- Non-transactional site:
Customers want to make a purchase. But if the website is not transactional, at best this slows down the purchasing process, at worst it pushes customers toward another merchant.
- Hard to find products:
A customer needs an evaporator coil but the website’s search filters only show a handful of best-selling items and fails to suggest substitution products if a product is out of stock or is no longer being manufactured as there is a replacement part.
- Minimal product information:
The products have no pictures, minimal specs, and/or no PDF technical documents. Customers leave the site to find valuable information such as wiring/connection diagrams or programming instructions.
- Bad design and/or User Experience (UX).
The design looks like a throwback to the ‘90s and the user runs into dead ends or is jarringly sent onto another website. Plus, the technician on the roof can’t read the tiny text on mobile.
- Losing high-margin sales:
Customers buy HVAC units with you but for higher margin items like pumps, PVC tubing, plenums, ductwork, etc., they shop elsewhere (places where fitment, inventory, specs, and visuals seem more trustworthy / convenient).
- Lots of back and forth.
Checking product availability, agreeing to or rejecting quotes, looking at warranties, and receiving delivery updates: sales reps do everything by phone. There is no centralized way to track, measure, understand or improve these exchanges.
Where to Begin and/or What Are Your Next Steps?
The first thing to do is to get analytical! Quantify the problem and the opportunity. Knowing that you are losing $120k a month in revenue, will guarantee you’ll have the CFO’s attention.
If you are already selling online, win with a hassle-free eCommerce experience coupled with in-depth product information.
With your physical branch(es), blend the customer’s online and in-store experience with shared inventory, logistics, and fulfillment.
Gold standard: borrow standards from Amazon’s book by matching Amazon’s ease of use. Then go further by creating better product content and tools to show you are the authoritative resource in your industry.
As you work with licensed HVAC contractors, turbocharge your sales team with the help of online channels, including an integrated mobile strategy.
This industry is about personal relationships. Digital should never undermine that and all digital applications need to enhance those personal relationships.
If you don’t have marketing, if you don’t have tech, ask for help with your business plan. Get clarity on which roles you need internally and who you can outsource. Absolunet can help.