29 minutes | Jul 15th 2020

Daniel Loeschen of MXD Process – How To Get Started with eCommerce for Industrial Manufacturers

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Daniel Loeschen shares with us how MXD Process, as a manufacturer, has gotten started with ecommerce despite the usually large nature of B2B purchases.Danny:All right, so let’s go ahead and jump into today’s episode. I have a familiar face, Daniel Loeschen from MXD Process. Daniel, thanks so much again for coming on. This is take two, so I think you were here last October, November, and we talked about social media, so if you haven’t seen that episode, you might want to check it out. We talk about the importance of social media and whether it’s viable for manufacturers, it was a really great episode. But one of the other things that we wanted to kind of pick up on the conversation is that you guys are rolling out with E-Comm. And we’re seeing that a lot, and I just think it’s really valuable for everybody. So just talk about how you guys started doing that, why you started going into E-Comm and all that good stuff. But before we really get it started, for those who haven’t met you or heard you, haven’t watched the episode, tell me a little bit about yourself and MXD.Daniel:Yeah, so I’m the marketing director at MXD. The company’s been around since 2010 I think, so going on nine years. And really just wanted to be a disruptor in the space that we’re in. You know, it’s old school industrial manufacturing and there’s not a lot of new developments in that industry in terms of how to sell and how to process things and market, and it’s just been the same stuff for so long and so we really wanted to kick it off from the beginning with trying to do something different and just see what happens. And it’s been a great almost nine years. I’ve been there for the last six, so almost since the beginning.Danny:So what does MXD manufacture?Daniel:Yeah, so we started off making just agitation equipment, like big mixers, things like that. And then after a couple years, we started making our own vessels for them, which we found, there was a large need in the market for that because there’s not a lot of companies, very few companies that do both and have the engineering in house. And so if you’re needing to mix something, you need a mixer and you need a tank, and so you’re buying them from different people, and then sometimes neither one of them have engineering, and you have to find engineering for them to design, and it can get really costly and really convoluted, and so we wanted to be a company that did all of that, and people really love that. So we added on stainless steel tanks and then a few years after that, we added on automation and batch control systems and stuff like that. So that’s why we kind of changed our name to MXD Process because we’re more of a process company now. So any piece of equipment that has to do with processing a liquid, that’s what we provide.Danny:All right, so food service or chemical–Daniel:Yep, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, brewing and distilling, chemicals, oil and gas, there’s a lot of different verticals for it.Danny:Awesome. All right, so that makes a lot of sense. So let’s talk about this E-comm thing. When did you guys start going into E-comm and why?Daniel:Yeah, so we started from day one. We built a store on Magento. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Magento.Danny:Yep, it’s a E-comm website.Daniel:Yeah, it’s a platform, and it’s a good platform. It was a little too much in terms of everything that it could do for what we needed. But it was something that was recommended, and we kicked off our website with that, and it did well. I mean, that’s really what grew our company up until this past year, we switched to Shopify. But going back to the beginning, the thought with launching with ecommerce was, no one else was doing it in our industry, and we did believe that people would buy expensive items without dealing with a salesperson. We didn’t really know how they would do it, or what that process would look like, but we believed that they could, and that it would be a better experience for them. So granted, kicking it off, especially in 2010 it was slow going, but it really started off with the propellers, like $60 propellers that you can’t really mess up. You know, that kind of stuff. And then after a few years, we redesigned the site, still on Magento, to kind of make it a little more user friendly and we were heavily investing in SEO to try to do better in rankings, get more traffic, all that stuff. But year over year, there was some small growth in ecommerce sales. And we always had the idea that eventually this could be a salesperson replacement; it could sell as much as a salesperson. We really believe that. We just wanted to figure out how to do it, and really that happened within the last year.Danny:Really, okay, wow, so 10 years–Daniel:Yeah, but the market’s there now, so I mean, I don’t think it would take–Danny:2010, that was a little difficult for sure.Daniel:Yeah, I mean some of our competitors didn’t even have websites in 2010.Danny:Some of them probably still don’t.Daniel:It’s a slow-moving industry. So we did a ton of research, we were willing to spend the money, talked to a lot of our customers to figure out what they were doing on the website, what they liked, what they didn’t like, what it would take to get them to be able to spend 10 grand online, you know, that kind of thing. And so we switched platforms, we moved to Shopify which is just full ecommerce. It doesn’t have a lot of the other bells and whistles. I don’t know if I even want to call them bells and whistles because Magento is a pretty dated software itself. And Shopify’s just been great; it’s super easy to use. We signed up for Shopify Plus. It has a lot of the B2B stuff, software and advantages that their normal platform doesn’t. And so we did a redesign, and the redesign was based off a lot of the customer feedback that we had and the analytics that we were looking at. One of the big things we found looking at the analytics was that, on average, the average time on site for a visitor on a website was over 20 minutes. Which is crazy. That’s an insane amount of time for someone to spend on a website. Like you and me wouldn’t do that.Danny:And why is that, why do you think?Daniel:We started reaching out to people, like asking them, and the main reason was how critical the purchase was. Because they are a business that is buying this equipment to produce a product. And so if they don’t get what they need, then they’re not making product, they’re losing money, and it’s our fault. And so they were spending tons of time trying to get as much information, trying to make sure that what they’re buying is what they need, yeah. And they were trying to do it without talking to a salesperson. And so after talking with them, we were like okay, well clearly what we need to do is get information on the website, educate, get resources on there so that they can speed up that process, and get enough information so that they’re confident and that they can trust us that they’re going to get what they need. So we spent a lot of time developing that kind of content, from better images of the products to customer testimonial videos, and so people can search for products based on the industry that they’re in.Danny:Yeah, that totally makes sense.Daniel:Yeah, and each industry page has customer testimonials. We traveled, visited, made videos of different companies that we’ve worked with, and so it’s to really build that trust through every step of the process, and it’s gone very well. Our website’s much easier to use, we have a visual navigation so people aren’t having to read as much, and that time on site has gone down by about 10 minutes since we launched, and it’s been a huge success so far. So I mean, we’re close to that goal of being able to replace a- not like fire someone and replace them, but not having to add the dollars without the cost, and that’s the goal. So we’re projecting next year, we’ll hit it probably halfway through the year if the growth continues.Danny:That’s awesome.Daniel:Yeah, so it’s been a huge win for us for sure.Danny:So I’m curious, so you started with a $60 part on there, what’s the most expensive product? Let me ask this: what’s your most expensive product that somebody has purchased?Daniel:Sure, I think the most expensive, it happened this year. Someone spent about 18 grand just straight through the ecommerce cart, which was unheard for us before. I mean, I think before we launched the site, it was maybe like three or four thousand. But I mean, we’re getting the $10,000 plus sales straight through the website every month now. And it’s amazing, you know, I mean, where we would get 10, 11 orders in a week, now we’re getting 30 or 40 in a week. The proof is in the pudding that if you do the research and you talk to your customers, you could be successful. That people are really willing to spend that much online when they’re confident. If they’re not confident, they’re not going to. Like for sure.Danny:Absolutely, so a couple questions: how are your customers primarily finding you guys?Daniel:Primarily through Google.Danny:So a lot of SEO.Daniel:A lot of SEO, yep. We put a lot of resources into that, and we have people that monthly, excuse me, monthly working on the website, and whether it’s on page data or the meta stuff in the background, the backend stuff, but we have people working on it all the time to try and increase those rankings month by month. And that’s the main way people are finding us, but then social media, and we d
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