How a Wholesale Distributor of Plumbing/Heating and HVAC Supplies – Torrco – Overcame its eCommerce Challenges
Two years ago, Torrco – a fourth generation independent wholesale distributor of plumbing, piping & HVAC supplies – started seeing more of its customers turn to manufacturer and competitors’ sites in order to research, compare and purchase their products. That’s when it realized that having an eCommerce capability was a necessity.
But just having a site where its customers could go to buy products wouldn’t be enough. It would have to deliver the same smooth and user-friendly experience that its B2B customers had come to expect. The problem, though, is that it’s challenging to replicate an Amazonlike shopping experience, while still being able to meet the unique and complex integration requirements of a B2B environment.
“As we explored our options, we discovered that few e-commerce platforms even existed that could accomplish what we needed because they were mostly geared toward a B2C environment or were too cost-prohibitive,” explained Torrco’s Marketing Director Don Polletta.
Ultimately, Torrco came to the conclusion that it would need to build its own e-commerce site from the ground up. So its e-commerce project began.
As the team got into the full swing of things, they identified several problems which were delaying the implementation, such as difficulties integrating the company’s ERP system with the online portal and building out and enriching its product content. It was then that the company realized it needed the outside help of a partner which specialized in B2B e-commerce. That’s when Polletta and his team discovered CIMM2.
The advantage Torrco saw in CIMM2 that other software lacked, was that the platform is designed specifically with the B2B space in mind. Not only does CIMM2 offer the whole package, but its price point is affordable to make it realistic for a mid-sized wholesale distribution company, like Torrco.
CIMM2 met all of the marks: integration with the current ERP system, a strong content management system, intuitive search and navigation features, mobile optimization, and insightful analytics.
It took Torrco just nine months to have its new e-commerce site up and running with CIMM2. Now, six months later, the company has more than 15,000 products available on its website and 200 customers registered to buy products directly from its website. An easy-to-use CMS also allows the company to create and rotate different banners and promotions, reaching more customers and driving traffic to top-sellers and featured products.
“While still in our infancy, we’re already starting to see an increase in registered users, online traffic and orders,” Polletta said. In addition, the sales team uses the site as a tool, allowing them to stay up-to-date about the product offerings and inventory, so they can always be communicating the latest product availability and offerings to customers.
Torrco is a fourth-generation independent wholesale distributor of plumbing, piping, HVAC, kitchen & bath and propane supplies serving Connecticut, western Massachusetts and New York. www.torrco.com
Unilog is a global technology and services company that specializes in eCommerce solutions and enriched product catalogs for the B2B marketplace. Unilog’s flagship product, CIMM2, is a fully integrated eCommerce platform designed to fit the unique requirements of the wholesale distribution industry. www.unilogcorp.com