Grainger Unveils New B2B E-Commerce Platform and iPad App

CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2013 — Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today launched several innovative eCommerce solutions with an enhanced search, workflow and purchase experience, making it easier for customers to find what they need and get back to their jobs.

Grainger’s new iPad application (app) takes advantage of the device’s capabilities while leveraging the power of Grainger.com.  It allows customers to visually browse through thousands of products in seconds with improved search filters.  Once a customer finds the product, relevant information is displayed including product availability, technical specifications and product accessories.  Checkout also has been streamlined to save customers time on the go. 

Customers will benefit from the iPad app’s key features, which include:

  • Detailed product pages designed to provide customers key information to select a product that meets their needs;
  • Real-time product availability that shows the nearest branch that has the product in stock or date the product is expected to arrive, if shipped;
  • Easy single-page checkout that displays the customer’s account information, including the payment method, shipping address and default branch, eliminating steps in the process;
  • Order History that helps a customer track recently placed orders or search within past orders; and
  • Access to personal and shared lists to quickly find and order regularly purchased items.

“Every detail of the iPad app was designed with efficiency in mind, allowing our customers to quickly find what they need, order it and get back to the task at hand,” said Geoffrey Robertson, Vice President of eCommerce Strategy and Planning at Grainger.  “In addition, the app is part of our bigger enhanced eCommerce initiative, which provides our customers with a consistent multi-channel experience from desktop through mobile device.” 

Grainger’s New Web Platform
Grainger’s new web platform is designed to offer a consistent purchase experience for customers across multiple purchase channels, including branches, mobile, website and KeepStock® (the company’s inventory management solution).  For example, customers can begin a purchase transaction in one medium and complete it in another, order products in a branch and view order history online, and track KeepStock orders on the website or through a mobile device.

Additional platform enhancements include:

Easier Search and Navigation – An intuitive interface, enhanced product descriptions, detailed visuals and category attributes make it easy for customers to narrow down their search and sift through more than one million products.
New Workflow Management System – This system is designed to help customers easily approve orders, define spending limits for other users on the account and manage workflow.  The new dashboard gives customers a real-time snapshot of workflow and offers automated approvals for key purchases, which eliminates paperwork.
Accounts – Simplified account registration, along with enhanced account management capabilities.
Orders – Seamless integration with all orders, including KeepStock and those ordered offline.

“We’re giving our customers more control,” said Paul Miller, Vice President of Global eCommerce, Innovation, and Customer Information at Grainger.  “Our platform enables customers to manage purchasing and spending better.  We’ve taken the seamless, multi-channel approach customers expect from the world’s leading business-to-consumer organizations and applied it to our service model, creating a straight-forward, intuitive and convenient customer experience.  We know our customers demand utility, and this new platform is that – forward thinking that makes their lives easier.”

Grainger is the 15th largest e-retailer in North America, according to Internet Retailer.  In 2012, Grainger posted nearly $3 billion in eCommerce sales, representing almost a third of total company sales.  Meanwhile, Grainger mobile traffic more than doubled in the first six months of 2013, representing about 10 percent of U.S. online traffic.  Approximately 30 percent of mobile orders are picked up at a local U.S. branch.

Click here to learn more about Grainger’s new iPad app.  Click here to learn more about Grainger’s new web platform.

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