Distributor offers transactional facilities for existing websites, and complete, bespoke sites for those yet to engage with the internet.
Changing customer demands and trends require timber merchants to adapt their marketing efforts in order to maximise their sales potential. The online world is their new ‘shop window’, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hoppings has identified that online marketing can be a massive leap for independent merchants, but that those that aren’t online could be in danger of being left behind by the multi-nationals when it comes to online service, invariably having neither the time or resources to focus on this aspect of their business. So the company is now enabling its merchant customers to incorporate the entire Q-Deck decking and Q-Line softwood mouldings ranges into their existing sites, with a shopping cart facility, to sell online. For approved stockists with no website, Hoppings is offering to build them a completely bespoke website that offers the entire Hoppings range within its pages. This is offered at a fraction of the cost of developing a site independently. Both options allow the merchant to ‘piggy-back’ on the Hoppings website, www.qualitydecking.co.uk, and take advantage of its marketing strength. Hoppings marketing director, Adam Pulfer says: “Research has shown that a visitor judges your company within seconds of visiting your website. To be successful, it’s got to deliver the goods immediately. This scheme, which we believe is totally unique within the timber industry, does the hard work for our stockists, and quickly produces an impressive website that really works for them – on a scale which, were they to build from scratch, would prove to be extremely costly. And linking to qualitydecking.co.uk is absolutely key, as merchants in the scheme benefit directly from the high volume of traffic the site has built up during its existence. This is of course a massive advantage over the competition. We also provide the platform for merchants to sell their other building products, via the online shopping facility. There are so many advantages to linking to Q-Deck and/or Q-Line as an official online partner.” It’s mutually beneficial for Hoppings and all of its stockists to successfully sell the Hoppings ranges online, says Pulfer. By utilising the Q-Deck online shop, merchants gain a new channel of business. Pulfer says that the market is growing and merchants will sell more and obtain repeat business via the service. Hoppings gains through the increased sales and by strengthening partnerships with merchants. To get the best out of these sites and increase turnover and profit, Pulfer says that offering the consumer the best possible service is the key to increasing online sales. The company has set a base level of service for customers taking advantage of the online strategy, including free delivery on orders over £200 within a 10 mile radius and order confirmation within 48 hours. Generating enquiries Merchants are welcoming the scheme, says Pulfer. Simon Wackett of S & J Wackett Timber Merchants, has taken advantage of the service. He says, “I’m so glad I decided to get involved in websites with Hoppings, especially the online shop, as it has had already generated a lot of enquiries.” Since the company launched its transactional website through the Hoppings service it has already received two deck orders in February. “It pretty much pays for my investment and it’s only February – I’m very pleased,” says Wackett. “‘My customers now have access to the whole Q-Deck range on my website, including ‘How to’ guides and usage ideas. “Hoppings took care of all the legal requirements for my website and Q-Deck shop which, frankly I found a bit of a minefield. It was made so easy for me and I have a great website for far less than if I’d gone it alone.” “The charges we make for enhancing an existing site, or creating one from scratch, are extremely competitive. What’s more, we don’t leave it there,” says Pulfer. “Our on-going investment in SEO and ‘pay-per-click’ strategies ensures our Google rankings continuously improve, meaning more visitors to qualitydecking.co.uk. This in turn means more traffic to our partner shops at no additional charge to them.” Hoppings is currently embarking on a series of e- mailings to consumers, driving traffic to both its own and its merchant stockists’ sites. By Easter, there will be nearly 30 live Q-Deck online shops, with more in the pipeline, says Pulfer: “We view these websites as an exciting and important part of our future and we will do everything we can to support our valued partners in this enterprise.” Merchants wishing to work in partnership with Hoppings in development of an online selling strategy, must be a stockist of the Hoppings Decking Products range. To find out more about the website offering, visit: www.jump-to.co.uk