Do it Best unveiled its new ecommerce platform and outlined its strategy for members to drive more growth online and in-store to a record crowd at its spring market, held March 11-13 in Orlando.
“Running a successful ecommerce website is far more complex than it was just a few years ago,” said Vice President of Ecommerce Allison Flatjord, as she addressed the Market Kickoff audience Saturday. “It’s required you to be an advertising and analytics expert, as well as a content creating machine, all while making sure that everything is SEO-friendly. Oh, and you need to serve the customer. But beginning this summer, we’re rolling out a new ecommerce platform that shifts much of that responsibility to Do it Best, allowing you to focus on your area of expertise—operating your business.”
Flatjord went on to show member-owners a promotional video demonstrating the features and benefits of the new best-in-class platform, highlighting an exceptional shopping experience that puts customer convenience at the forefront. That includes a fully integrated platform that serves customers wherever and whenever they are ready to shop, tying together the ease of online shopping with the value of same-day pickup and in-store interaction. The site will also merge in Best Rewards, the company’s customer loyalty program, for a seamless shopping experience.
To remove a potential barrier to entry, Flatjord also announced there will be no setup or monthly operational fees for the new platform. “Because we believe so strongly in our strategy to drive your sales online and in-store, we’re using only a small per-sale service fee to maintain our top-tier platform and invest in future enhancements,” she said. “You pay only for what you sell online. And we’re confident you will sell more!”
“I’m extremely excited about what this means for our continued growth,” said Scott Jerousek, owner of two Farm & Home Hardware locations in Ohio. “With the power of a world-class online platform coupled with our exceptional in-store service and support, it’s a winning formula for success.”
Dale Drew, owner of three Merrilees Hardware & Supply stores in Indiana and Ohio, said they quickly signed up for the program. “I’ve got customers who will sit on their couch and order products at 9 pm and then have it shipped to the store, because that’s how people got accustomed to ordering during the pandemic. I like how they’ve set the program up. There were too many hurdles with ecommerce for us to overcome otherwise,” he said.
Randy Rusk, communications director, said Do it Best has thousands of locations that can serve as same-day pickup spots. “That’s the biggest driver, having integrated inventory of stores with no shipping costs,” he said.
Brianna Wells, content and marketing manager for ecommerce, said Do it Best will be implementing what’s in members’ stores so customers can see all that they offer. “There will be a main platform, partnered with Adobe, who has done large websites for companies like Nike, and then micro sites for each store,” she said. “We’re removing the last barrier to entry, since there’s no cost to entry now. Members can still control their own landing page, but we will be merchandising categories for them.”
When a customer goes to the Do it Best website and orders a product, the every user will be attached to the nearest member store by geolocation. “If it’s a product they don’t stock, they will still get the sale if it’s in the warehouse. The price is set by the member,” Wells said.
Do it Best has been beta testing the program and getting member input so the full program can be rolled out this summer. Wells said there are currently 600-700 member sites online now with ecommerce through the Do it Best website, with more running their own sites. “Content has been a big push. We’re working with members to get unique content online. The goal is to have 100 percent of what they sell online,” Wells said.
From a retailer’s perspective, it’s necessary to have a compliant point-of-sale system and have live inventory online, Wells pointed out. The co-op is also introducing a white-glove service within the ecommerce department with people who can help members with their inventory counts.
Wells noted that an indoor and outdoor locker program is available to make it more convenient for customers to pick up orders. “We want to meet the consumer where they want to be met.”