Although ecommerce has steadily transformed B2B sales for more than a decade by making purchasing more convenient, the competitive pressure on suppliers is greater than ever to help buyers with better site search and navigation, personalized product recommendations and visibility into their order status.
That’s why Gerber Technology, a provider of integrated hardware equipment and software and systems, such as for cutting and shaping apparel and other flexible materials, has relaunched its Gerber eStore, at estore.gerbertechnology.com, with more ways for its customers to find and purchase products.
Gerber, whose equipment is used by manufacturers in industries including apparel, automotive and aerospace, provides software and automation solutions designed to improve the manufacturing and design processes. Companies also use its products to manage and connect their supply chains from product development and production to retail and the end-customer.
“Efficient product and part identification is becoming a bigger focus for buyers and we sought a website that would make it easier for buyers to accomplish that,” says Brandy Moore, vice president, global service and aftermarket. “Our new eStore ecommerce platform is just one part of Gerber’s focus on empowering our customers to achieve operational excellence.”
Clicking 3D models
The ecommerce site, built on PartSpot ecommerce technology from GenAlpha Technologies LLC, includes a new user interface, advanced functionality and features including clickable drawings and 3D models, commonly paired parts, one-click re-ordering, bulk uploads, and tracking of orders and invoices.
The inclusion of clickable drawings and 3D models streamlines part identification, selection and purchasing by enabling a user to identify a part in a drawing, then click to add the featured product to a shopping cart. If a part added to a buyer’s shopping cart is frequently paired with another part, the website will automatically suggest the companion part for purchase. In addition, online customers can upload part numbers in bulk to cut back on having to key in product identifiers.
The eStore allows buyers to access parts and supplies for all markets served by Gerber Technology: aerospace, fashion and apparel, furniture, packaging, transportation, sign and graphics, technical textile and wind management. The previous version of the eStore, which launched in 2016, did not provide access to parts and supplies for all market categories. The company has 78,000 customers in 134 countries.
The Gerber eStore is an online sales channel separate from the company’s main website at www.gerbertechnology.com, which is an information site and does not accept online orders. About 85% of orders placed by distributors come through the eStore, Moore says.
Going forward, Gerber Technology plans to add training and service contract offerings to the eStore. Currently, Gerber’s customers can only purchase those services through a Gerber sales representative. Plans are also in the works to expand the site’s parts library.
“As we add functionality to the eStore, the focus will be on providing value and benefits to our customers,” Moore says.
Part of Gerber’s marketing strategy for the new website includes directing customers to the site to take advantage of exclusive “eSTORE only” promotional offerings.
Tolland, Connecticut-based Gerber develops and manufactures its products at multiple locations in the United States and Canada and has additional manufacturing capabilities in China. Gerber is owned by American Industrial Partners, a New York-based global private equity firm specializing in technology companies, with more than $3.0 billion assets under management.
Peter Lucas is a Highland Park, Illinois-based freelance journalist covering business and technology.
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