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New Wolseley websites hit the spot with customers

Two Wolseley companies are using the internet in innovative ways to help customers to do business with them - and the potential is huge.

Our US company, Ferguson is launching a free transactional website that provides customers with 24/7 access to product information, real-time availability and ordering, as well as accounts information.

“Meeting customer needs was a main driver for developing Ferguson Online,” explains Chris Ann Jackson, Manager e-commerce, North America. “Ferguson’s e-business offering was already comprehensive, including Electronic Data Interchange capabilities that stretched back 10 years.

"But, through research projects and focus groups, customers told us they wanted more functionality online and they wanted us to make it even easier for them to do business with Ferguson.

“The site is easy to navigate, fast and user-friendly. It has the look and feel of a business-to-consumer website — which truly differentiates us from competitor’s sites. We also hope to leverage the experience and expertise of Improvement Direct, a consumer-facing business that Wolseley acquired in 2007.”

The formal roll-out of Ferguson Online kicked off in January in Southern California. An aggressive schedule has the Ferguson Online sales team targeting 100,000 customers, representing $2.1 billion in annual sales, for sign-up by the end of the current fiscal year. The remaining branches will follow soon afterwards in a full-scale national roll-out.

“Within two months, we had close to 1,000 customers using Ferguson Online and the site was generating around $500,000 in orders per month,” says Mike Brooks ,VP e-business, North America. “So, customers are clearly excited with the concept. As far as Ferguson and Wolseley are concerned, the potential is huge."

Silvan, Wolseley’s Nordic DIY division in Denmark, has taken a strategic step forward with the launch of a brand new “E-shop”.

With more than 7,000 products available online, the E-shop is one of the first in their market giving Silvan a considerable competitive advantage.

Within the next year Silvan expect to have up to 12,000 items available in their online catalogue. They are also developing product rating systems, an SMS service and easy to follow manuals for the site.