Grainger Launches New Web Platform & iPad App - Modern Distribution Management

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Grainger Launches New Web Platform & iPad App

Customers can now begin a transaction in one medium and complete it in another.

Grainger (NYSE: GWW), Chicago, IL, No. 2 on MDM's 2013 list of the top industrial distributors, has launched several new e-commerce solutions with enhanced search, workflow and purchase capabilities, including a new iPad app and integrated multi-channel web platform.

Grainger's new iPad application includes improved search filters and an improved display of product availability, technical specifications and product accessories. Checkout also has been streamlined.

Other iPad app key features include:

  • Detailed product information pages
  • Real-time product availability that shows the nearest branch that has the product in stock
  • Single-page checkout
  • Order history with tracking
  • Access to personal and shared lists of regularly purchased items

Geoffrey Robertson, vice president of e-commerce strategy and planning , said the app is part of a larger e-commerce initiative to provide customers with a consistent multi-channel experience.

Grainger's new web platform integrates the customer purchase experience across multiple channels including branches, mobile, website and KeepStock, the company's inventory management solution. Customers can now begin a purchase transaction in one medium and complete it in another, order products in a branch and view order history online, and track KeepStock orders on the website or through a mobile device.

Additional platform enhancements include:

  • Easier search and navigation with enhanced product descriptions and detailed visuals and category attributes that help customers narrow down searches
  • A new workflow management system that allows customers to easily approve orders, define spending limits for other users on the account and manage workflow
  • Simplified account registration, along with enhanced account management capabilities

Paul Miller, vice president of global e-commerce, innovation and customer information, said Grainger has taken the seamless, multi-channel capabilities customers expect from the world's leading business-to-consumer organizations and applied it to the company's service model.

Grainger is the 15th largest e-retailer in North America, according to Internet Retailer. In 2012, Grainger posted nearly $3 billion in e-commerce sales, representing almost a third of total sales. Meanwhile, Grainger mobile traffic more than doubled in the first six months of 2013, representing about 10 percent of U.S. online traffic. About 30 percent of mobile orders are picked up at a local U.S. branch.

For more on Grainger's e-commerce strategy from Grainger U.S. president Court Carruthers, read Grainger’s Multichannel Model Builds Customer Loyalty, Stickiness.

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