United Stationers’ Reseller Spotlight On: Perimeter Office Products6 Jan, 2015
In a United Stationers’ Reseller Spotlight, featured is Mike Evert, President of Perimeter Office Products, who shares how advancements in digital marketing have made an extraordinary difference to his bottom line.
An Industry Shift
Two years ago, after hearing a presentation on the business benefit of advancing digital capabilities, Mike Evert decided it was time to take significant strides to better Perimeter Office Products’ online presence.
Research from United Stationers entitled, “Leader Of The Pack: Digital Replaces the Full-Line Catalog,” highlights the industry-wide shift among B2B office products purchasers. The study found that 71 percent of customer orders take place online, underscoring the need for resellers to update and upgrade digital efforts. Evert understood that future growth and expansion opportunities would be a result of the growing online B2B buyer demographic.
How They Did It
Evert and the Perimeter team started with a complete overhaul of the website aesthetic, landing on a modern and clean look and feel. Improvements to functionality, intuitive navigation and feature-rich site capabilities were built out to rival competitive big box retailers.
In addition to a website makeover, Perimeter leveraged several United Stationers programs to drive traffic to the site, encourage a better user experience and ultimately drive online sales. Through the use of United’s SmartSearch, EasyFlip Catalog and SmartDeals, the company saw an increase in online engagement and sales. Evert attributes part of Perimeter’s success to United’s investment in better online content that’s driven positive feedback and usage from customers looking for product information, specs and pricing.
Perimeter also leveraged United’s eDeals offering, a twice-weekly email promotion that goes out to customers as a way to communicate about product sales and information. He states that this tactic has been the most effective marketing tool in his arsenal as it serves as a powerful way to maintain contact with customers.
Starting with Social
While Perimeter is still in the process of amplifying digital efforts through social media, the team has started to explore how social media can facilitate and foster on and offline connections to existing and potential customers.
Currently, Perimeter posts two to three times weekly to the company Facebook page. In addition, and where Evert has seen the most promise, is through LinkedIn efforts. By directly connecting with suppliers and customers on this platform, Evert has seen an enormous benefit and return. LinkedIn has enabled the company to engage with several new and existing contacts on the site, which Evert believes has driven true and deep engagement on a much more personal level with customers. He receives replies from customers who seem impressed that the owner of the company wants to connect via LinkedIn and sees it as a good tool to reinforce relationships.
Feedback from customers has been outstanding. Once Perimeter transformed its online presence, acquiring new accounts was much easier, Evert reports.
Perimeter transformed the site in 2012. At that time the company was doing $7.3 million in revenue. In 2013 the company reported more than $8.6 million in revenue and are on track to achieve more than $10 million in 2014 – results Evert believes are driven mostly through their digital efforts.
With 90 percent of his orders and 70 percent of his office supplies and jan-san sales volume currently coming from online, Evert has his updated web presence to thank for this success. More importantly, the new digital advancements have given Evert and his team a powerful new competitive resource for the long-term success of his dealership.