Despite the overall growth of online experiences, the manufacturing industry has lagged behind. Sealed Air was no different. Customers placed orders and solved complex packaging problems over the phone and email. Once those orders were placed, customers had limited information on when they would arrive. “In industrial manufacturing, customers only received a notification when a delivery left the dock and a window of expected delivery,” Grabenstetter says. “It was very much a black box.”
Instead of settling for the industry standard, Grabenstetter’s vision was to reimagine the buyer experience. “We have the responsibility of creating the concept of experience at Sealed Air,” says Grabenstetter. “Customers have come to expect real-time data. We’re trying to empower our customers to make it incredibly easy to do business with us” she says.
Sealed Air’s concept of experience took the form of a buyer portal, powered by Adobe Commerce. Within it, customers can now place and manage orders and receive real-time updates as they deliver. If a customer frequently needs the same packaging products, they can easily place a repeat delivery from their order history — or contact a Sealed Air expert directly through the portal.
Sealed Air is already seeing digital engagement. Once customers begin to shift their ordering behaviour to the portal, they’ve moved 83% or more of their orders online. “We’re modernising around how people want to do business and bringing those customer expectations into the manufacturing world,” says Grabenstetter.
Beyond the expected features, Grabenstetter and her team also built experiences specific to the manufacturing industry. When a customer builds a checkout basket, often different freight rules apply to products in a single order — a roll of bubble cushioning hasn't got the same rules as a drum of on-demand foam components or a piece of equipment. These products all qualify for different discounts and have different types of delivering minima. Without the right platform, navigating these rules can be a challenge.
“We needed to take this really complicated and nuanced freight policy and make it something that people could understand during the checkout process in a seamless consumer experience,” Grabenstetter says. “Adobe Commerce’s design and capabilities helped us to think through and create an experience that’s really specific to our industry.” Now, 80% of orders can be placed digitally. Grabenstetter says that number is growing quickly as more unique requirements are addressed for products that still need off-line support.
What’s more, if a customer needs a manager’s approval to place an order, they can send it off for review directly through the portal. Once the order has been approved, it’s automatically placed with real-time notifications alerting the customer of its progress.
“The way we’ve been able to integrate Adobe Commerce into our pre-existing enterprise technology stack has been pretty seamless,” says Grabenstetter. “We haven’t run into any major integration roadblocks in our first year, which is a big success.”