A leading Australian-owned plumbing and electrical wholesaler has recorded a 500% uptick in sales for one of its key brands since it implemented SAP Commerce Cloud.

With over 1000 staff and 110 locations in Australia, they embarked on a project to re-platform three of their key brands which had been running on different instances of SAP Commerce for a number of years.

A company spokesperson says they wanted to achieve synergies across the three businesses; “We wanted to tie them together from an operational perspective, but the separate systems were complicating our efforts to improve productivity and further develop our e-commerce service offering.”

“Customers can now undertake real-time ordering with quotes created and updated during online interactions. Customer feedback can be assessed and actioned in a much faster timeframe, ensuring our brands remain responsive to market needs.”

Spokesperson Marketing and Digital Engagement Manager

Seeking efficiencies

Having originally implemented SAP Commerce, they opted to upgrade to the latest version of SAP Commerce Cloud to offer customers an enhanced ‘always on’ channel to browse, search and order products.

As a trusted partner of the plumbing and electrical wholesaler, DXC Technology’s SAP Practice was engaged to undertake the implementation.

By updating their online presence, this gave their customers the ability to search for products, confirm stock availability, purchase products and manage their accounts.

The new e-commerce cloud solution had to act as an extension of its high-profile bricks and mortar businesses. It also had to accommodate over two million SKUs, multiple branches and different pricing by location and customer.

Cloud simplicity

They decided to move to a software-as-a-service model to both minimise business risk and the cost of solution ownership. The deployment approach allows each brand to run its storefront on the same SAP Commerce Cloud platform without the need for multiple codebases.

They have streamlined back-office business processes, which has enabled their business to leverage synergies created by greater uniformity across the three brands. They can launch new features into the market faster, helping their brands compete and succeed against digitally native disruptor companies.

“The assistance was second to none. We had open lines of communication, and we had the confidence DXC was going to deliver. They provided talented resources, and when issues arose, DXC always solved them."

Enriched service offering

Thanks to SAP Commerce Cloud, there is now a greater range of ‘My Account’ services, more tailored online search capabilities and customers have the convenience of a 24/7 B2B service offering.

The spokesperson says; “We know there is a growing proportion of our customer base that wants complete ease and convenience when it comes to ordering. But we also know that people like dealing with people, which is why we have built our online presence on the back of our existing branches – adding new strength to what is already a competitive advantage for us in the market.”

When customers are online, they can reach out to their local branch and check product availability and adjust their order to suit. Quotes can be altered immediately, and customers can see it refreshed on their computer while they wait. The ‘live chat’ service that has been implemented alongside the solution is very powerful, as it has enabled fast turnaround assistance that flows forward into customers paying invoices more promptly.

Speed, agility, strength

The company continues to invest in digital marketing and SEO to identify opportunities to optimise the services it offers. The spokesperson comments; “We now have the e-commerce backbone to make changes quickly and do rolling deployments. We can take on feedback, shift elements around to optimise the experience, then deploy it live overnight. That is a compelling capability. Customers come online the next day, and they can see the customer experience improvements immediately.”

The e-commerce implementation enabled trade through COVID-19 disruptions, keeping their team safe and giving their customers a ‘business as usual’ experience. They launched one of their biggest promotions during lockdown, the success of which was enabled by the new e-commerce capability. With ten times more users on the platform than normal, the solution scaled to perform successfully.

Reaping rewards

Impressive results have been realised since the launch of the new e-commerce capability including a 500 per cent uptick in sales for one of their brands and twice as many visits to the online store. Sales have increased around 50% across all their brands and one brand has seen a 20% increase in average invoice spend.

The company is developing more functionality on the SAP Commerce Cloud platform to improve its service offerings, including a hyper-personalised search for users based on their buying profile.

The spokesperson says one of the crucial elements that made the project so successful was the quality of consulting expertise provided by DXC. “The assistance was second to none. We had open lines of communication, and we had the confidence DXC was going to deliver. They provided talented resources, and when issues arose, DXC always solved them.”

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