5 Ways to Promote Your Digital Catalog to Your Work-From-Home Clients

As the Coronavirus spread around the world, public-health experts encouraged people to engage in social distancing: The limiting of non-essential gatherings. And thanks to technology, many professionals found themselves working from home.

With more of your clients now working remotely — whether temporary or the new norm —   consider leveraging some of your other channels to promote your digital catalog to them.

Here are 5 ways to promote your catalog to the world (or at least your audience):

  1. Connect it to your website: Linking to your digital catalog from your website is a simple, yet highly effective piece of your overall digital marketing strategy. Just make sure that it is easy for users to find, preferably at the top, bottom or side of your home page.

    Additionally, you may consider adding links to popular pages within your catalogs to send users more directly to what they’re looking for.
  1. Add hyperlinks to your outgoing emails: Adding links to your email campaign or newsletter helps to engage your audience and drive traffic to your site. Links should be easy to identify and clearly labeled. More people are going to click your links if you make them easy to see and interpret. This means thinking about how you word your links, what colors you use, where you place them, and what you link to.
Links should be easy to identify and clearly labeled.
  1. Add buzz through social media: Great content engages people, generates buzz for your business, and does all sorts of wonderfully positive things for our businesses. And a new digital catalog is a great excuse to post about it through your social media channels. 
  1. Tear Pages: This Dirxion feature allows your sales and service teams to select and create their own custom collections and presentations with the pages of your digital catalogs. It’s a great way to place personalized content into the hands of your team to promote.
  1. Invite Customers to Share Your Content: Dirxion catalogs typically include an enhanced sharing feature within the interface. Invite your customers to share their favorite pages or the whole catalog to individual contacts or their whole network.
Dirxion’s Share Feature

Getting your digital catalog in front of your customer at the right moment can help THEIR business and YOUR business; a double-win at a time of otherwise business uncertainty.

It’s Time for the B2B Catalog to Reclaim its Respectable Place Online

Digital experience expectations are higher than ever and increasingly growing each year, yet according to Episerver’s 2019 Digital Experience report, almost a third (30%) of B2B marketers admit they deliver a poor digital experience.

We are seeing B2B buyers getting younger. Three-quarters of millennials are involved in — or even running — the decision-making process for B2B purchases for their organizations. This translates to a much larger percentage of online purchases, and to buyers who expect these transactions to be as convenient and reliable as the rest of their digitally-enhanced lives.

B2B brands have been slow to adopt user experience design as an important part in their marketing strategy, despite statistics that indicate its importance. A study from Forrester found that brands that prioritize customer experience outperform those who don’t on both stock price growth and total returns.

While B2B websites, in need of  sometimes extensive rebuilds, are often neglected, more and more B2B businesses are emphasizing their online catalogs as an opportunity to advance the customer experience and place products closer to the buyer’s hands. 

As we highlighted in 5 Reasons to Ditch your PDF Catalog… Sorta, your digital catalog is one of the easiest areas to uplevel the digital experience for your audience.

Yesterday’s digital catalogs were cumbersome, largely meant to replicate the tactile experience of flipping through a physical catalog. Features like page-flipping sound effects and zooming in/out were designed to transpose the physical catalog onto the computer monitor, but seem somewhat archaic in today’s digital-first world.  

Today’s digital catalog focuses less on physical replication and more on functional interaction. Page speed, content navigation, shareability, and connection to e-commerce. These are key considerations meant to maximize the experience and minimize steps to user task completion. For example, e-commerce integration is often an enormous friction point for users of yesterday’s B2B online catalogs. Today’s online catalog allows the user to add products found in a catalog directly to a shopping cart without moving off the catalog.

Part of Dirxion’s mission as digital catalog developers and experience designers requires us to bridge the gap between user needs and business goals and to move digital catalog technology forward. By doing so successfully, we help elevate the digital catalog medium into a contemporary marketing and sales channel, one worthy of new attention.

By paying attention to the customer’s interaction with digital catalogs, B2B marketers can elevate their companies’ customer experience to improve customer retention, referrals and eventually the bottom line. Because where there’s a brand providing a good catalog experience for clients, sales are sure to follow.

B2B spending on online advertising expected to rise in 2018

Estimates from eMarketer calculate B2B companies spent $4.07 billion on online advertising in 2017. In 2018, the spending is expected to increase 13 percent to 4.6 billion. Across the board, companies are pouring more money into technologies that allow them to place advertisements where their customers are. While traditional media still has a place in advertising, consumers have transitioned an increasing portion on their lives online and businesses have followed.

While the 13 percent increase in online advertising spending is in the double digits, 2018’s predicted spending growth is the lowest in recent history. The percent change in spending from 2014 to 2015 was the largest with 19.7 percent. However, the B2B industry has maintained an online advertising spending growth of roughly 16 percent since 2013.

US Digital B2B Ad Spending 2013-2018











When compartmentalized by technology, desktops/laptops and mobile have similar shares of the online advertising spending from U.S. B2B businesses. According to a study conducted by eMarketer, desktops and laptops took up $2.54 billion whereas spending for mobile devices was $1.53 billion. When analyzing B2B online advertisement buying budgets, AdWeek discovered they’ve grown by 111 percent over the last five years.

However, while online advertising has had double digit growth for years, many B2B businesses still prefer other traditional and time-tested methods of advertisement. Ytel, a communications company, conducted a survey which asked 2,000 B2B businesses their preferred outreach tool.

Online advertising was the least popular answer tied with direct mail at 7 percent each. Email was the most popular answer with 39 percent.

Dirxion online catalogs give B2B businesses another avenue in an omnichannel marketing approach and allows them to capitalize on the rise of the B2B e-commerce market. For B2B businesses with many catalogs spanning multiple departments of their company, Dirxion’s bookshelf feature organizes the individual catalogs on a central landing page and integrates cross-catalog searching. Existing e-commerce platforms can be integrated into the catalog or B2B businesses can employ the Dirxion order form feature to generate a request for a quote.

 Dirxion Contact Us

Updated bookshelf search streamlines B2B online catalogs experience

Dirxion customer Barnett recently implemented the updated library search function, which allows customers to choose whether or not they want to search through their current catalog or the entire catalog. The previous version of the search feature would require two different tabs: one to search the catalog and a separate one to search through the entire library.

Barnett Catalog

The library search feature was originally designed to streamline the catalog shopping experience. B2B e-commerce consumers respond positively to an easy-to-use shopping experience, raising the probability they’ll convert to a loyal consumer. According to E-Commerce B2B, 76 percent of customers say the most important factor in a website’s design is that “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.”

The updated bookshelf feature empowers consumers and aids them through the research process of B2B buying. Usability Geek describes the relationship between design and consumers as being “more focused around the content and information, making sure the user stays informed throughout their entire journey.” With the large quantities of data involved with B2B e-commerce, it’s important to implement features that allow new and seasoned consumers alike to navigate online catalogs with ease.

Product research has increasingly shifted online. Forrester estimates74 percent of B2B buyers research half or more of their work purchases online. But consumers aren’t just researching in a singular place. While Google remains the most popular option for purchase research, consumers will go to multiple points in the web to compare prices, products and other deciding factors. Empowering consumers and giving them the tools to conduct their own research in an easy-to-use and streamlined way increases the likelihood of converting new customers to returning, loyal ones.

Dirxion has consistently been the leading innovator in the online catalogs industry. As the first company to move their online catalogs to HTML5, Dirxion has since then never ceased to set precedents and industry standards for the online catalogs experience. With Dirxion features such as Quick View integration, minimal UI and, most recently, an improved library search, Dirxion has continued its tradition of industry revolution and the promise of delivering a personalized, on-brand online catalog.

Dirxion Contact Us

B2B sales teams and e-commerce work in tandem, increases productivity

The Internet has created a new dynamic and structure for B2B businesses in which marketing teams, sales teams and e-commerce tools converge to maximize revenue. Some industry studies have painted a bleak future for sales teams, one in which they’ll be phased out entirely and replaced with automated e-commerce stores. The assumption is often backed up with data indicating a shifting consumer preference towards e-commerce. Even though Internet accessibility and overall technological adaption rates are increasing globally, e-commerce and traditional sales roles have integrated together. New studies and industry reports have now suggested B2B businesses can reinforce their existing channels while simultaneously integrating new technology such as e-commerce.

In a Forrester Research study of B2B businesses, 89 percent of businesses surveyed indicated that implementing e-commerce increased their annual revenue. The modern business world is dominated by efficiency: who can attract the most customers, who can capture new markets the fastest and who can get the highest return on their investments. E-commerce websites have allowed sales teams to become more efficient, especially within the B2B market. Sales team members save time and become more productive when an e-commerce website is available for customers to fill out their own orders through a spreadsheet ordering format.

Proface America Online Catalog

Allowing e-commerce software to take some of the tasks that were previously completed manually by sales teams and digitize them increases productivity. Founder of B2X Partners Justin King analyzed B2B sales from Forst & Sullivan, which are expected to reach $12 trillion by 2020. “If a sales team is looking at e-commerce as a threat or as a hit to their personal income, they won’t get behind an effort like this,” says King. “Bringing them into the fold early and incorporating them into your e-commerce team early is important.”

“In most cases, a few sales reps will naturally latch onto the idea. Bringing them into the fold early and incorporating them into your e-commerce team early is important.” — Justin King, 2017

E-commerce can be used as a tool for B2B sales teams. E-commerce websites can take large amounts of data and condense them into a portable fashion, essentially allowing your sales representatives to access your entire inventory from anywhere. Dirxion online catalogs serve as both a reference tool to sales representatives and a familiar, fully-integrated e-commerce experience for customers. For instance, Dirxion customer Proface America uses spreadsheet ordering functions in their online catalogs, which allows customers to independently place orders, freeing sales representatives from having to complete the process manually. Dirxion online catalogs can also be easily updated, thanks to in-house production and development teams, ensuring all sales representatives, no matter where they are, has access to fully-updated product lines and prices. In doing so, Dirxion customers mitigate production, printing and distribution costs previously associated with constructing print catalogs.

Dirxion Contact Us

MSC Industrial praised for personalizing e-commerce software

In a recent article from Digital Commerce 360, Dirxion customer MSC Industrial was highlighted for employing new e-commerce software that recommends products to consumers based on their previous viewing and purchasing history. Large e-commerce corporations have been known to deliver similar experiences, most notably Amazon, which had recently unveiled the open source software they use to power their product recommendation system.

MSC Website

The software also relies on MSC’s email campaigns, displaying what products and promotional offers consumers have responded to and interacted with in the past. It integrates with other customer relationship management software to base product recommendations off of customer account activity and product life cycles.

Overwhelmingly, consumers have shown an increased preference for a personalized e-commerce experience. According to Accenture, 75 percent of consumers would be more likely to buy from a retailer that either knows their purchase history, recommends options based on past purchases or recognizes them by name. Certain levels of individualization translates to brand loyalty, as brand relationships are often driven by emotion. Consumers who interact with a personalized shopping experience have also been more likely to recommend it to their peers; 77 percent of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience, according to research from Forrester.

The company’s investment in e-commerce has benefited them even in the short run. As reported in a separate article by Digital Commerce 360,e-commerce sales increased by 6.4 percent and now accounts for nearly 60 percent of their total net sales. MSC, No. 74 on the B2B E-Commerce 300 list, has continuously invested in new ways to implement e-commerce within their business to remain an Internet powerhouse.

MSC Twitter

MSC implemented Dirxion’s online catalog directly within their website. “The Big Book,” MSC’s annual catalog, can be opened and closed from wherever within their website using a tab on the left-hand side of their webpages. Dirxion’s online catalogs are optimized with HTLM5 and are supported by a multitude of proxy servers to assure fast loading times, in spite of large databases from which to pull information. Dirxion’s commitment to industry revolution gives MSC Industrial and hundreds of other B2B businesses the tools to meet consumer needs and remain leaders within their market.

Dirxion Contact Us

B2B e-commerce continues to grow globally, requiring online catalogs to support multiple languages

Global B2B e-commerce has already outgrown B2C, with the B2B e-commerce market expected to reach $1.1 trillion in value in 2019 as compared to B2C ($480 billion), according to Forrester. B2B e-commerce on the global scale remains in its infancy, despite the market having some sort of B2B e-commerce for the past two decades. At one point in the late 90s, Gartner estimated B2B e-commerce would reach $7.2 trillion by 2004.

The majority of the business world is now online, but technology adoption has moved at a slower-than-average pace within the B2B e-commerce sector. The technology and systems of the average B2B business fell below rising standards set by larger B2B corporations who could afford to invest in e-commerce technology. According to a 2015 survey conducted by eMarketer, 55 percent of B2B corporations in the “Leader” category of technology adoption considered e-commerce investment critically important for sales.

B2B Ecommerce Market Is Still Maturing

We are still fairly early in the maturity. It’s started to accelerate, but adoption has been a little slow. In the next five years, we’ll probably see a significant amount of growth in B2B ecommerce. —Brian Walker, SAP Hybris

The Chinese market for B2B e-commerce has grown at an increasingly rapid rate, netting $2.3 trillion in e-commerce sales in 2015, 80 percent of that being exclusively from B2B sales, according to Cross-border eCommerce. Compared to the U.S.’s B2B e-commerce value, China’s will reach $2.1 trillion by 2020 with companies such as Alibaba (valued at $264 billion) bolstering China’s exports.

Dirxion online catalogs give B2B businesses an opportunity to tap into the developing global e-commerce market. Businesses that fail to include and accommodate for an international market essentially choose to leave sales on the table. Business Wire forecasts English-language exclusive sites will account for only 33 percent of online global purchasing in 2020. Dirxion online catalogs can support a variety of languages or multiple languages at once. For instance, Dirxion customer Kennametal has a language toggle feature on their online catalogs to support languages such as French and Japanese.

Dirxion Contact Us

B2B e-commerce sales expected to surge in upcoming years

Recently, CEO of W.W. Grainger D.G. Macpherson, one of the largest B2B companies in the U.S., predicted 80 percent of their sales will occur through online channels by 2020, according to Industrial Distribution. E-commerce as a whole has grown for the company, accounting for 41 percent of their total sales in 2015 and 60 percent in 2016.

We’re still focused on the online model. It’s a strong source of profitable revenue growth. We expect that to grow 20 percent this year and grow profit even more off of that. — D.G. Macpherson, CEO of W.W. Grainger

B2B businesses have benefited greatly from the market’s transition into e-commerce. Forrester Research analyst Andy Hoar conducted a report that predicted U.S. B2B e-commerce will generate $1.18 trillion in revenue by 2021. The Internet has eliminated sales barriers as well. Though this means your direct competition no longer has to be close to you, it opens the door for new sales in markets that were previously not accessible. The B2B buying market has evolved to conform to the shopping habits of its dominant buyer, millennials. According to Think With Google,in 2014 nearly half of B2B researchers, those making B2B buying decisions, were millennials. Compared to other generations, millennials grew up in the digital age and are digital natives, taking their online preferences with them when they moved into the workforce.


E-commerce has changed how consumers interact with B2B products. E-commerce websites for B2B businesses allow products to be sorted and easily filed into a searchable format. Consumers react positively to well-designed websites and will often abandon a company if they feel their online presence is subpar compared with a competitor.Mobile e-commerce has seen a boost in recent years, meaning B2B businesses can profit from consumers being able to access their e-commerce site on a smartphone or tablet.

Dirxion online catalogs give B2B businesses another avenue in a multi-channel marketing approach and allows them to capitalize on the rise of the B2B e-commerce market. For B2B businesses with many catalogs spanning multiple departments of their company, Dirxion’s bookshelf feature organizes the individual catalogs on a central landing page and integrates cross-catalog searching. Existing e-commerce platforms can be integrated into the catalog or B2B businesses can employ the Dirxion order form feature to generate a request for a quote.

Dirxion Contact Us

B2B consumers shift into the e-commerce market

The B2B e-commerce market is estimated to be worth roughly $1.1 trillion by 2021, according to predictions from Forrester Research. The market is at an inflection point, driven by the changing preferences of the B2B customer. According to the same Forrester study, 74 percent of B2B buyers research half or more of their work purchases online before buying. The number of customers who make half or more of their work purchases online is expected to increase 26 percent in 2017. It’s also seen as more convenient to purchase online — 93 percent of B2B buyers prefer to buy online when they’ve decided what to buy.

According to “think with Google,” the way B2B customers conduct research has changed as well. Purchase rates of B2B customers on mobile devices has raised 22 percent in the past two years. Online shoppers in general have become accustomed to their preferred e-commerce websites providing a multi-channel approach. B2B e-commerce empowers buyers by giving them the convenience of researching and purchasing from anywhere 24/7. The internet has changed not only how consumers buy products but how they research them and interact with brands.


Businesses can cut costs by shifting their B2B business more into the e-commerce realm. According to Forrester, Coca-Cola reduced their average cost-per-interaction by 85 percent by moving offline B2B customers online. Thanks to the Internet, consumers now have more information and options for purchasing than ever. Online catalogs provide a new purchasing platform for consumers, either integrating with an existing e-commerce platform or providing an order form that’s then sent to the company’s sales team upon completion.

Dirxion Contact Us