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CASE STUDY: B2B E-COMMERCE
Learn how a midsized distributor increased their online sales by eightfold and saved $2M in the process.
INDUSTRY: Signage Supplies
PARTNER: GRIMCO (www.grimco.com)
LOCATION: St. Louis, MO (nationwide storefronts)
National wholesale sign supply company Grimco Inc. has been in business since 1875, which means they’ve successfully weathered their fair share of change. The company offers high quality signage supplies for clients like FASTSIGNS, and they’ve grown into one of the largest suppliers in the country based on their reputation for high quality and customer service.
But when the 1900s turned to the 2000s, longtime customers began turning to the Internet in increasing numbers for product information and sales. Although Grimco experienced triple digit growth during that period, sales on their newly launched e-commerce site flatlined.
Grimco attributed its stagnant Internet performance to some key website issues that created challenges for customers and the company alike:
- “Feast or famine” search – customers either got thousands of search results or too few.
- Confusing navigation – a frustrating catalog experience drove customers off the site.
- No account visibility – clients couldn’t view their accounts online, and had to call a customer service representative for help.
- Inflexible fulfillment – without the ability to see real-time fulfillment information, customers couldn’t consider their business priorities– like speed vs. cost – when placing an order.
- Clunky content management –poor functionality meant Grimco’s marketing department had to reprogram the site in order to create or support promotional offers.
Call it a sign from the universe: it was time to take action.
Working closely with the Grimco team, the Trabon Solutions listened to their challenges and developed a scalable e-commerce solution on the Microsoft Commerce Server Platform with a vastly improved customer user experience – and new marketing opportunities.
The new-and-improved grimco.com:
- Makes buying easy – Improved search capabilities by keyword across product descriptions, categories, names, SKUs, etc.; integrated print and online catalogs; and intuitive navigation features create a better user experience that translates to more sales.
- Enhances customer service – Now, online buyers can view their order histories, manage payments, track shipping, dispute charges and almost any other activity today’s online shopper expects from an e-commerce store.
- Optimizes order fulfillment – The site’s architecture segments orders by inventory, availability and customer shipping preference.
- Enables dynamic promotions – Grimco’s marketing department can incorporate a variety of special offers and discounts to all customers or select groups without programming.
- Improved Grimco’s search-engine-optimization capabilities.
- Integrates more seamlessly with back-end order fulfillment and enterprise resource planning systems.
- Allows quick modifications – Internal staff can add new products, revise pricing and make other basic changes within hours – changes that took days or weeks on the previous site.
- Dramatically increased sales and revived customer experiences
Together with Trabon, Grimco’s upgraded e-commerce site brought new life into its online sales – while saving customer service costs and improving customer experience.
Not only has launching and marketing the site helped Grimco save more than $2 million in customer service costs in 2013 alone, it has increased the percentage of total online orders by eight times. Grimco representatives say that on average, they are now able to achieve as many online sales in one day as they did during all of 2007.
Grimco is proof that technology can deliver game changing results, improve customer experience and enhance loyalty – when it’s used in the right way.