After-Sales as a revenue driver for manufacturers

With an e-commerce solution that builds and maintains a relationship with your customers post the initial purchase.

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What are the benefits of a digital after-sales and spare parts business for manufacturers?

OEMs can position themselves as a one-stop store for products and equipment by having their own after-sales business and thus support their customers even post the initial transaction. In an online customer portal, manufacturers have the option to tailor content and product offering to the unique requirements of distinct customer groups which creates loyalty and untapped sales opportunities.

01 Reduce returns

In the spare parts store, show your customers only the parts that fit their machines. This reduces errors, returns, and costs - and increases efficiency and customer satisfaction.

02 Increase machine uptime

Automatically deliver consumables and spare parts based on the operating hours of your machines. Customers can book service appointments directly in the customer portal - which drastically reduces downtime.

03 Streamline all information

Connect your ERP, PIM and other existing systems in the after-sales portal. This ensures that your customers can access correct, complete information from anywhere.

04 Explore new business models

Collect data via IoT sensors to automate the ordering and delivery process of spare parts. Leverage new business models such as pay-per-use and predictive maintenance.

How to operate a successful digital after-sales business?

Offer extensive after-sales services through a customer portal:
Provide your customers with a user-friendly customer portal that serves as a central hub for your various after-sales services. From ordering spare parts to scheduling service appointments, to accessing service bulletins and tutorials for new product versions – all in one place for maximum convenience.

Increase customer retention with a loyalty program:
Enhance customer loyalty with a tailored program. Reward loyal customers with exclusive offers, special prices, and additional services. This is an effective way to strengthen customer retention and keep customers committed to your company long-term.

Provide personalized pricing and offers:
Customize product offering, prices, and promotions based on customer needs and behavior. With personalized offer, you can effectively target your customers and increase satisfaction, which makes you stand out from the competition.

"Wow" your customers with digital self-services:
Give customers the ability to self-service. Through digital self-service features, they can view order history, schedule appointments, or access product information – anytime, anywhere, without relying on personal assistance.

Visual Rainer Schüssler

“Intershop helps Trumpf to master the digital challenge of customized customer portals.”

Rainer Schüssler Program Manager Customer Experience at TRUMPF

Why should manufacturers (OEMs) digitalize their after-sales and spare parts business?

With margins averaging 25%, the spare parts business is an essential part of the service business in mechanical and plant engineering, but many OEMs do not sell spare parts and consumables to their customers themselves. Third-party suppliers attract customers with competitive prices and profit from long-term sales. Manufacturers who do not want to hand over after-sales to others can set themselves apart from the competition with excellent services - and retain their customers for a long time through a digital customer portal, powered by Intershop. It is designed specifically for manufacturers, offering a frictionless customer journey from initial purchase to after-sales service.

Based on the actual products, including all adaptations and further developments, you can sell spare parts and services, file documentation and training material, and display the order history in such a customer portal. This ensures efficient processes at the customer's site and allow your customer service representative to fully focus on developing the personal customer relationship.

What can customers expect from the digital after-sales business?

The real customer benefit in digital after-sales lies in minimizing machine downtime. Downtimes must be avoided or moved to a time when the machines are in use less or not at all. This is where the aftermarket business can come in, for example with predictive maintenance. Many components in mechanical engineering have fixed operating hours. If these components are registered in the after-sales portal, OEMs can send spare parts or new assemblies (even automatically) so that they arrive before the operating time is reached. Immediate response and availability in the event of a malfunction are the factors that are most likely to keep customer satisfaction high in after-sales.

What are the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities in the after-sales business?

Manufacturers can increase brand loyalty by offering their customers added value through up-sell and cross-sell offers. Bundles are one example of up-selling in after-sales. Combine spare parts into assemblies, spare parts with wear parts, or add the right maintenance appointment at the authorized workshop to your offer. In cross-selling, product variations have become popular in the aftermarket. Items in additional colors or for different purposes are quite typical. You can also offer gloves, caps or safety goggles with your logo, or show discontinued items before the shopping cart is completed.

By not outsourcing your spare parts and service business to third-party providers, you have the opportunity to collect data on how customers use your products. From this, you can derive targeted new services or business models such as predictive maintenance.

Does a spare parts store increase profit margins for manufacturers?

The right spare parts strategy, if implemented correctly, can offer manufacturers and OEMs high profit margins. A spare parts store is an important cornerstone in this strategy. Based on the installed base, technicians are only shown spare parts, tools, or kits here that fit their exact components. However, the aftermarket is very dynamic. To keep your profit margins consistently high, you need to ensure that master data is always up-to-date and that adaptations, further developments or security updates are also applied in the spare parts store. The integration of an Aftermarket PIM system can help and reduce returns, complaints, and lack of customer satisfaction.

digitalizing after-sales