How to Sell Industrial Products Online


July 28, 2021


  • Today, more than 50% of industrial buyers are purchasing from your company’s e-commerce site, bypassing your sales representatives.
  • Direct e-commerce purchases will count for 1.8 trillion of all B2B sales by 2023—almost one-fifth of the market.
  • 87% of buyers use search engines to buy products online. Search engines analyze your website’s Key Performance Indicators to rank your e-commerce platform in the results.
  • Read on to learn how to master the search engines and drive customers to your industrial business website.

It’s no secret that industrial marketing strategies require a vastly different machine than traditional marketing. Your customers aren’t just educated, they’re experts in their field— integrators and engineers with an extremely high technical aptitude.

You also have hundreds of thousands—or millions—of SKUs, and the information available online for your products is sparse.

Starting with an Industrial Marketing Strategy

Not long ago that wasn’t such a problem, but today, most of your customers are searching for industrial products online, and bypassing your sales representatives. They expect to be able to find the data they’re looking for on user-friendly websites and are less interested in searching through expansive PDF catalogues.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably already figured out that you need a presence online, but perhaps you’re asking, “Where do I start?” For sure, you want to launch with a user-friendly website, but there’s much more to a sound industrial marketing strategy than that. You have to get your products in front of your customers while they’re searching online and drive them toward your website.

This requires a lot more than a simple approach and deft touch. Google algorithms auction off ad space non-stop based on a variety of quality measures that evolve over time. Search engines also privilege websites that meet certain key performance indicators, and then there’s the issue of your potential customers, and what they’re actually searching for on the web—which could include important e-commerce destination websites for the industrial sector.

E-Commerce for Industrial Products

The landscape for buying industrial equipment is changing, and as buyers move increasingly online, having a website for them to shop is essential. A recent Forrester Report projected that B2B e-commerce will account for 17 percent of all B2B sales by 2023, which will roughly translate to $1.8 trillion dollars.

In order to play a part in the e-commerce market, your buyers will want access to information about your products, and if you’re interested in establishing relationships with your buyers, they’ll want to be able to learn more about your company. To accomplish these goals you’ll need a website to provide an e-commerce marketplace for your company and products.

Industrial E-Commerce Websites

Your e-commerce website is not Amazon, but the habits of your buyers are becoming increasingly like those found in a B2C marketplace. Integrators and engineers are searching for information about your products online, and once they arrive at your site, if they can’t find the information they need, then they will move on to a competitor site that is more accessible.

Imagine all of your SKUs on your very own website, where a buyer can not only find out everything they need to know about all of your products, but also be provided with a smooth buying process that makes it easy to purchase. That is why Main Event Digital builds industrial e-commerce websites that have:

  • Easy Search Functionality - Internal search engines help buyers search by product, while category and sub category pages enable easy navigation.
  • Complete SKU Catalogues - It’s not enough to have a product name, UNSPSC commodity code and a PDF to summarize each of your products. In a B2B market where integrators and engineers are your customers, you need specs, applications, safety information and performance data.
  • Easy Buying Process - User-friendly can also mean buyer-friendly, and providing an easy buying process encourages your customers to pull the trigger.
  • Optimization - Once your website is up and running, Main Event Digital monitors core Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to learn how to make it easier for buyers to navigate to other pages within the site, and make sure the buying process is easy every step of the way.

While building trust with your buyers by providing the best information about every industrial product that you carry, you’ll still need to sell your brand. Every industrial equipment distributor has their differentiator, and while manufacturers will always rave that their products are the best, we know that there’s something you do better than your competitors, whether that’s centered around establishing relationships, always being available to provide customer service or delivering onsite efficiency and safety training.

You know your business, and why it works, and you want to deliver that message to the correct audience.

Promotion of Industrial Products Online

Now that we’ve built your easy-to-use and optimized e-commerce website, with all of your manufacturer's product information listed, it’s time to drive buyers toward your online store. The first step is understanding that 87% of industrial buyers use search engines, such as Google and Bing, to learn information about products that they need.

You’ve used search engines, and so have your customers, but the key is understanding what they’re searching for. Most of your buyers will use highly specific terms to find what they want, so you want to use a trusted keyword search platform to determine the most common search terms related to your products. Once you know what your buyers are searching for, you can focus on getting your best products to the top of Google and Bing rankings.

You can do this by creating helpful informational content that is not only built around the keywords that your buyers use but that is also better than the best content that your competition produces. If you examine the top search results for any type of business, you will often find that companies competing with the biggest names boast content-rich websites that publish frequent and lengthy blog posts, videos, infographics, interactive engagements and other branded rich content, in particular downloadable assets that can only be accessed with the submission of contact information.

This isn’t a B2C market, and Main Event Digital is not interested in producing content that won’t appeal to industrial buyers. We will create appealing, useful content that helps your buyers to make informed purchasing decisions and that demonstrates to them that your expertise and command of product information is the best they can find. Where possible, we will leverage affiliate marketing and influencers in the industrial niche to make that case.

Online Marketplaces for Industrial Goods & Services

It’s critical to meet your buyers where they are, but for that you need to know where they’re searching. Of course they’re using Google and Bing, but 68% of industrial equipment buyers are also using destination websites, such as ThomastNet and Amazon. These online marketplaces are used by your buyers, so make sure your products are represented.

A person in need of a household project has Angie’s List to find a handyman or a contractor, and that kind of B2C website serves a similar function as the B2B destination websites for industrial product buyers. Buyers come to destination websites to learn more, and you’ll need to make sure that your products include all the information that your buyers are looking for, and your site offers more helpful facts and details for making purchasing decisions than the sites of your competitors.

This effort will require a great deal of content, and you’ll need to make sure that you not only explain everything about the product, but also employ the right keywords that your industrial buyers use to search. Your products will be listed right next to your competitors, so any key differentiators between your product and the competition will need to be highlighted. And if there aren’t any key differences, then your buyers will go with the product that gives them the most information.

Social Selling Industrial Products

As mentioned before, Main Event Digital is not interested in producing a huge volume of social media posts on platforms where industrial equipment buyers won’t see them. Social media is a lot broader than what’s popular or trending, but there are certain social platforms and certain niche social media influencers that can deliver better return-on-investment for B2B markets and industrial equipment distributors.

You want to meet your buyers where they are. That’s why we recognize certain social media platforms are set up for B2B sales, such as LinkedIn and Alignable.

  • Industrial equipment distributors need to have a presence on LinkedIn—LinkedIn is a website designed to have professionals interact with other professionals. Main Event Digital can use LinkedIn to deliver information about your buyers to produce targeted ads highlighting solutions for their problems, and the products that solve them.


We’re able to have success with this approach because we focus our ads on a Call To    Action (CTA). If we notice that your buyers are hyper-focused on a single product, we’ll ensure that they start to see your advertisements for that product on their social media feeds. If buyers are looking for a more complicated solution, we can either feature products or have your CTA equate to a meeting with your sales representative.

  • Industrial equipment distributors need to have a presence on Alignable—Alignable is a B2B social media site, similar to LinkedIn, but different in that it’s designed to connect business owners with other business owners. That makes it a great platform for your brand to be represented, and to connect you with factory owners and buyers of industrial equipment.

Alignable is best used in a local capacity, as it is designed to connect business owners in a relatively close proximity. This approach can be easily extrapolated into a national campaign.

Some of this information about industrial marketing strategies may be new to you, but for the team of experts at Main Event Digital, it’s our bread and butter. Get the strength and support you need to be a champ in industrial marketing by getting in the ring with Main Event Digital.



117 Cary Ave.
Highland Park, IL 60035
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