Posts made in June, 2013

Educated Customers

Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

End users are more educated than ever. Consumers need to feel that the product purchase is a smart one.  Spending hard-earned money is easier when the purchaser feels like they are buying goods that solve a need in their life.  Consumers need some background so that they are educated for their purchase.

Today’s product information is relatively free thanks to the modern internet.  Internet accessibility has made huge leaps and bounds, not only being available in the vast majority of households, but also the increasingly high number of cellphones that have internet browsing capability.   Modern search engines help potential consumers quickly find the background information required to guide purchasing decisions.

Consumer education can come from a multitude of websites.  These include:

  • Information-sharing (Wikipedia)
  • Independent product reviews (Consumer Reports)
  • Sale and product reviews (Amazon)
  • Youtube videos
  • Independent blogs
  • Product sales website

Customers increasingly do their own research before making purchase decisions.  They need to ensure that they are getting a product that solves their needs at a good price, and from a reputable company.

Manufacturers that sell direct to their customers would do well to provide as much information as possible about their product, it’s use, and the general background on the subject matter.  Customers need that information, and will look elsewhere for that information if necessary.

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Direct from Plumbing Wholesaler

Posted by on Jun 16, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A business by the name of Ferguson is a 60-year-old plumbing wholesaler in the U.S.  They are a large company, having approximately 18,000 employees.  President and CEO Frank Roach describes in the Newport News, VA Daily Press:

Ferguson had already put in motion its key plan for future growth by venturing into e-commerce with the buyout of Improvement Direct and its online home improvement and decor stores in 2007. As Ferguson is primarily a wholesaler, its online platform was envisioned to serve business customers, although the division is capable of moving Ferguson toward more direct-to-customer sales with, Roach said. In the past, contractors and interior designers would visit Ferguson’s showrooms to pick out cabinets, faucets, bathtubs, appliances, lighting and other building products.

E-commerce won’t replace Ferguson’s showrooms, but it lowers operating costs as it allows for self-service, he said. Commercial customers can order and track statuses online 24/7 without having to make phone calls.

“We’re not going to wait for the world to get better,” Roach said. “We’re going to get better ourselves.”

from the Newport News, VA Daily Press article by Tara Bozick June 13, 2013. Click here to read more.

Ferguson, as a wholesaler, is working to move towards a direct-to-consumer model.  Eliminating the brick-and-mortar retailer step and allowing end consumers to purchase directly from their online platform should benefit the company.

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