire a chief digital officer. And we’re seeing it more and more.

I would just leave you with this. We did a study around January, first part of this year, how many of our clients have chief digital officers and how many do not. Three years ago, it was less than 10%. Now it’s up to 40%. So they’re making that investment in this executive hire to champion and run and drive the budget initiatives, et cetera. So that’s helpful.

Tim Butara: We mostly discussed all of this in the B2B context so far. But when it comes to these brands, to manufacturing and distribution, to these fields, are there any differences between B2C companies and B2B businesses? What’s the deal here?

Andrew Walker: Yes, absolutely. It’s a quick answer. Absolutely. Yeah. The main probably two differences are the technology platforms and cloud options that are out there are way richer, way more mature than they were five years ago, ten years ago, for that matter. So, the SAP, the Adobes, and one of the leading ones, Salesforce.com, they have some really leading cloud software components that are really geared towards B2B organizations. And they have different feature functionalities than B2C cloud software.

Trying to take an ecommerce platform or a content management platform that is sort of generic and vanilla and apply it to a retail company and apply it to a B2B company can be done. Anything in technology can be done. But the great thing about the world we live in today is most of these enterprise cloud software organizations that have a vertical focus on B2B, they have feature functionalities that are unique and specific to manufacturers, to distributors that are different than retail.

A great example would be something like split shipment. So in retail, that’s not really a functionality. You or I buy a sweater online, we typically don’t want to buy two and have one sent to yourself and one sent to a different address. You want it all sent to one address. Well, in B2B, when you buy 500 widgets, you often want to send 100 to one distributor, another 100 to a different distributor, another 100 to a different distributor, and so on and so forth. And those are different addresses. So that is a feature functionality that is different as an example. And those exist within a platform and can be configured to each customer’s requirements and specifications.

Tim Butara: So if I’m getting this correctly, it’s the customer experience that’s kind of the main differentiating factor. Can we talk more about the role of CX in this context?

Andrew Walker: Oh yeah, I can talk long time about that. And you hit it right on the nose. That’s a huge part of, frankly, any digital transformation. As I just said a few minutes ago, the tech can do anything. At the end of the day, tech can make it work. It’s all about time and money to get there. But there’s not too many things that are impossible.

But where the rubber hits the road or where the value really comes into play is the usability and the adoption. And the experience, as you call it, that is defined within the framework of any sort of cloud technology platform – could be content management, it could be just a simple microsite one page landing page. It could be a whole ecommerce shopping experience, checkout shopping cart experience.

And so how you think about the usability of that is a bit of perspective and a point of view by the pros and visual designers and interaction designers. But the element that the client really needs to spend time in with an organization like us is to think about what we call the journey, the user’s journey. Understanding that and making it as seamless as possible, as usable as possible, and on point as possible.

So, for example, if you were to start every process with, hey, let’s start you here with understanding our brand, and then after understanding our brand and the online experience, you’re going to let us know about our history. And after history, we’re going to let you shop our products. And then after that you can maybe check out, well, the user journey might say that everybody does their research on Google or Yahoo to find out your history and who your brand is. And they want to go to immediately to a product, right to a product page.

And if you don’t understand that journey, you won’t be able to design an experience that allows the user to land right there. It’s really important to do that research up front, that’s something that we do with all of our clients to make sure that the experience is defined. Because speed is important, for sure, usability is important, but adoption, frustration, drop off, all of these things, you want to mitigate in it because time is important and there’s a lot of often competitive and options for any user out there. And so you want to make it as seamless and as easy as possible to ensure that the product is working for you and that this is a business, this is an ecommerce transaction.

Tim Butara: I think you made some really great point here, Andrew, especially you just repeated that the user journey has to be seamless. And I immediately thought of another huge factor that’s contributing to the need for this, and it’s the changing digital habits. It’s the transition and the heavy usage of mobile. But then still, people have different habits. Some of them might check out a product on mobile, but then proceed with the checkout and adding to cart and purchasing the product on their laptop. And they would want the journey to be seamless. They wouldn’t want to log into their account again.

And there’s just all of these– I think that you already mentioned that before. Right. There are so many small elements that contribute to these changes, and it’s very hard to keep all of them in mind. But you kind of need to, right? Especially if you’re the one designing these experiences and managing them.

Andrew Walker: Yeah. And to that point, you triggered another thought, which is most– you and I might shop for a pair of tennis shoes or a pair of shorts while we’re at an airport or while we’re in a taxi or maybe while we’re in our backyard. In the B2B sense, most of the interactions used to happen right here, right in my office, right at my desk, et cetera, on my computer, et cetera. That is the case for some. But when we do the journey research for other companies, now we find out that some of the suppliers are working remotely. They might be now starting to travel. So now they need a mobile experience, or they may need something that just fits a different sort of journey.

And I guess the other thing about digital experiences is, once you design them and put them in place, they don’t exist forever. You have to continue as a B2B organization, that’s an education part. Hey, listen, every three months, six months, nine months, at least annually, take a look at your users and how they’re interacting with your brand, how they’re researching, how they’re checking out.

And tech is changing all of our lives, all the time. And you want to make sure you’re bringing that into your own business. As soon as Amazon changes some way to do checkout, B2B organizations need to think about that, because now these same people that are buying their online paper towels and toilet paper, now they want to have a similar experience as it relates to their B2B functionality. So constantly looking at and evaluate is important. That’s why we call it a work in progress or a WIP.

Tim Butara: Awesome. I think that we discussed a lot of interesting stuff, and now in this final part of the episode, Andrew, I’d like us to focus– because I know we talked in the discovery, preliminary talks, you mentioned that you work, you have a lot of experiences with a lot of renowned brands that would be of particular interest to discuss here. So can you share some of the most interesting lessons, details, insights from your work with brands such as Lincoln Electric, Global Industrial, et cetera?

Andrew Walker: Yeah. As I was getting ready for your call with me today, I thought about one of our toy manufacturers that really has gone through a corporate transformation. And part of their corporate transformation has been the digital transformation part. There’s a lot of large consulting organizations, management consulting organizations like BCG, Booz Allen, McKinsey, et cetera, that do large corporate organization transformations. And a big part of their storyline is digital transformation. That’s where Shift7 comes in place.

And so this toy manufacturer. Their sales model, we talked earlier, was predominantly built up of about 50 customer service reps that were in a customer service call center and any sort of small to medium or large toy distributors, from a small boutique that’s in New York City to Target or Walmart.

They would call this 50 person call center to say, I need 100 more three year old puzzles. Or I need 400 more stuffed animal elephants. And they would replenish that. It was a B2B transaction. They would replenish through those orders that way. It was a phone call. It was a fax. Sometimes even sophisticated, it was an email. They wanted to make all of this a self service capability. They wanted the New York City boutique toy store to be able to go onto a website, see all of the toy products, see the inventory, see their preferred rates and prices for them that they had negotiated previously for all of their products that were unique to them. And be able to either create– with a credit card or a PO. Be able to make the transaction themselves at 11:00 p.m sat night. No phone call. No email. No fax.

And they wanted to not terminate those call center folks, but they actually wanted to turn them into other individuals that could help in a different way, whether it’s focusing on bigger accounts that may be needed to be more of a human to human interaction, maybe to focus on marketing activities. And so they’ve transitioned all 50 people to different types of roles, and they’ve created the space for ecommerce to be a complete, what we call self service function.

And now all the distributors and even boutique toy stores that interact with their brand, they do all the replenishment, all their ordering through an online tool, just like you and I buy our groceries or whatever online. And so that was not only a strategic move that changed how they do sales, but also created more profitability and stickiness retention in their existing customers.

Additionally, they started with a reposition of their marketing, started to reach other toy distributors that they never worked before, and say, listen, we’re easy to work with. We have a website. We can get you a login and password and authenticated and give you some preferred pricing, and you can see all this and shop on your own terms.

And as I said all that, that probably feels very B2C, probably very you and me and retail. But that’s the transformation that most of these organizations are going. And that’s a perfect example of what we want to be helping B2B companies move from a very dated, legacy, multi decade ago model to today.

Tim Butara: I love that example. It’s not one that you would typically think of when you were listening to a topic about digital transformation, but that’s why I love it even more. And you mention the phrase, human to human, and I think that’s the catch here, right? Because most of these transactions, most of the stuff, even if it’s B2C, if it’s B2B, I think that we’ve already discussed this on at least one episode, but it bears repeating because it’s such an important point.

It’s all mostly having to do with humans. Even if you’re interacting with software, some human designed that software, some human is managing that software. So in this sense, it’s the only logical step for this move to happen, that we would kind of perceive B2B sales as having more B2C elements, I guess.

Andrew Walker: Yeah. And that’s where the world should be going. That’s where technology can be really exciting and fun and beneficial in a big way. And there’s a learning curve. There’s a learning curve for you, for me, and to get up to speed. And then things change, right? And then we got to learn some more. So you can imagine how much education and knowledge there is.

And I will share this last thing with you. One of the things for any B2B listener out there on your call is that there is a fair amount of sympathy or empathy that we have for our clients. They’re coming from a place of real latency and behind in sort of their knowledge base. And the last thing you want to do with anybody that’s playing catch up is to make them feel awkward or uncomfortable. So having empathy for their position, where they’re at and say, hey, I’m going to bring you here. I’m going to move you with me. Versus, come on, let’s go. Nobody likes to be educated and taught like that.

So a big part of what you’re doing, which I appreciate through sessions like this, as well as what we try to do, is, yeah, we’re running for-profit business, but we’re also trying to make sure that we get people educated, smart on the way because it’s all going to benefit all of us in the end. So anyway, thank you for having me.

Tim Butara: Andrew. This was such a great way to finish the episode. I really enjoyed our discussion. Thank you so much for being our guest today. Just before we wrap up the call, if people listening would like to reach out to you or maybe learn more about Shift7, where would you point them to?

Andrew Walker: Our website is the best spot, as always, www.shift7digital.com and a lot of different ways to contact us there, but thank you again for having me. Super exciting that you’ve taken the time for us, and it’s a great topic. We’re obviously passionate about.

Tim Butara: Awesome. The feeling’s mutual. Thanks for joining us, Andrew.

Andrew Walker: Okay, sounds good.

Tim Butara: Bye. Have a nice day. And to our listeners, that’s all for this episode. Have a great day, everyone, and stay safe.

Outro:
Thanks for tuning in. If you’d like to check out our other episodes, you can find all of them at agiledrop.com/podcast, as well as on all the most popular podcasting platforms. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any new episodes. And don’t forget to share the podcast with your friends and colleagues.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

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The May 2022 tED (the Electrical Distributor) magazine Special Report “The Future of Business” featured Shift7 CEO Andrew Walker.

Check out what Andrew has to say about What’s Next in the article Marketing for the Future: As customer requirements and habits continue to shift, it’ll take new marketing strategies to stay in front of changes.

Read tED’s take on Marketing For The Future in electrical distribution here.

 

 

 

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

Today, Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, is announcing a new strategic partnership with Salsify, the commerce experience management platform that helps brands win on the digital shelf. Chosen as one of the first partners in Salsify’s expanded Partner Program, Shift7 Digital will bring Salsify’s best-in-class technology to manufacturers to help them ace their digital shelf strategy. In the wake of the global pandemic, a robust ecommerce presence has become paramount to many manufacturers’ survival.

“In order to provide our clients with the best roadmap for ecommerce success, we need to be able to provide the best possible tools,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “We’re always evaluating and researching what makes the most sense for manufacturers and our partnership with Salsify is an essential step forward in continuing to revolutionize the digital experience for them. Mastering the digital shelf is a key component of nearly all of our plans and no one knows how to do that better than Salsify.”

The Salsify Commerce Experience Management (CommerceXM) platform leverages an integrated product information management (PIM) platform, digital asset management (DAM), and an experience builder with core commerce capabilities designed to enable sales across retailer, distributor, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels. Combined with Shift7’s forward thinking methods that transform digital marketing to drive revenue, manufacturers will be able to harness the power of the digital shelf to their benefit more than ever before.

“Shift7 shares our commitment to creating best-in-class commerce experiences for brand manufacturers, and they’re exactly the type of partner we had in mind when our Partner Program was being developed,” said Dan Herman, SVP, Partners & Alliances at Salsify. “In today’s environment, digital shelf transformation represents a limitless opportunity and Shift7 has made this a core tenet of their business.”

Shift7 will also be part of Salsify’s 2021 virtual partner summit, Digital Shelf Delivery, on Wednesday, February 17. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of market opportunity and learn about new enablement resources and tools.

For more on how Shift7 Digital is helping some of the biggest names in manufacturing elevate their digital presence, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

About Shift7 Digital

Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue. For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

About Salsify

Salsify empowers brand manufacturers to win on the digital shelf by delivering the commerce experiences consumers demand anywhere they choose to shop online. The world’s biggest brands including Mars, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, Bosch, and GSK use Salsify every day to stand out on the digital shelf. To date, Salsify has raised a total of $198.1 million in funding, led by Warburg Pincus, Venrock, Matrix Partners, Greenspring Associates, Underscore VC, and North Bridge.

For more information, please visit: http://www.salsify.com.

###

MEDIA CONTACT:
Aimee Eichelberger
Aimee@superior-pr.com

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, today announced it has updated its Consultant Listing on Salesforce AppExchange, empowering customers to connect with the right Salesforce-accredited consulting professional for their specific business needs. The updated listing highlights Shift7 Rocket, a proprietary approach to cost-effective B2B commerce implementation, specifically tailored to meet the needs of manufacturers and distributors. Leveraging Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shift7 has created a prescriptive program that can help clients quickly launch enhanced, cost-effective digital commerce strategies.

Shift7 Rocket is currently available through Consultants on AppExchange—a destination within AppExchange tailored for customers looking for deep Salesforce knowledge and specific industry expertise. With the Consultant Finder, customers can identify the best experts to solve individual business challenges from more than 2,000 consulting partner firms. Customers can choose experts based on expertise, location, company size and customer reviews—insights all powered by thousands of customer projects performed by over 65,000 accredited consultants.

 

You can find Shift7 Rocket on AppExchange here: http://s7d.co/salesforceappexchange

 

Shift7 Rocket

In a year when eCommerce has taken center stage as a must-have versus a nice-to-have, Shift7 has developed a solution for manufacturers that can meet their complex needs. According to a Shift7 internal analysis of client results, companies using Shift7 Rocket will experience up to a tripled conversion rate at checkout, a 25 percent increase in average order value and the ability to shift 100 percent of orders to a self-service model. Further, the solution can be implemented in significantly less time than a fully custom solution, nearly 35 percent faster.

 

Comments on the News

“B2B manufacturers have very different eCommerce needs from that of their B2C counterparts, which is why we’ve leveraged our insider knowledge of the industry, combined with our digital expertise to deliver what they need to move their business forward,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Many of today’s solutions are either too limiting or too complicated and require a lengthy setup – and for many, the only option is a pricey custom offering. Shift7 Rocket can accelerate the digital commerce experience for manufacturers with a cost effective solution that can be quickly deployed and easily managed to meet the specific needs of manufacturers. And because it’s powered by Salesforce, it fits in with CRM and other cloud-based technologies.”

 

About Salesforce AppExchange

Salesforce AppExchange, the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace, empowers companies, developers and entrepreneurs to build, market and grow in entirely new ways. With more than 6,000 listings, 9 million customer installs and 98,000 peer reviews, AppExchange connects customers of all sizes and across industries to ready-to-install or customizable apps and Salesforce-certified consultants to solve any business challenge.

 

Additional Resources

● Like Salesforce on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/salesforce
● Follow Salesforce on Twitter: https://twitter.com/salesforce
● Follow Shift7 Digital on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/shift7digital
● Follow Shift7 Digital on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shift7_digital

Salesforce, AppExchange, Commerce Cloud and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com,
inc.

 

About Shift7 Digital

For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

 

See Release on PRWeb

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

Today, Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, announced that it has tripled its profitability in the last 24 months including adding nearly 40 manufacturing clients to its roster and growing its team by 36 percent in just the last year. The growth is driven by the company’s innovative approach to helping manufacturers deliver on the digital experience. A new study shows two-thirds of manufacturers plan to invest significantly in their online experience and technologies in the year ahead, while a recent survey from Salesforce shows that 74 percent of business buyers say they’ll pay more for a better B2B experience.

“Like every industry today, manufacturers must maximize their digital footprint now to connect with current and prospective customers in more seamless and meaningful ways,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Shift7’s mission is to help manufacturers evolve and succeed in this decade and beyond and that includes ensuring they understand the nuances and opportunities in the digital space, including transitioning to a more customer-centric approach to doing business. Our growth signals that manufacturers understand the value of our expertise and we will continue to focus on putting them on a path to digital fluency.”

Shift7 Digital collaborates with businesses to help educate them about the changing landscape, including analyzing their digital presence, integrating the brand experience across platforms and streamlining a company’s digital properties.

To kick off the new decade, Shift7 Digital is revealing its top five tips for digital engagement in 2020:

Online Experience is Everything… and Means Everything: If your website isn’t generating leads, chances are your user experience is subpar, and that spells trouble with the continued demands of B2B buyers. 80 percent of buyers will switch suppliers if the experience is poor. Brands will need to continue to think through how customers are discovering the product, their website interface and the sequence of actions customers take as they navigate the site and the impressions they take away from the experience – everything from beginning to end.

Product Organization is King: Deeper into the user experience, if a website’s products aren’t organized in an intuitive, easy-to-use way, buyers will take their business elsewhere. Those making purchasing decisions must be able to find what they’re looking for within seconds of visiting a website. Manufacturers are catching on here, and four out of five will invest in product information tools to support online distribution channels.

Customers Write the Rules: Today, customers expect consistently high-value digital experiences. It’s no longer just about the product – they want meaningful relationships with brands and they hold the power in where, how and if they want to engage with a business. Acknowledge your customers as the decision-makers they are for your business and make sure your digital footprint matches their needs.

A Positive Purchasing Experience is Essential: In order for customers to know you, understand who you are, and take action – you must have the ability to transact. This can happen on your site, a third party site, a marketplace, a dealer or a distributor partnership. Customers are researching and shopping, and eventually will move to purchase – this moment will come and go if you don’t have the capability to exactly meet your customers’ needs.

Know the ROI: As with all business decisions, investments in digital can’t be made without knowing how they will service the business. Set up measurements and analytics tools to be sure that your investment in digital is hitting its KPIs and working to drive traffic for the brand.

Shift7 expects to maintain its aggressive growth trajectory, including plans to add more than 50 employees in 2020.

 

About Shift7 Digital
Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

New Survey of Manufacturers Shows Over Half Have Not Accepted PPP Assistance

Despite a tumultuous first half of 2020 that has impacted every industry across the globe, particularly manufacturing, a new study of hundreds of manufacturers, commissioned by the modern digital agency for manufacturers, Shift7 and conducted by Zogby Analytics, reveals that while four in ten manufacturers say they’ve furloughed and laid off employees this year, over half (56 percent) have not taken any form of government financial aid, including the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). At the same time, the survey shows they’re shifting focus to optimize their digital presence during this time.

“Every manufacturer can benefit from a more robust digital footprint right now, and the pandemic has given many the push into the space they needed to make it happen,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “This shift is paramount as brands need a stronger direct relationship with consumers, retailers and resellers alike. Manufacturers that are addressing this revolution are the ones that will survive and thrive in this environment and beyond.”

The Shift7 study finds over two-thirds of manufacturers have moved marketing dollars from traditional to digital channels this year and with eight in ten investing the most of their marketing spend on their own website. This trend correlates directly with where manufacturers are seeing sales – 52 percent say the majority of their sales have come from online channels in 2020.

Shift7 Digital works with businesses to guide them through the changing digital landscape, including analyzing their online presence, integrating the brand experience across platforms and streamlining a company’s digital properties.

About Shift7 Digital
Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue.

About the Zogby Survey
Zogby Analytics was commissioned by Shift7 to conduct an online survey of 208 business decision-makers at manufacturing businesses from June 30 – July 2, 2020. Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation was password coded and secure so that one respondent could only access the survey one time. Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 208 is +/- 6.8 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, if the identical survey were repeated, its confidence intervals would contain the true value of parameters 95 times out of 100.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

We are so proud to announce we’ve been chosen as one of Crain’s New York’s 100 Best Places to Work in NYC! This award is based largely on feedback given by our employees. What an honor to be recognized by our talented NY Shifters!

 

Check out the List : New York’s Best Places to Work 2020 (crainsnewyork.com)

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

A Leading Digital Marketing Agency Hires Joe Anzalone as VP of Salesforce Technology to Help Manufacturers Accelerate Online Presence

 

Today, Shift7 Digital, a modern digital agency for manufacturers, announced the appointment of Joe Anzalone as its new Vice President of Salesforce Technology. As the former Global Director for Salesforce at consulting firm Slalom, Anzalone is an experienced technologist with two decades of expertise driving integrations that support go-to-market strategies for leading products.

“Joe has an impressive track-record of leading successful Salesforce client programs, and building strong client relationships, combined with a deep understanding of the Salesforce ecosystem and its solutions,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Shift7 remains laser-focused on delivering a complete approach that supports digital acceleration for manufacturers – which has never been more important. Joe is a key piece of our approach because we recognize that an effective approach starts with a well-equipped team.”

A recent survey, commissioned by Shift7, found that over two-thirds of manufacturers have moved marketing dollars from traditional to digital channels this year – with eight in ten investing the most of their marketing spend on their own website. More than half said the majority of their sales have come from online channels in 2020. Shift7 collaborates with manufacturers to help educate them about the changing digital landscape, including analyzing their digital presence, integrating the brand experience across platforms and streamlining a company’s digital properties to help them accelerate their online footprint.

“Shift7 is truly an innovator and their creation of this new role underscores its commitment to bringing together experts in technology and consulting to help manufacturers move the needle,” said Anzalone. “I’m excited to join the team and help bring a competitive advantage to our customers.”

Shift7 has also added Amanda Marx as Vice President of Marketing. Marx is the former Director of Digital and Product Marketing at Life Fitness, with prior consulting experience at Abbott Laboratories and Acquity Group.

“We have recruited two stellar individuals who are leaders in their fields and I, personally, recognize the value they each bring and what that means for the growth of our company as well as the brands we support,” added Walker.

 

Salesforce, and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

 

About Shift7 Digital

Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

CEO Andrew Walker to Chair First Day of The Conference, Additional Execs to Lead Panels and Fireside Chats

Today, Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, is announcing that several of their top executives have been selected to speak at the first day of B2B Online Connect on Monday, December 7. Shift7 CEO Andrew Walker will serve as Chairman of the first day, including opening remarks for the conference, as well as moderating a panel, “Implementing Enhanced Customer Experience Strategies To Differentiate From Competitors” and a roundtable discussion on Ecommerce channel acceleration. Additionally, Derek Horne, Shift7’s Vice President & Executive Creative Director, will moderate a fireside chat, “Building a CX Agenda To Get Ahead Of The Competition.”

Ecommerce has seen staggering growth this year due to COVID-19 and many manufacturers have been forced to reevaluate their digital presence. In fact, over two-thirds of manufacturers have moved marketing dollars from traditional to digital channels this year and with eight in ten investing the most of their marketing spend on their own website. And, this matches where manufacturers are seeing sales – 52 percent say the majority of their sales have come from online channels in 2020.

WHEN: Monday, December 7 beginning at 12:00PM ET

REGISTER: HERE

FOR WHO: Senior-Level Ecommerce & Digital Marketers From Manufacturers & Distributors

WHAT: Sessions with thought leaders on the forefront of B2B digital marketing, including:

Fireside Chat – Building a CX Agenda To Get Ahead Of The Competition

While customer experience was traditionally a focus for consumer facing business, B2B organizations understand how this can be a key differentiator. Tracy Robertson, Global VP of Customer Experience for Kimberly-Clark, and Derek Van Horne, Vice President & Executive Creative Director, Shift7 Digital will take a deep dive into the CX strategies they’ve put in place to meet customer expectations and remain competitive.

Panel Discussion – Implementing Enhanced Customer Experience Strategies To Differentiate From Competitors

This year’s Ecommerce trends, such as prioritizing SEO and improving product content management, have common themes centered on the customer experience. This panel of B2B thought leaders, including Shift7’s Andrew Walker and Randy Higgins, will take a deep dive into ways to get customers talking and providing the experiences they expect.

Innovation Roundtable – Ecommerce Channel Acceleration: Are You Ready?

It’s not a secret; you know your brand needs to go all in on digital, specifically on Ecommerce. If your business is going to thrive, your path to digital fluency needs to be accelerated ASAP. This roundtable will discuss key pillars of digital acceleration for manufacturers that will guide them on the path forward.

 

About Shift7 Digital

Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue. For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

B2B Digital Experts

We partner with the world’s leading B2B manufacturers and distributors to build incredible digital experiences.

FleetPride

Driving revenue growth through digital demand

Allied Beverage

Commercial Transformation across Sales & Service in a Top 10 Wine & Spirits Distributor

USG

Bringing a 100-year-old construction products manufacturer into the digital age

New Data Shows COVID-19 Accelerates Digital for Brands Worldwide

Today, Shift7 Digital, the modern digital agency for manufacturers, is sharing insights on the digital marketing landscape for 2021, coming out of a year when a strong digital footprint has never been more important. According to a recent report from investment firm GP Bullhound, the shift from physical to digital stores has accelerated by four to six years as a result of COVID-19, but many were forced to adapt on-the-fly. The same report found that as of Q4 2019, 41 percent of brands did not have a specialized team for managing Ecommerce supply chains. Shift7’s primary customer base, manufacturers, has not always been at the forefront of early adoption in the digital space, but the pandemic has been the push that many needed.

“It simply cannot be overstated how important having the right digital footprint has become for businesses this year,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital. “Manufacturers aren’t always known for being leaders in digital marketing the same way, say, the SaaS industry is, but the global pandemic has made ecommerce channels impossible for them to ignore and we’ve seen real, meaningful change for a number of them over the course of the year.”

To help businesses put their best foot forward going into 2021, Shift7 Digital’s top executives are sharing tips for how to get the most of digital marketing in 2021:

Andrew Walker, Chief Executive Officer, on ROI Value: As with all business decisions, investments in digital can’t be made without clear benefits. And the business case for digital channel expansion is undeniable. Define targets to be sure that your investment in digital is hitting its KPIs and working to drive impact for the brand.

Randy Higgins, Chief Strategy Officer, on Channel Prioritization: It sounds simple, but prioritizing your digital channels matters. It’s not about doing everything on every channel you can find, but finding and prioritizing the ones that are being embraced by your customers and make sense for your business.

Nick Schulte, EVP, Technology, on Product Content: Your product information, and the rich way it’s presented to your customers, is crucial to your digital success. If your products aren’t discoverable in an intuitive, easy-to-use way, your buyers may opt for an alternate brand; those making purchasing decisions must be able to find what they’re looking for and recognize its value quickly.

Derek Van Horne, VP, Executive Creative Director, on Modernizing Marketing: More likely than not, one of the things you’re aiming for is measurable, scalable growth; if you haven’t rethought your digital marketing techniques in the past few years, now is the time to do so. Growth focused manufacturers are taking a page from the consumer marketing playbook, prioritizing customer acquisition tactics and branded experiences in their own B2B way.

Joe Anzalone, VP, Salesforce Technology, on Customer Centrality: One of the most important things to always keep in mind is why you are making all of these changes and decisions: ultimately, to serve your customers. Offering online B2B transactions will not only improve your customer relationships, but will also lower your cost of serving them.

Shift7 Digital collaborates with manufacturers to help educate them about the changing landscape, including analyzing their digital presence, integrating their brand experience across platforms and streamlining their digital properties. For more on how Shift7 Digital is helping some of the biggest names in manufacturing elevate their digital presence, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

 

About Shift7 Digital
Shift7 Digital is revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers and their customers. Backed by a team of experts with deep industry insights, Shift7 truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the B2B market today and delivers a customized, yet prescriptive process for partnering with companies as they evolve from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. Shift7 is modernizing manufacturing to help businesses transform through digital marketing to drive connections, commerce and revenue. For more information, visit http://www.shift7digital.com.

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