Benjamin Moore is offering to create a customized web site—a “virtual store front”—for any store in its North American retailer network. The goal of the new Retailer Web Site Program is to ensure that the retailer’s site effectively represents the Benjamin Moore brand experience, the company says.
“The Web is the first place smart home improvement shoppers go,” said Jim S. Gorman, director of retail marketing for Benjamin Moore. “We want to make sure we are providing our retailers with 21st century marketing tools in an increasingly Web-enabled world. A pilot program in Boston last year met with immediate and exceptional success, and we’ve heard from our retailers in all markets that they are ready to embrace new ways of doing business. So, we’re expanding the program to the entire Benjamin Moore retail network in both the U.S. and Canada.”
ChannelNet, a Sausalito-based company, developed and manages the program. A store simply enrolls with ChannelNet and, within hours, gets a customized “virtual store” that showcases locations, staff, products, services, special events and other features. Once a retailer’s site is launched, ChannelNet’s eBusiness Support Center provides training and other backup services. Retailers can update their own Web site via a user-friendly admin tool, or ChannelNet’s eBSC can make updates for them.
“What Benjamin Moore and ChannelNet have done is good,” said Gerry Swift, owner of Paintland, in Milford, MA, who was part of the pilot program and gave full rein to ChannelNet to create his site. “I don’t want to be bothered tinkering with the Internet. I just want to be able to pick up the phone, email my provider and let them do it for me.”
Taking a more hands-on approach in customizing his site, Bob Katz, owner of Katz Hardware in Glastonbury, CT, requested the incorporation of a video tour of his store, staff and extensive Benjamin Moore in-store displays. “The site gives me a great start, and the administrative tool gives me the flexibility to do what I want—all at a reasonable price.”
The overwhelming majority of home improvements sales transactions still happen in offline reseller locations, or with professional service providers. According to Yahoo research, 49 percent of online activity is being spent researching products and services.
For more information on the Benjamin Moore Retailer Web Site Program, retailers can contact Gorman at JamesS.Gorman@benjaminmoore.com.