10 Years of E-Commerce and still no Catalog!
Scottsdale, AZ – July 25, 2007- It seems hard to believe now, but only ten years ago the Internet was simply a tool for sharing information with little to no E-Commerce activity – as it provides today. At the time, Technika was a wholesaler selling portable environmental meters only through distributors. The company had considered going retail with a catalog of their own, but ruled that out because of high start-up costs, lack of experience and established competitors. The Internet, however, created a new playing field where there was no established competition. Start-up costs were minimal, compared to publishing a catalog, and if Technika lacked experience selling on the web, so did everyone else. By contrast, established scientific [catalog] distributors were not particularly anxious to jump on the Internet band wagon since they already had a proven method of retail sales. When distributors finally did establish a presence on the Internet, they often saw it as another ordering tool like the phone and fax. Unfortunately, their websites reflected this: minimal product information, in many cases just a brief description and part number, organized like a print catalog with none of the interactive features available on the web. Technika viewed the Internet with open eyes and immediately recognized the sales possibilities going well beyond those of a printed catalog. Rather than having to read page after page sequentially, as in a print catalog, Technika included dynamic access to [in-depth] product information and demonstrations with the click of the mouse. The company’s E-Commerce website also included full product specifications, useful application information, standards and the science behind each type of product. Customers preferred browsing the information online without any pressure and ordering when they had all the information needed to make an informed decision. Technika also makes it easy for customers to receive additional information by speaking with a live, customer support person. When the Technika E-Commerce site went live, the company was surprised to receive the first order from overseas - something that hadn’t been anticipated. Since that first order, Technika now receives orders from every part of the globe. Customers the company didn’t even know existed sent orders. Large companies, with whom it would have been difficult to get a sales appointment with, found Technika and placed orders – even while Technika employees were all home sleeping. Technika will celebrate 10 years of E-Commerce this year and they still see no need to create a printed catalog. The catalog is less informative, harder to navigate, not easily updated and a customer cannot place a direct order. A new Technika E-Commerce site is being designed (target release of September ’07) to better emphasize their new focus on environmental measurement instruments and an even better shopping experience.