E-commerce is becoming a big profit center for wholesale distributors. But getting it right can be tricky. On one hand, busy contractors love the convenience. They can order the parts and supplies they need while they’re at one job site, then pick them up at the will-call counter on the way to their next stop. On the other hand, it’s not as convenient if the showroom is crowded and they have to wait in line.
Johnstone Supply is one of the largest HVAC/R wholesale distributors in the world. At its Denver location, e-commerce was growing fast, and was increasingly important to its own growth. But during peak times, they found that contractors could have long waits to pick up their orders.
Self-serve pickup, without the wait
After looking at several ways to reduce contractors’ wait, Johnstone’s e-commerce team heard about Apex Self-Serve Will-Call Solutions, and knew they’d be a great option for their customers. They selected a system that includes Axcess 6800 Lockers as well as ICS 1000 Cage Solutions for extra-large items. They placed them outside on their loading dock so contractors can simply pull up, scan their order code and take their order.
Order pickup on their own terms
By placing them outdoors, Johnstone makes it possible for contractors to pick up orders at night, early in the morning, or on weekends. It’s an added level of service and flexibility that contractors look for, especially in a seasonal, unpredictable industry like HVAC/R.
Helping customers get more done
According to the company’s e-commerce manager, “On the contractor side, when they can pull in, grab their parts and pieces and go fix their customer’s issues a lot faster, it’s going to help them increase their bandwidth.”
In less than a year, Johnstone Supply Denver has seen big improvements in their e-commerce program. They’ve also expanded their device solution twice in the past year to keep up with growing demand.