The Evolution into an eCommerce Site: A Case Study with Bechara Jaoudeh
Skip: Welcome! We’re on a recorded line with Bechara Jaoudeh, co-founder of Philly Marketing Labs and ecommerce guru and strategist. We’re going to talk about one of our long term, and favorite, clients here at Philly Marketing Labs (PML) and that’s Bush Refrigeration.
Bechara, please give us the backstory on the evolution of Bush Refrigeration into an eCommerce success.
Bechara: Bush Refrigeration has always been one of the pioneers in the commercial Internet marketplace. They were one of the very first commercial refrigeration companies to go online. In the 90’s, during the Web’s earliest years, Bush created a website to educate commercial buyers and generate sales leads.
Their original site was an online version of their successful paper catalogue. However, they never listed all of the products available. Instead, the website described general categories of products. They relied on the Bush sales team to field phone calls and steer the new customer to the right product to best meet their needs.
We started working with Bush in 2010 for SEO and PPC work. We developed a close partnership that allowed us to identify changes in the Internet marketplace so the Bush management team could re-invent their business processes as needed.
One of the first changes we noticed was that Google Shopping was changing the way PPC worked. Suddenly, shopping networks like Google and Amazon were hungry for product feeds describing specific product information like model number, exact dimensions and price. People’s search behavior began changing. First, people search for the best model through consumer education sites. Next, they want to compare apples to apples, so they search by specific model numbers.
In the case of Bush, their products are often customized (e.g. a walk-in cooler customized for a given store configuration) and represent a sizable business expense. Many long-established business owners still want to do business with a person, not a website. At the same time, many young up-and-coming business owners are happy to gain efficiency and speed by using eCommerce. These are two personas that have very different needs.
So we created a hybrid site that supports both types of business owners. Those who are comfortable using eCommerce can quickly review products and make a purchase. Those who want a personal touch and guidance can access the site as a more convenient way of catalogue browsing. We positioned calls to action throughout the website; some meant to serve the eCommerce visitor, while others cater to the “connect me to a person” visitor.
The resulting website is part lead-generation, part eCommerce and part education … and we still need to send the Bush product feeds to search engines to allow Bush to participate in the Google and Amazon shopping race.
Has the idea of eCommerce piqued your interest? Be sure to visit our next blog which will discuss the mechanics of the Bush eCommerce project in Part 2 of this case study. Part 3 of the case study can be found here.