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A Revolution in B2B E-Commerce for the Metal Cutting Tools Industry?

10/10/2014
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Cutwel have announced the launch of a new online shop, www.cutwel.co.uk, dedicated to cutting tools, work holding measuring tools and machine tool accessories for the metal cutting industry.  

The website is a result of 2 years planning, building, testing and implementation and a huge investment from the growing West Yorkshire based tooling specialists.

 

Unique in the industry

Cutwel has always been unique in the metal cutting tool industry in the UK.  They were the first telesales company in the UK tooling market and have grown to a record turnover in 2014 on the back of a telesales team and no external engineers.  “We knew if we wanted to build a successful online tooling shop, we had to be different to stand out from the crown” said General Manager, Adam Gillard. “on that basis we have built the only online shop in the UK that offers a B2C style user experience, with B2B functionally and the full technical resources of a typical engineering tooling website”.  

In the US, companies like Grainger lead the way with ecommerce, last year turning over $4 billion online, yet in the UK, B2B ecommerce is relatively underdeveloped.

The website has live stock, live pricing, cutting data, dimensions, catalogue pages, videos, linked spare parts, easy navigation and over 5,000 new products.  The customer account area allows users to view and order from history, pay invoices, set up multiple users and download invoices 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  “80% of our customers are small to medium size business whose directors work seven days a week and out of office hours, we needed to make sure they could cost up jobs, do their accounts and plan their tooling when they wanted, not when we were open”.

“If we could summarise it, we would say it puts everything in one place for the customer, making it easier than ever to deal with us”.

 

Success so far

Since going live, it has attracted over 25,000 visitors in just 6 weeks.  Adam Gillard said “we have been extremely pleased with the feedback from customers so far and also the stats we have got from google analytics.  Our bounce rate is now at just 21% which is 50% lower than our old site (the percentage of people leaving from the landing page), traffic is up 300% and the number of pages visited per visit has doubled”.

 

To enhance the sales team, not replace it

Adam Gillard commented, “One of the first comments from a customer was that we could get rid of all our sales staff now we have the online shop, but this is far from our idea.  The website is purely to enhance the customer experience and give customers another way to browse, get technical help, see prices and interact with us.  It is our plan to recruit another 8 sales staff over the next 12 months and 2 more technical engineers to our sales team.

 

Building for the future

Adam Gillard says “the site is in constant development with 2 full time staff dedicated to building the site content, improving the user experience and adding around 2,000 new products a month over the next year.  We hope to have over 100,000 engineering products online by the end of 2015”.

 

Focus on metal cutting

Cutwel maintain the site will remain dedicated to cutting tool, work holding and machine tool accessories. “We don’t want to stray away from what we are good at which is selling tools and accessories for the metal cutting market.  We aren’t interested in selling safety products, stationary or cleaning goods, there are many other suppliers out there that are specialists in that and we believe the buyer will get a better service by buying tooling from tooling companies, stationary from stationary companies and safety products etc from specialists in that sector, as soon as we dilute our knowledge and experience, the more the customer experience will suffer.”