According to Afrox eCommerce manager Brett Sauerman, the number of online visitors to the website, www.afroxshop.co.za, has substantially increased from 4 700 online sessions in June 2014 up to 46 300 in January 2015. “Within the space of just seven months, we have registered 5 500 online accounts and recorded in excess of 380 000 page views,” he states.
Given the unprecedented success of the eShop, Afrox is currently in the process of rolling out phase two of its online offering, which involves the launch of new web features that will make the purchase and account management processes more efficient and convenient for online customers.
The Afrox eShop is divided into two sections; the ‘web shop’ – a catalogue-based facility that features all Afrox products that are available online; and ‘self-service’ – a function that enables customers to manage their own transactions using online account management features.
Since the launch, Afrox has recorded over 145 000 self-service transactions, including online account balances, statements, invoices and pricing.
New click-and-collect feature
In order to keep up with this growth, Afrox has streamlined the online purchasing process by providing registered eShop customers with the option to collect their purchased goods from any national Afrox outlet, as opposed to waiting for onsite delivery.
Sauerman explained that this feature was launched in late-2014 in response to customer requests. “Many customers prefer to collect their own products without standing in queues. The click-and-collect offers this advantage.”
Open a base account in under ten minutes
Additional feedback from a number of smaller Afrox consumers revealed that they were unwilling to invest a substantial amount of time and money to register with eShop. To overcome this challenge, customers are now able to open a base account and register for online shopping in under ten minutes.
“This offer enables non-registered customers to pre-order any Handigas, Safety and Welding products online, before paying cash upon collection at any national Afrox outlet,” reveals Sauerman.
Online trends are continually evolving, “We aim to give eShop customers the option of paying for orders using a credit card by June 2015, as this is another major trend in all forms of online shopping.”
For added convenience, Afrox eShop customers can download a free mobile application service. The mobile app offers customers full access to their account details, as well as direct access to the eShop support team on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.
There are currently over 1 300 products available at the Afrox eShop including industrial gases, Handigas, gas equipment, arc equipment, arc accessories, welding consumables, abrasives, industrial chemicals and personal protection equipment (PPE).