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DATAFIRST Update: Frost Supply Beta Tests its New Website

By Bridget McCrea

Intent on cleaning up its catalogue data and upgrading its corporate website, Frost Supply of Maryland Heights, Mo., reached a milestone in its data quality/ecommerce initiative in February when the distributorship’s beta website went live. “Right now the site is only for internal use,” says Nick Arb, the company’s marketing manager. “Our internal IT and marketing teams and some of our sales reps are testing out the site to see what other changes need to be made to it before it goes live.”

The next phase of the project will find some of Frost Supply’s heaviest local users (the types that pledge the bulk of their day-to-day orders via the site), exploring the site and providing feedback on it.

Since September 2013, Frost Supply has been working with DATAgility, developer of data quality scorecarding program DATAFirst, to clean up its catalogue data and upgrade its corporate website. In this series of tED Magazine articles we’re following Frost Supply through the process of improving its data quality and its e-commerce presence.

Right now, Arb says reviewing the data on the site and refining the content as needed is taking the most time and energy. One of the most valuable lessons learned so far, says Arb, is the fact that “less really is more” on the web. “We’re starting to find out that quantity isn’t necessarily as important as quality,” he explains. “With that in mind, we’re taking the time to correct all catalog data and product specs as part of our overall data cleansing initiative.”

Frost Supply is also researching what customers are most interested online, and getting the answers to questions like:  What data will be most meaningful to customers? What are they interested in? And, what unnecessary information can we weed out? “We want to hone in on the important specifications that are really going to matter,” says Arb, “when someone sits down to make a buying decision.”

To gather that pertinent information, Frost Supply is scouring the data associated with its past online transactions and using that knowledge to determine how buying decisions are made. The distributor is also using its own local knowledge and feedback from its sales reps to determine what information is critical for customers and which data points are unnecessary.

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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