Ferguson, a Wolseley plc U.S.-based HVAC and plumbing distributor, is launching a free transactional Web site to provide customers with 24/7 access to product information, real-time availability and ordering, as well as accounts information.
The formal rollout 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.
Meeting customer needs was a main driver for developing Ferguson Online,"says 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 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."
"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."