To give customers another channel for ordering product and communicating with the company, Radnor, PA-based Airgas launched Airgas B2B in September. Clients can use the site to research Airgas’s industrial, medical, and specialty gases, welding equipment, and safety supplies, and to manage their supply chains as well as to place orders.
Steve Max, marketing director for Airgas’s eBusiness unit, says that the Website will save time and lower administrative procurement costs for both Airgas and its customers by reducing order processing errors and minimizing the number of service-related phone calls from clients. The site carries more than 160,000 products. Customer service information is customized to each user’s account.
Airgas has a customer base of 700,000 midsize and large companies in a wide range of industries, from healthcare to construction. To promote the site, it mailed a brochure and a letter to more than 20,000 of its best customers in October. Airgas also intends to acquire customers through its nationwide sales force and through an ad in the National Association of Wholesalers newsletter.
Web address: https://b2b.airgas.com Product category: gases, welding equipment, and safety supplies Launched: September Target customer: midsize and large companies Phone: 610-687-5253
Shoppers can now visit Kohl’s Department Stores with the click of a computer mouse. Menomonee Falls, WI-based Kohl’s Corp. launched its first transactional Website in August.
The e-commerce site, which replaces Kohl’s informational site, was designed inhouse and is powered by Blue Martini Software. It sells thousands of items in Kohl’s key merchandise categories, including casual apparel, footwear, luggage, small electronics, and home decor. Throughout the Website, customers will find “brand stores” devoted to brands such as Levi’s, Champion, and Kitchen Aid. Although Sean Sondreal, manager of e-commerce marketing, won’t release exact response rates, he says that the site is meeting expectations.
The site periodically offers special promotions and discounts, such as free shipping or a discount on purchases made with a Kohl’s Charge Card. Kohl’s sale circulars, distributed via newspapers in communities surrounding Kohl’s brick-and-mortar stores, feature “Shop Online” numbers: Customers can enter the number of the item featured in the circular at Kohls.com and can instantly purchase that item at the sale price. Customers can also place orders using the Kohl’s toll-free customer service number.
Web address: www.kohls.com Product category: apparel, general merchandise Launched: August Target audience: middle-income, value-conscious consumers Phone: 866-887-8884
With images that include aerials of the Buddha statue in Kamakura, Japan; the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, GlobalPhotos.com sells photographic art from around the world. The Grants Pass, OR-based company launched its online store in June.
Company president/photographer W. Scott Frazeur has traveled the world shooting photos in all categories, such as parks, religious icons, and children. “The Internet is the world’s largest photo album, and I want to offer my images for sale on it,” he says. More than 2,000 images are available, and in October, GlobalPhotos.com planned to add stock photography, digital image prints, calendars, coffee cups, and posters. Frazeur hopes to increase the product line to 10,000 items by the first of the year and to 20,000 within five years. Photos can be ordered in 30 sizes, in black-and-white or color, mounted or unmounted.
The site sells to wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. The average order is $192, and the site receives about 60 visitors a day. Customers can place their orders online, through an 800-number, or by fax.
GlobalPhotos.com donates 20% of the sales of its parks-related products to the National Parks System, the State Parks System, the County Parks System, or the actual park depicted in the photo. With its Medical Missions program, the company will donate 20% of its sales of religious images to medical missions groups.
Web address: www.globalphotos.com Product category: photographs Launched: June Target customer: wholesalers, retailers, consumers Phone: 800-727-7685
Pacific Trail Business 2 Business
Pacific Trail has made it a little easier for sporting-goods retailers to place orders. The outdoor apparel manufacturer, a wholly owned subsidiary of London Fog Industries in Seattle, launched its business-to-business site in August at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.
Built, hosted, and maintained by application service provider CobWeb, the password-protected site is available to new and existing Pacific Trail retail accounts. Accounts are assigned individual login parameters from their Pacific Trail representatives. Pacific Trail has 400 retailers in its account base, says Todd Gilmer, marketing communications manager. “The goal of the site is e-commerce, but what we primarily want to do is provide a level of service and tools to our existing accounts to do their business more effectively,” he says. Customers can preview products and features, place orders, check on order status and product availability, and research order history.
At press time Pacific Trail was planning to develop special terms and discounts for customers who order via the Website. By next fall, Pacific Trail also hopes to have a function on the site that allows retailers to download images for use on their own sites, something the company already provides offline.
Web address: www.pacifictrailb2b.com Product category: outerwear Launched: August Target audience: sporting-goods and outdoor-specialty retailers Phone: 800-877-8878