The diversified products manufacturer has launched new e-commerce technology to improve its worldwide online and multichannel sales.

Known mostly for its sticky notes and Scotch-brand tape, 3M Co. is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of products across several industry categories that it sells in more than 70 countries to the tune of $31 billion in annual sales. To better connect its products with its global customer base, it has launched a new e-commerce technology platform for its business-to-business and consumer markets, the company said yesterday.

“At 3M, we require a lot from our commerce technology, and in addition to giving our B2B customers a high quality, omnichannel commerce experience, our platform must perform flawlessly and quickly adapt to new markets and business models,” says James Fall, vice president, Global Sales Operations. 

3M has launched a new global e-commerce site on the hybris Commerce Suite from hybris Software, which is a unit of business software company SAP AG. 3M also uses SAP for its back-end enterprise resource planning software, including applications for managing financial and inventory records.

3M says the new platform will enable it to better connect with wholesalers, distributors, dealers and retailers as well as individual consumers through its global network of e-commerce sites. The company manufactures and markets products in such categories as electronics and energy, consumer products, health care, industrial products, safety products and graphics supplies.

And with a global enterprise resource planning system for managing its worldwide financial and inventory records, 3M says it needed to implement a “robust, state-of-the-art, user-friendly and flexible commerce platform capable of delivering B2B functionality to a global user base.” It adds that it also needed an e-commerce platform that was flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions, such as by quickly updating web content in each global market based on changing customer demand or availability of newly introduced products.


3M says the hybris technology includes the following important features:

The ability to support multiple languages and currencies, allowing 3M to effectively serve both new and existing global markets.

Operating a global e-commerce platform on a single, unified software stack, which is scaled to meet the needs of 3M’s smallest and largest markets.

User tools and content personalization features that enable 3M’s business and merchandising managers to develop online content and merchandise displays tailored to customer needs to “drive significantly higher conversion rates.”

  “Omni-commerce” capabilities that enable 3M to deploy future commerce applications on the web, mobile and tablet devices, and in the call center, enabling 3M to engage with customers regardless of how they prefer to research and purchase products.


The cost to deploy hybris as licensed software starts at a one-time fee of about $200,000; the Internet-based on-demand versions starts within a range of $10,000 to $20,000 per month, the vendor says. 3M has not disclosed what it’s paying for its hybris installation.