Plumbco announces new e-commerce site

Plumbco announces new e-commerce site

FORTIS members Plumbco are a family run independent plumbing and heating merchant, with over 25 years’ experience in supplying bathrooms, kitchens and all plumbing and heating goods. They have branches in Wellingborough and Northampton, enabling them to serve the heart of the UK and now, thanks to their new e-commerce site, beyond.

Both branches offer a dedicated trade counter manned by expert staff, who are able to provide advice and insight on any plumbing and heating problem.

They pride themselves on their attentive service and customer support, and this was one of the main reasons behind their decision to approach Blue Rock for assistance with a new e-commerce site.

Making progress
Brett Thompson, e-Commerce Manager at Plumbco, told us: “We know that customers work after 5pm and even though we are closed after that time they need to still be able to find prices and to see if items are in stock. An e-commerce site is so important for this, especially in current times.

“The second reason we had for needing the site is to allow us to trade further afield than Northamptonshire. We were going to open another branch last year, but when COVID struck this was put on the back burner. As a business we knew we still needed to move forward with our business, so we decided that the site was the best thing to progress. After speaking with Blue Rock and looking at all the benefits of a site it was a no brainer that in order to target other customers the best plan was a website, a website not just for trade, but for the general public to use as well.”

e-Commerce web trading is only becoming more relevant as the age of internet shopping intensifies across all industries. The acceleration of e-commerce throughout the globe over the course of 2020 was hard to ignore, as consumers shopped online often out of necessity, and brands were forced to rapidly change their strategies as a result.

BlueCommerce integrates the iQ back-office system (which Blue Rock installed for Plumbco in 2017) with their customer facing website – orders can be created, stock levels can be checked and special prices can all be updated without any hassle, making sure that their customers have the latest information as and when it is updated.

With BlueCommerce, Plumbco’s website is easy to maintain thanks to the content management system which lets them update content regularly and easily, post news articles which are of interest to their customers and set up RSS newsfeeds so that their customers can subscribe to their updates and be notified when something changes on the website.

Streamlined process
Brett was surprised at how straightforward the whole process was: “As a business which is completely new to the world of e-commerce, we were expecting it to be an extremely bumpy ride, but in truth it has been far from it.

“The first stages of planning were great as we were offered templates which would suit our business and the needs of our customers. The Blue Rock team gave us great advice and the template we decided to go for was perfect for what we were after.

“After that was then when the hard work really started, which was to sort out images for each part number. This was a time-consuming process and trying to get the right images to fit was tricky, but with the Blue Rock support we have managed to achieve the right size images for each of the products.

Steve (Batchelor, Commerce and Product Development Manager at Blue Rock Systems) even went above and beyond and introduced us to an editing platform, and then took time to show us how to edit images to make them look better, which was great as this helped me learn a new skill as well.”

The way Plumbco conduct business has evolved since the introduction of the new site, and they can see their growth potential on the horizon: “We are now working hard to make sure that when customers do order late via the website, we can come in first thing, get the order ready so when they turn up its ready and then they can be on their way to the morning job. It ends up saving us and the customer valuable time, which saves money at the end of the day.

“We started this journey as just a local plumbing and heating merchant known locally but we are now using couriers more and are teaming up with local pallet delivery companies to deliver bathrooms around the UK. We know that our end result will be as a local merchant who will be known hopefully nationwide, and we can carry on providing our great customer service, but just through a different channel!”

Working with Blue Rock
On Plumbco’s working relationship with Blue Rock, Brett added: “Dealing with Blue Rock has been absolutely brilliant. As the site progressed in coming together, we have had the best help at every stage and anything that we have asked for has been sorted and nothing has been too much bother at all.

“Blue Rock really have been instrumental in guiding us through this journey and the support has been brilliant.”

Steve Batchelor, Commerce and Product Development Manager at Blue Rock Systems, who has been working closely with Plumbco on the project, commented that their dedication to sticking to project timescales really streamlined the process: “Working with Plumbco on this project has been a pleasure. Brett and his team wanted to make sure they made the most of the available options – the attention to detail has been extremely impressive, with Plumbco wanting to deliver a pleasing and informative customer journey on their website.”

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