Leading supplier Bearings International (BI) will run various promotions and special offers during 2023 to promote its online store, which has been up and running for seven months. “We are very happy with the functionality of the platform,” comments Charmaine Beukes, Business Unit Leader, Allied Products.
“During the initial launch phase, we wanted to ensure all systems were 100% functional and that the customer experience was all we planned it to be,” says Beukes. Confirming that the system has now been tried and tested, she adds: “It is amazing how technology and the Internet of Things has developed to make targeting customers easier.”
The platform offers 24/7 access to BI’s extensive product range in light of the increasing prevalence of e-commerce. A variety of technical information is also available via the platform to support customers in making informed product selection.
Beukes points out that this does not displace walk-in clients at branches or technical sales representatives visiting sites to assist with troubleshooting and plan for shutdowns and plant maintenance, or emergency staff providing a breakdown service.
“It is amazing how technology and the Internet of Things has developed to make targeting customers easier.” – Charmaine Beukes, Business Unit Leader, Allied Products, Bearings International.
“Our various segment development staff will continue to walk the road with our customers to plan for maximum efficiency in their plants and present new products, benefits and innovation. Our online platform is simply another leg of our service offering, bringing more to our customers and also showcasing our complete solutions to potential new customers,” adds Beukes.
Describing the platform as intuitive and user-friendly, Beukes outlines future plans to include tutorial-type product videos to showcase product benefits, application and installation. “We aim to make it the go-to place to find out what to do, what you need to do it and then to procure what you need, all in one place.”
She describes the team effort behind the platform’s development as akin to preparation for a Rugby World Cup event. “We had a few scrums, hard tackles, missed passes, injuries and challenges, but our team, comprising staff members and consultants, had the single goal of bringing our customers the best possible online shopping experience, and that is what we have done.”
Beukes’ says that BI’s recent 65th anniversary celebration was a true testament to the resilience and integrity of the brand. “We have been with our customers through may seasons and challenges and have been able to support and help them grow. Our online presence affords our customers the opportunity to be in touch with us 24/7 in accordance with their requirements.”
In terms of the future, there are exciting plans to extend the platform even further, including exploiting potential synergies with other Hudaco Group companies. “We believe this is a very user friendly and functional platform that will benefit any of our sister companies.” However, Beukes says any such decisions will be researched thoroughly before implementation. “We will proceed steadily and with due caution as required,” she concludes.
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