Like two out of three Americans, eBiz ROI procurement relies on the Internet local product search as our first, primary source of local product information. Recently we found a local product search opportunity for a large, national office supply retailer.
This short story starts out with the need for two large whiteboards for the eBiz ROI main office. Having a savvy procurement department and needing to procure these whiteboards fast, the procurement team went to their favorite local search engines and selecting everything from web to product to local search, but were unable to find a local (Capital District, NY- Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Troy) supplier of whiteboards using Internet search. The eBiz ROI procurement yellow pages were not available to aid in the local product search as they had all been used to prop up computer monitors to proper viewing height
Local search was perfect for the task of finding affordable whiteboards since finding a local supplier meant avoiding the prohibitive cost of shipping two large whiteboards. In fact, the shipping costs in almost all quotes received were more expensive than the purchase price of the whiteboards themselves. The only relief from the shipping cost is to buy wholesale and pick up your shipment off the back of a truck. Since eBiz ROI only needed two whiteboards for the office, wholesale purchasing was not an option.
To provide the reader some perspective, the eBiz ROI procurement team is comprised of determined web surfers from back in the days when Archie, Gopher and FTP where the hottest things since Commodore Commuters, Atari and 1400 baud dial-up bulletin boards. They searched way beyond local product search engines including searching the three biggest search engines and then proceeding to navigate directly to the websites of several national retailers who with comprehensive websites and robust ecommerce functionality and a local brick and motar presence.
Surely these large national office supply retailers, with stores serving local markets in the 100 of thousands of consumers would have large whiteboards in stock locally. For heavens sake, eBiz ROI operates in the Capital District of New York State with fairly substantial population centers in – Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Troy not to mention New York State government offices.
Long story short, local product search yielded no options for the methods employed. The eBiz ROI whiteboards were purchased at a brick and mortar store of one of the national office supply retailers who has several stores in the Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Troy sales district. The whiteboards were found only during a visit to one of the physical, brick and mortar stores.
Whiteboards that were not found using local product search. The opportunity stems for the fact that this company has a great website and tons of qualified traffic, but there is no doubt that they would move more whiteboards in their stores nationwide if they could somehow integrate that large ticket item with their website and local product search strategy.
Granted, no one, including eBiz ROI, expects there to be a run on large whiteboards in the Capital District anytime soon, but with a fresh crop of entrepreneurs popping up everyday, who knows? If you are going to invest in shelf space to inventory large whiteboards which are a medium to large ticket item among your available inventory, the for Pete’s sake, why not efficiently market to your thousands of loyal Internet customers searching for your products online.
Sounds like there is a local product search pony in there somewhere.