Special report: Online brick platform

Special report: Online brick platform

One of the key trends to have emerged from the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is a turbocharging of the digital domain, with businesses ramping up their online capabilities to keep trading through the crisis. PBM reports on an online platform that works in tandem with merchant partners to drive brick sales. 

An online platform for the brick industry, Search A Brick is “looking to revolutionise the way bricks are sourced for all types of projects”. The business was established in October last year by Lee Ring using the experience he had gleaned from more than 20 years in the industry, starting out as a qualified bricklayer and then with subsequent roles in sales focusing mainly on brick facades for prestigious buildings, supporting architects and helping with brick matching.

Identifying what he deemed to be a gap in the market, Lee saw an opportunity for a technology-driven solution that could “help build a bridge” between merchants and customers seeking a particular type of brick for their project, making the entire process as quick and efficient as possible.

The company’s mission statement reveals its intent to “disrupt the brick industry by offering a platform that enables the ultimate connection between both buyers and sellers in the brick market — from merchants looking to upload their stock and be seen by 1,000s of daily visitors, to end consumers looking for a fast, free solution to check brick stock levels and locate bricks based on type, quantity and location.”

From a customer perspective, the company says it recognises that “selecting the right brick can be a minefield, with so many colour types and textures available” and the platform can help by providing a single source of ideas for a new project, for brick matching purposes or even assisting a contractor or developer in looking for a lower cost option.

In partnership with a number of specialist brick merchants, the portal offers customers the ability to source bricks via an easy to use search engine and view a sizeable online library.

For the merchant, the service opens up huge potential for generating additional sales, unlimited by current trading areas. Indeed, the company’s tagline is telling: ‘Selling your bricks for you 24/7’. Merchants can also search the catalogue to find stock for their own customers.

And as the coronavirus pandemic has accentuated, it can be a vital differential for merchants to have a digital presence and develop their online reach to facilitate additional ‘real world’ sales. As Lee contends: “Many merchants do not even have an online presence, let alone an online store. Failing to move from the ‘traditional’ to the online world is the first step of a formula to fail. We aim to help, and with Digital Marketing specialists on board we can hit audiences not available to most merchants.”

In a tumultuous year that has thrown up unprecedented disruption to established practices and borne witness to innovative solutions to meet the challenges head on, Lee stresses the importance of ‘constantly evolving’ the platform: “We are looking to listen to both merchants and their customers. We aim to offer a solution that not only makes everyone’s lives easier, but also reduces the amount of time consumption involved. Listening to feedback and evolving the platform as we grow shows just how flexible our business model can be.”

To explore what Search A Brick has to offer, go to: https://www.searchabrick.co.uk/merchant-sign-up/

A version of this article originally appeared in PBM’s December edition. Please click here to read the full issue online.

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