As 2022 unfolds, ecommerce will remain a top priority for many manufacturers. But if manufacturers are truly serious about creating long-lasting and loyal, digitally driven customers, the time to get truly serious about B2B ecommerce and digital transformation is now.

Manufacturers will continue to wrestle with a series of challenges throughout 2022. These challenges include supply chain disruption, rising wages due to a worker shortage and delivery problems, among others, according to data and analysis contained in the forthcoming 2022 US Manufacturing Report from Digital Commerce 360.

But manufacturers also are anticipating continued sales expansion and productivity throughout 2022, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. “Demand for manufactured goods has remained strong despite a multitude of headwinds in the global economy,” the association says in a recent report on first quarter expectations by manufacturers. “The challenge for manufacturing firms has been in meeting that demand, with sizable hurdles from supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, soaring costs and COVID-19 – the labor market remains tight, with job growth in the sector in 2021 rising at the best pace since 1994.”

For its first quarter survey, the National Association of Manufacturers surveyed about 300 large, medium, and small manufacturing companies. Among the key findings:

  • 88% of companies are positive about their own company’s outlook.
  • The expected growth rate for companies of all size and production over the next 12 months is 6.1%.
  • The expected growth rate for capital investment for all of 2022 is 3.8%.
  • The expected growth rate for raising product prices for this year is 6.1%.
  • The growth rate for growing inventory levels this year is 2.4%.

“More than 86% of manufacturers predict sales will increase over the next four quarters, with nearly 70% feeling that orders will rise 5% or more,” the survey says.

As 2022 unfolds, ecommerce will remain a top priority for many manufacturers. But if manufacturers are truly serious about creating long lasting and loyal digitally driven customer, the time to get truly serious about B2B ecommerce and digital transformation is now. “B2B digital commerce is now considered a necessary part of omnichannel buying motions by US manufacturers,” says Forrester Research analyst Joe Cicman.

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Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week. It covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact Mark Brohan, vice president of B2B and Market Research Development, at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @markbrohan.

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