“Our added value is unique in the sector”
“Our added value is unique in the sector”
Elektrototaalmarkt is actually a spin-off from the master brand, Totaalmarkt – previously an umbrella brand consisting of 15 web stores. Founder Ton Willemse saw so many opportunities in electrical engineering that he made this niche his exclusive focus from late 2016. And he is reaping the rewards. “We have been market leader in our segment since mid 2018.”
- Ton Willemse, owner of Elektrototaalmarkt
Ton had been active in the plumbing and tiling business for over a decade when, in 2010, he identified a gap in the market in electrical engineering. “In contrast to the plumbing sector, electrical engineering wholesalers deliver data full of jargon, acronyms and poor-quality images. This niche showcases our added value much more effectively”, says Ton, who only uses his own content.
The route to market leadership was anything but standard. To get his company to the next level, in 2012, Ton sold the entire brand to Deli Maatschappij – a parent enterprise of various building materials wholesalers. Within this enterprise, he worked as Director of his previous brand for a few years. This changed when Deli Maatschappij came under new management in late 2016 and was put up for sale. Elektrototaalmarkt was on the market too.
Since Ton bought back Elektrototaalmarkt, revenue has more than doubled. Although the online electrical engineering market is no longer new, most competitors still just copy wholesalers’ texts. Not so smart, in Ton’s view, since the average consumer is quickly put off by the meager information provided. “We train our staff every Thursday morning. With a range of over 30,000 products, there’s always something new to learn.”
Elektrototaalmarkt processes hundreds of orders a day, only a few of which are destined for the business market. To support these installers, service companies and independent professionals, the company recently opened an experience center where they can view a selection of the products available and access training and other events.
“Our percentage of business clients is still quite small, but this is an interesting growth market for us”, says Ton. Although Elektrototaalmarkt is market leader in its segment and continues to grow by double figures almost every month, this doesn’t mean that Ton gets to sit back and relax. “Size matters – in our sector too.”
To enhance the shopping experience even more for both business clients and consumers, the custom-made platform was completely upgraded. “Besides improving old functions and implementing new functionality, we wanted to connect the store to our new ERP system.”
Despite the previous web builder – with whom Ton had a good working relationship – being located within 50 meters, he opted for a Magento 2 Commerce solution. “I have nothing but praise for our previous partner, but we wanted to piggyback on the stability and standard functionality of a major open source partner.”
Choosing Magento was a combination of gut feeling, preliminary research and sector anecdotes. “You don’t really know what you’ve got until you start working with it. So I attended some trade fairs and talked to other people in the business. Magento came out on top.”
Elektrototaalmarkt was one of the first to have a Magento 2 store built. Since not all partners were specialized in this yet, Ton decided to put his case to Magento. “They recommended two agencies – one in Germany and MediaCT. We approached a couple of MediaCT’s clients and they were so positive about the partnership that we decided to look no further. And if Magento recommends MediaCT, you know it’s got to be good.”
Ton explains that Elektrototaalmarkt adds value to products in the online electronic engineering sector in a completely new way. For instance, the company developed a selection support tool, to help customers navigate the process. “This gives customers confidence that they’re ordering the right combination, but it also has a positive effect on conversion because the tool enables ordering of multiple related products.”
By way of example, he mentions switching materials, which consist of different basic elements and finishing materials. The tool ensures that Elektrototaalmarkt’s clients don’t forget to order certain elements. Order errors have also drastically reduced, since the tool indicates which combinations are – or aren’t – possible. “This has made the ordering of electronic engineering materials more accessible, even for people with little knowledge in this area.”
To also improve the service to business clients, a pilot of the new Magento 2 B2B module is running at present. In Ton’s view, the module makes it easier to serve business clients, since you can easily apply bundle prices, individual discounts and special conditions. “We see the B2B environment as the ideal springboard for us to grow in the business segment. Our B2B section still represents just a small part of our revenue, but I expect this to balance out compared to the consumer section in coming years.”