BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 13

FEATURE

|

BY MARK MITCHELL

SELLING BUILDING
MATERIALS ONLINE
This article is reprinted from seethewhizard.com with permission.

A

When I read the job description,
I saw that they planned to use their
new VP of eCommerce's knowledge
and expertise to gain a competitive
advantage and grow their sales.
But they had no plan to sell their
products online themselves. Instead,
they planned to help their many
distributors, dealers and big boxes
who already sell online be more
successful at selling their products.
They also planned to help customers
who don't sell online yet but want to
get started.

Here are Some of the
Responsibilities of the
eCommerce Position:
* Partner with customers to drive
sales on customer websites, raising
sales for us and the customer.
* Work with .com customers
and use data to improve the
customer experience and increase
transactions.
* Identify where our company
can provide the most value to
online sellers.
* Assist distributors and dealers
who want to start selling online
with recommendations and best
practices.
* Be viewed (in our product
category) as the leader in online
sales knowledge and expertise.
* Have a deeper and more current
understanding of the online
www.bsiabc.ca

ISTOCK.COM/BOGDANVJ

major building materials
company is looking for
a VP of eCommerce. I
assumed they were going to
start selling their products
online like many other
companies. I was wrong.

customer's needs (in our product
category) than any of our
customers or competitors.
This is a very smart strategy. Every
distributor, dealer and big-box is either
already online or planning to be.

How did We Get Here?
Big boxes followed consumers and
shifted their focus to online.
A few years ago, I started to
notice how big box line reviews were
changing. Buyers kept asking more
and more about online. It was like the
stores were an afterthought.
Most companies added online
sections to their line review
presentations that really didn't add
any value. They listened to what the
big box buyer asked for and played
it back to them. If you used words
like SEO, content, images, videos and
website copy, you were covered.
You can't really blame companies
because this was all new. Everyone
was learning through trial and error.
Products that no one could imagine

would be ordered online are now
commonplace.
Progressive dealers and
distributors are investing heavily
in their online businesses. Some
of them are both selling and
shipping online.
Some dealers and distributors are
operating the same way they have in
the past, with customers picking up
materials or offering job-site delivery.
The difference is that product
selection, pricing and orders are
taking place online, saving everyone
time and money.
We also have a new type of customer
who is an online category killer, like
eFaucets or DecksDirect. Almost every
category of building products has an
online seller that is focused on that
specific type of product.
Some of these companies are more
successful than others. The ones who
are more successful are the ones who
have more knowledge about online
sales of building materials than their
competitors. Their success has little
SPRING 2020 | BSIA NEWS | NEWS MAGAZINE

13


http://www.seethewhizard.com http://www.ISTOCK.COM/BOGDANVJ http://www.bsiabc.ca

BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020

CHAIR’S MESSAGE
CHAIR’S MESSAGE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BSIA NEWS
BSIA EVENTS & EDUCATION
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BSIA AFFINITY PARTNER PROGRAM
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
BSIA BURSARY RECIPIENTS
SELLING BUILDING MATERIALS ONLINE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - Intro
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - bellyband1
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - bellyband2
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - cover1
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - cover2
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 3
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - CHAIR’S MESSAGE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - BSIA NEWS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 7
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - BSIA EVENTS & EDUCATION
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - BSIA BURSARY RECIPIENTS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 11
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 12
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - SELLING BUILDING MATERIALS ONLINE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 14
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 15
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - 16
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - CHAIR’S MESSAGE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - cover3
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2020 - cover4
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