Mexico might not be the first country that comes to mind when one thinks about industrial buyers and global trade, but smart manufactures realize that e-commerce is creating plenty of opportunity in this, one of the world’s largest exporting countries.
Currently, roughly 95% of Mexican buyers have purchased products directly from manufacturers – up from 74% in 2015 – signaling that cutting out the middleman has gone mainstream. Meanwhile, in the next three-to-five years, some 30% of Mexican buyers will purchase their industrial products from e-marketplaces, according to the UPS Mexico Industrial Buying Dynamics study, a new UPS whitepaper examining the factors influencing purchasing behaviors, preferences and perceptions of industrial product buyers and how they identify their suppliers.
Here are four ways for Mexican suppliers to keep their current customers while attracting new ones:
- Recognize market challenges: E-commerce is quickly reshaping buyer behavior, which is why Mexican manufacturers must adapt to meet growing demand in order to thrive and remain competitive within the U.S. and Mexico. Customer service is an area of opportunity for online markets, offering manufacturers in Mexico the chance to focus on delivering superior customer service to help attract more buyers from the U.S.
- Understand buyer needs based on product type: Mexican suppliers can gain a deeper understanding of U.S. buyers’ behaviors based on the products they purchase. Merchandise such as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and maintenance, report and operations equipment (MRO) parts have high-quality standards and longer life expectancy, which may require ongoing maintenance. For internationally sourced merchandise, Mexican suppliers can capture these buyers by offering post-sales support.
- Optimize business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce: Buyers primarily search for new suppliers via manufacturer websites and online search engines. While having a rudimentary website listing products and basic contact info was once enough to seal a deal, it is no longer adequate. For suppliers to meet the needs of buyers, it’s critical that they offer online purchasing capabilities.The report also identifies an upward shift by U.S. buyers in mobile purchasing, suggesting that Mexican manufactures should invest in a robust mobile e-commerce strategy. The study highlights this trend, indicating how 19% of U.S. buyers and 17% of Mexican buyers would choose a supplier who offers mobile application solutions to make their purchase.
- Use post-sales service as a competitive differentiator: Extending capabilities to include post-sales support gives distributors a unique opportunity and ultimately a competitive advantage. Disposal, returns and training are most important post-sales support to buyers in Mexico. Manufacturers should consider providing assistance with returns for U.S. buyers, as this is their primary post-sales need. Buyers in Mexico and the U.S. are both likely to conduct business with a supplier that offers post-sales support. In addition to expanding post-sales services, manufacturers are encouraged to focus on offering 3D printing services to accommodate a wider net of customers in the U.S. who are interested in personalized products.