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Designing Professional Websites For Manufacturers

Manufacturers need a website designed with an included set of technical functions that will enable them to build their brand online and sell their products to channel partners (e.g. dealers, distributor networks, buying clubs and wholesalers) and in some cases (where it does not cannibalize their relationship with channel partners) even directly to the end user customers.

Designing a site for a manufacturer who sells primarily business to business (B2B) – like the ArtisanPrecast.com website – presents a different set of challenges than simply designing a standard eStore for an online retailer.

Here are some of the value choices and questions we review with manufacturers when designing and/or building their websites.

  • Content downloadable for use by channel partners on their own websites
  • Make it easy for other websites to link to content on its own site
  • Private label presence for channel partners on Manufacturer’s website
  • Enable channel partner to add their owncontent and branding messages
  • Create area on the site or separate pricing to sell directly to the consumer
  • Clear and compelling opt-in forms to generate leads and drive sales
  • Provide a Dealer Locator search function that is easily recognizable
  • Optimize website so content is indexed and ranked in the search engines
  • User friendly interface which is easily navigable
  • Fonts, colors and other design elements match the “branding brochures”
  • Request a quote function to segment leads as they come in


What are the main features I should look for in a Manufacturers Website Solution to help me ensure my company receives a quality website and/or extranet that will be easy to manage and operate?

  • Content Management System (CMS) to self-publish to my site
  • Professionally designed website that adheres to industry standards
  • Custom graphics and banners for different sections of our site
  • Professional copywriter to help create web page content
  • Search Engine Optimization for Google, Yahoo and Bing rankings
  • Website traffic monitoring software to provide daily reports of visitors
  • Product catalog with categories and subcategory capability
  • Upsales and cross-sales management capability
  • Client Extranet
  • Employee Intranet
  • Subscription signup to enable you to send out a newsletter via email
  • Social media to connect your site to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Customer support to answer your questions about how to use the website
  • Training classes and videos to guide you through managing your website


Product Catalog Features Considered to be “Must-Have”

  • Category listing page with grid view and listing view capability
  • Option to view categories of products by subcategory, brand or product line
  • Sort multiple products listed on a page by name, date, popularity or size
  • Product detail pages to include multiple display fields of information
  • Image management to zoom in on image or display multiple images
  • HTML editor for professional product descriptions and feature sets
  • Knowledgebase of documents (PDF’s, powerpoints or HTML pages)
  • Product keyword type-in search function with Ajax powered suggestion tool
  • Ability to “relate other items” for sale with each product
  • Best sellers tracking to position top selling items anywhere on the site


Channel Partner Features to consider as part of your Dealer and Distributor Support Strategy:

  • External user authentication with secure usernames and passwords
  • Password recovery by email
  • SSL Encryption capability to protect content from hackers
  • Upload/download multiple files (catalog data, images and other content)
  • Extranet landing page personalization
  • Knowledge base (including web pages, PDF’s, videos and powerpoints)
  • Secure support center for help desk with ticketing system for open cases
  • Offer channel partners a share of revenues for sales made in their “region”.
  • Offer separate (and usually higher) pricing to consumers through the site
  • Offer inventory not readily carried by channel partners

Multiple Language Considerations :

Our Manufacturer Website Solutions enable you to easily support multiple languages and pursue a broader and international client base. In order to provide an effective multi-language website these are the items to consider when developing your strategy:

  • Which languages will you provide
  • Will translations be done in-house
  • Will translations be outsourced to a translation company like www.mside.com
  • Maintaining brand consistency online to keep all the languages up to date
  • Do you need to be able to export content for translation
  • Will you want to import new translations from external sources
  • Manage different versions of your web content like product descriptions


Locator function to find Dealers, Distributors and Locations

Manufacturer websites are becoming more and more global in this Google economy. Visitors to your website need to be able to find where your products can be purchased, how to obtain local customer support, and how to find local distribution partners. Here are features we consider when integrating a Searchable Locator into your website.

  • Location finder connected with a Google Maps function
  • Global Map showing all the locations in your database
  • Directory style listing of locations with links to individual addresses
  • Distributor finder to locate a local service provider


Sales, Marketing and Web Traffic

No website is complete without customers. Building a website is not a Field of Dreams fantasy where if you build it they will come. It requires a serious push effort to not only drive people to the site but then reach out to them with a continuous marketing strategy that builds brand confidence and trust. Our design and integration team works closely with your sales and marketing staff to help you drive visitors to your site and convert the web traffic into new leads and finally into customers.

Your site includes this list of features to enable you to maximize your opportunity and ability to reach new customers:

  • Search engine friendly web pages with keyword rich URLs
  • News section to quickly post company and industry news
  • Sales rep and dealer locator as described above
  • Request a quote form with options like drop down choices and radio buttons
  • Signup for newsletter to be sent via email
  • Photo galleries of products that can be picked up by search engines
  • Video galleries to upload your own product demonstration videos
  • User registration for private access to knowledge base and other privileges
  • Download registered user data to a CRM system like SalesForce
  • Social media links section
  • Personalized contact us page with a Google Maps feature

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

What Others Are Saying
Dave Towers, VP Digital StrategiesDave Towers, VP Digital StrategiesWestfield Mall Retail
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