To remain in the same e-commerce class as its peers, Pennsauken, N.J.-based Becker’s School Supplies, Inc. redeveloped and relaunched its online retail site on the WebLinc e-commerce platform.
“We needed a significant upgrade of our Web presence,” explained Robert Bonczkiewicz, catalog manager at Becker’s. “Competitors in our space are top-notch and we needed to get up to speed.”
Although Becker’s maintains a large B2B business selling school supplies to institutional customers such as schools, child care centers, and community centers, the company also operates a B2C channel that includes eight brick-and-mortar stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, as well as its e-commerce site. According to Bonczkiewicz, Becker’s originally realized that its site needed improvement and that outside assistance was necessary around 2010.
Putting the fix in
In June 2011, Becker’s decided to launch an 18-to-24-month effort to investigate and select an e-commerce platform vendor, implement technology and go live with consumers. Becker’s enlisted the aid of New Jersey-based e-commerce consulting firm FitForCommerce, which helped the company determine project scope.
“Our old site was not up to date with SEO and had generally poor search capabilities,” said Bonczkiewicz. “We had subpar merchandising.”
In July 2012, Becker’s, with assistance from Fit-for-Commerce, sent out an RFI to about 12 of a list of 20 vendors initially identified with help from FitForCommerce. The retailer spoke to eight vendors, and then narrowed that field to four and then two before finally selecting WebLinc in November 2012.
“We selected WebLinc for their design and technology capabilities,” said Bonczkiewicz. “They had good site search capability and a user-friendly content management system, which was crucial because we did not have a lot of in-house development experience.”
New school e-commerce
Becker’s launched its new e-commerce site on July 15. The benefits have come quickly.
“E-commerce revenue has more than doubled,” said Bonczkiewicz. “There has been a 70% increase in online transactions and average order value has increased 30% due to dynamic merchandising components. We can now cross-reference and upsell every product detail page for the customer.”
Becker’s has also been introducing new content like the Resource Café, which provides ideas and tips for teachers, and plans to add new content including a feedback mechanism for Resource Café as well as dedicated microsites for large accounts.
Modern education is highly competitive. This competitiveness even extends to selling educational supplies online, and Becker’s is doing what it takes to stay best-in-class.