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How a leading manufacturer sells $10 million online every day

min read

published on

August 25, 2022

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial turbines now exceeds $2 billion annually in online sales with B2B eCommerce. This is primarily due to an integrated digital approach with dealers and huge investments in digital and mobile technology.

A long term digital eCommerce investment

Caterpillar, a manufacturer more than a century old, has “already made significant investments in the past few years in multiple eCommerce systems, both targeted for very large customers and then other applications for small retail customers,” Caterpillar’s Group President, Bob De Lange, told attendees at the company’s annual investor day in May.

As a result of consistent effort and ambition, their dealers are making $10 million each day in dealer parts sales to users through their eCommerce platform. According to Bob de Lange, this is just the beginning as the company has “significant growth ambitions” and their long term investments are paying off. Total sales increased 11% to $14.1 billion from $12.9 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

A digital mindset for better customer experience

Taking a tour on Caterpillars website reveals a digital mindset and a culture that is at the forefront of a better customer experience:

“Our goal is to deliver best-in-class online digital interactions and eCommerce self-service opportunities. We know that customers expect us to be even easier to do business with, and we’re making significant investments in multiple eCommerce solutions for both large and small customers.” (Caterpillar 2022)

Deeply understanding how customers work and operate every day as professionals and how expectations for seamless experiences have shifted as are a priority for the company. While most people use their phones and digital self services today in their private lives, it can be a challenge for smaller businesses to make the shift to online purchasing. Smaller retail customers want to have confidence that they're buying exactly the right parts.

This is where the QR codes come in. “We’re starting to place these on our machines and engines, making it easy for a customer to scan and then be directed straight to a landing page with information for their specific asset, their specific serial number, giving them the confidence that they’re buying exactly the right part.” De Lage says.  By connecting physical assets to a digital experience, Caterpillar is transforming the entire customer experience and ensuring a seamless and highly relevant experience for all of their customers.

To drive significant growth, Caterpillar has been taking these steps for better and easier online transactions:

  • Better integrated and simple B2B eCommerce with its dealers and branch locations
  • Developing a more advanced mobile app
  • Making it easier for small customers to buy online by placing a QR code on machines and engines
  • Putting a “digital first” approach as the primary growth driver

Over the next three years, Caterpillar expects its eCommerce sales, notably for parts sold through its dealer websites and through its parts website, to grow at least 50%.

If you’re a manufacturer who is looking for the right B2B eCommerce platform, the DJUST solution gives you the tools to build, launch and grow your business faster.

Source: Digital Commerce 360°,

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About the author
Arnaud Rihiant
Founder & CEO @ DJUST

Expert in topics on B2B, eCommerce, market trends, business strategy

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