eCommerce Solution for Small to Mid-size Customers
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eCommerce Solution for Small to Mid-size Customers

‚ÄčCustomer: Renfro Corporation

Industry: Manufacturing

Challenges:

  • Maintain long-time small to mid-sized customers

  • Build and implement a cost-effective e-commerce capability specifically for the small to mid-sized market segment

Keys to Success:

  • Reducing transaction costs significantly

  • Enabling a new category of on-line commerce

  • Ability to analyze order attributes, patterns and trends

Description:

Cost-effectively servicing small to mid-sized customers can be a tricky proposition for any manufacturer. Validating the need for sophisticated EDI systems to handle the significant orders that come from larger customers is relatively easy to do. How do you justify additional technology investments when the order size and volume are not comparable? Can you afford to concede this important market segment to a competitor?

Renfro, the world's largest manufacturer of socks, faced exactly this dilemma. Orders from small to mid-sized customers were declining because Renfro lacked the e-commerce capabilities that would make servicing this market segment affordable. Costs aside, Renfro made a business decision that it did not want these long-time customers to turn to the competition.

Renfro enlisted B2B Technologies to design, build and implement a cost-effective e-commerce capability specifically for the small to mid-sized market segment. B2B built a complete business-to-business e-commerce site to enable a new category of on-line commerce and to reduce transaction costs significantly.

Small to mid-sized customers use the site to:

  • Search the Renfro catalog using multiple product attributes.

  • Use customer-specific templates to quickly order commonly requested items.

  • Consult a real-time UPS shipping cost calculator before specifying a shipping option.

Customers are not the only ones to benefit from the site. Renfro uses this business-to-business e-commerce channel to:

  • Enforce line item and order level minimums.

  • Check customers' credit ratings.

  • Analyze order attributes, patterns and trends.

  • Integrate orders placed on-line with the company's existing mainframe-based order management system.

B2B Technologies developed a complete business-to-business e-commerce site that included the following features:

  • Catalog search on multiple attributes

  • Orders checked for item and order level minimums

  • User-defined purchase order templates for quick ordering of common items

  • Real-time integration to the UPS shipping calculator

  • Customer credit check

  • Order tracking and history available to the customer

  • Ordering analysis by multiple categories, including customer

Benefits:

  • Renfro opens a new commerce channel for a class of previously ignored, higher margin customers

  • Low transactions costs allow Renfro to profitably accept smaller orders

  • Establish customers can place orders using either a purchase order number or a credit card so Renfro increases revenues