How Lab Equipment Manufacturers Can Profit from Selling Direct to End Users


In this 10-minute CEO Summary we review how lab equipment manufacturers can profit from selling direct to end users. 

We review: 

  • Current Digital Environment for Lab Equipment Supplies
  • Opportunities 
  • Challenges


Welcome to this 10-minute CEO summary.

My name is  Diego Reyes , and I’m the founder of LabCommerce pros.  We work exclusively with lab equipment manufacturers & suppliers to help them increase revenue through eCommerce.

Today I want to spend 10 minutes with you going through my experience on how lab equipment manufacturers can profit from selling direct to end user.

Together we will review the current environment in the digital marketplace. The opportunities & challenges that are available for lab equipment manufacturers that want to sell to direct to consumer.

#1 End-Users Buying Preferences Have Changed

The first observation I want to share with you is that the market has changed and so have customers preferences.   From researching new products, to buying products,, customers prefer to this online.  And these stats here show clearly where the market is going & how important it is for lab equipment manufacturers to prioritize digital.

For example, 67% of the b2b buying process now takes place on digital channels.  And 17% of total US B2B sales will be generated by B2B ecommerce by 2023 and thats worth 1.8 trillion dollars. So clearly the market has changed and you need to be aware of this.

Lab Equipment Manufacturers eCommerce

#2 The Digital Marketplace for Lab Equipment Supplies is Dominated by Big Players

As we promote our clients’ products online, we have noticed that the lab equipment digital marketplace is primarily dominated by a handful of large distributors & some manufacturers. Companies like ThermoFisher, Avantor, and Danaher, among others, have done a good job capitalizing on the demand for lab equipment supplies online. 

They were, of course, among the first to recognize and capitalize on the digital wave, so they invested millions of dollars early on to secure their position.


Lab Equipment Suppliers eCommerce

And here are some competitive intelligence reports where you can see that the bulk of online traffic for lab equipment sales is going to these large players.


lab equipment major players web ecommerce

And here is a more detailed view for ThermoFisher, where you can see how they capitalized over the years on the growing demand for lab equipment supplies online, essentially acquiring hundreds of thousands of visitors from various online channels. 

You know, one of the reason big players like ThermoFisher are winning online is simply because theres not alot of competition online.  Most manufacturers in the lab equipment supplies industry are still focusing on traditional channels and sidelining digital.

But that’s changing. 


ThermoFisher eCommerce

#3 Lab Equipment Manufacturers are Embracing eCommerce & Direct-to-Consumer Model

Lab equipment manufacturers are starting to see the opportunity & are embracing eCommerce & selling DTC.

We have noticed in the last few years that lab equipment manufacturers are investing heavily in eCommerce & selling direct to end users.  

Here are just a few examples of manufacturers that we are following, which have recently activated an eCommerce channel or have enhanced their current eCommerce offering: companies like Waters, Agilent, PerkinElmer, etc. And these are just a few examples.

Direct to consumer lab equipment manufacturers

What is interesting is that we have seen this trend before in the B2C or retail space. At the beginning, big consumer brands, like Nike and Apple, did not embrace the idea of selling directly to consumers. But as consumer preferences and the market changed, they eventually adopted a direct-to-consumer model and haven’t looked back since.


#4 It's Not To Late ...

So, for small to medium lab equipment manufacturers, the thought of competing with larger, well-established players in the online marketplace might seem like a daunting endeavor.  But, in my experience, SME manufacturers can still compete and win marketshare online because they have a unique competitive advantage.

And that is that they know their products & niche better than anyone else. So they can leverage this to target & dominate a certain niche by simply creating highly targeted & relevant campaigns. Something that is more challenging for larger online suppliers that focus on millions of products in different product categories.

Also, its important to note that manufacturers can offer better support and an overall better customer experience because, again, they have superior product knowledge. So It’s hardly surprising, then, that research shows that consumers prefer to purchase directly from manufacturers.

And the last thing I want to highlight is just how easier & affordable it has become to launch an online sales channel.  Thanks, to the technology advancements over the years.

So all good reasons why SME manufacturers can still compete against bigger online brands.

Reasons to sell direct to end users lab equipment manufacturers

#5 Opportunities for Lab Equipment Manufacturers selling Direct to End Consumers

So there are benefits to selling direct to consumers through eCommerce and I include some here.

One major advantage, of course, is that it can provide a new revenue stream for your business. You can expect to increase your profit margins because you are selling directly to end-users. You have more control over the customer relationship and therefore this allows you to prioritize your products & brand as opposed to if you are selling through online distributors your brand may not receive all the attention it deserves.

Opportunities for lab equipment manufacturers

#5 Challenges for Lab Equipment Manufacturers selling Direct to Consumer

So here are some of the challenges you can expect if you decide to sell direct to consumer. 

No in-house expertise – I see this a lot , manufacturers don’t have the necessary expertise in house build, launch & grow a successful online sales channel. So they either hire new staff or they work with partners like our company to help them reach their online goals. 

Not a priority – a lot of the manufacturers we come across in this space are doing great through traditional sales channels s, so digital and eCommerce, of course, are put on the back burner.  Short-term, that might be okay, but as we discussed earlier, customer preferences and the market are changing, so this might not be a good long-term approach.

Channel conflict – yes, this is something you want to be aware of and plan for, but keep in mind a DTC model is not about sidelining your partners; it’s about strengthening existing relationships, expanding your brand presence, and reaching new markets, and this benefits everyone. Also, as I mentioned before, the DTC model has become a more accepted model in B2C and now B2B as well.

Operational considerations

Since you are selling directly to consumers, you have to take into consideration how you are going to deal with inventory, order fulfillment, and delivery. Also, consider handling customer service and support.

Challenges selling direct to consumer lab equipment manufacturers

The Bottom Line

So, the bottom line is that for Lab Equipment Manufacturers up to the challenge, selling direct to end users can create a new, profitable revenue stream and also ensure you stay competitive in this changing marketplace.

Lab Equipment Manufacturers + DTC


Increase Revenue & Profit

Ready to Grow Your Lab Equipment Sales Online?

So thats it for today!

I want to thank you for your time and also offer you the opportunity to contact me if you would like to learn more or need help launching your direct to consumer online sales channel.

You can book a free 15-minute discovery call with me by visiting my calendar link included here or you  can call or email me. I’d love to learn about your company and see how we can help.

Thank you again and have a good day.

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