Is it time for the Construction Industry to make the most of online opportunities and embrace ecommerce? Here’s Construction Materials Online opinion, have your say in the comments box below.
Adrian Saunders, Director of eCommerce, Construction Materials Online, analyses the benefits of eCommerce for the construction industry, and looks at why it is becoming the first choice for professionals looking to source materials. This article was first published in the April 2018 Issue of Insulate Magazine.
The construction industry has firmly entered an era of connection, with technology radically transforming the supply chain. eCommerce is now a trusted alternative to traditional building merchants, not just offering opportunities for significant cost savings, but also improved productivity, a greater choice of products and access to expert support
Construction professionals want fair pricing and a varied product range, alongside the convenience of an online retail experience, and a recent survey we conducted of over 200 professionals from across all construction trades, to analyse this shift in behaviour, revealed that 94% now find that online.
Whilst traditional high street builders’ merchants favour the bricks and mortar approach, product choice is limited, and employees often lack the expert knowledge required to make informed recommendations based on a specific project. With 44% of professionals now opting for online sourcing in comparison to just 24% favouring high street and commercial merchants, it’s clear that eCommerce is becoming the preferred choice.
Construction eCommerce is built on the fundamentals of modern online customer behaviour, offering a more collaborative and innovative approach to sourcing materials, unrestricted by store opening times. Made to order and bespoke products can also be sourced quickly, whilst expert online support teams can advise on how best a project can meet budgets and exceed building requirements and regulations.
Usually offering far greater product selections and competitive pricing, it’s little wonder that buying online is now the favoured option. More than half of survey respondents agreed, revealing that visits to builders’ merchant chains in the past year have been marred by product stock shortages – with 55% also witnessing product price rises.
With the quality and variety of materials continuing to advance at a rapid pace, it can be difficult for traditional merchants to keep up. Combined with the time taken to source materials from the high street, eCommerce is a viable solution which can significantly improve productivity, saving valuable time in an industry focused on meeting tight build deadlines.
Our own company growth is evidence of this, with over 50,000 products available across our three eCommerce brands, Roofing Superstore, Drainage Superstore and Insulation Superstore. Roofing Superstore is also now the largest online supplier of roofing materials in the UK, and with strong relationships with some of the world’s leading manufacturers, it is the ‘one stop shop’ for roofing materials.
We are focused on providing a bespoke, human approach to eCommerce and are a trusted online source of building materials – with over 8,000 independent customer reviews on Trust Pilot, over 90% of which are positive.
With demand only set to increase for easier and more efficient methods of purchasing, the industry now needs to embrace eCommerce, understanding the value and benefits it brings.