Digital can still feel like a threat in industries that have always depended on selling face to face, especially for the people who make up a company’s sales force. But plumbing supply company Ferguson Enterprises figured out how to make it an opportunity. eMarketer’s Jillian Ryan spoke with CMO Mike Brooks about how Ferguson designed a framework in which its digital channels work in coordination with pre-existing sales mechanisms and sellers. Brooks was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s March report, "B2B Ecommerce 2018: Transforming Buying and Selling."
As a national chain with branches all over the country, is ecommerce a large part of your business-to-business (B2B) efforts?
Currently, a little north of 20% of our business happens through our online channels, whether that's B2B or B2C [business-to-consumer]. Although they're not the majority of our revenues, digital sales offer a trifecta of benefits for the business.
First, [ecommerce is] clearly centered around our customer. The demand is 24/7, and digital makes it easier to do business with us. We want to remove any friction points with our customer interactions.