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Boschtools.com

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Company: Bosch Power Tools and Accessories, Mount Prospect, Ill.  Target audience: Professional power tool users; high-end, do-it-yourself consumers  Key Web executive: Rich Holbach, business segment manager, e-commerce, Bosch Power Tools and Accessories  No. of employees who work on the site: Four  Last major redesign: October 2004  No. of pages on site: Hundreds of pages; more than 4,000 power tool and accessory SKUs  Web developer: Avenue A/Razorfish


 A visitor's first impression of the Boschtools.com site is one of simplicity. There's lots of white space, a single product image and a brief navigation menu. Clicking further into the site, the clean lines persist. Menus are punctuated by stark, striking images that were specially designed and captured for the Web.

"We really wanted to focus the site around the products we sell," said Rich Holbach, the company's business segment manager. "We knew from the time that we put out our RFP we wanted it to be all about product, product, product. We also knew that there were four things users wanted: to look at product features and benefits, to find where they can buy our products, see how much they cost and how much shipping would cost."

It's an ambitious undertaking for any Web site and even more so for a company that doesn't sell direct. And Boschtools.com offers users an e-commerce link where one never existed in the past.

The company provides links on every product page to four of its resellers. Bosch constantly rotates the reseller links, making channel conflict-the company distributes its tools to a who's who list of home centers and specialty tool stores-an irrelevant point, Holbach said.

"We put together on the front end a sophisticated search engine [strategy] that brings customers directly into our channel partners' product page levels [via the Bosch Web site]," Holbach said. "You can follow onto our product page and onto a partner's product page with only a second or third click. We've compressed the buying cycle."

As for the ROI of the effort, Holbach said: "I can't even quantify it in the thousands of percentages. Click-through rates are in the double digits and conversion rates are in the high single percentages. Our Internet channel has increased by 50% and our audience size is up by 400%."

Pretty impressive numbers for such a minimalist site.


 Expert 2¢

Hoa Loranger: Boschtools.com is a professional Web site. It does a good job of balancing aesthetics with simplicity. The consistent navigational structure helps people visualize their current location and alternative options. The product pages are clear and contain relevant links, making it easy for customers to find what they need. Kate Everett-Thorp: A beautiful, clean and to-the-point site. It effectively communicates “see it,” “get informed” and “buy it.” A refreshing approach compared to most b-to-b sites, I really enjoyed the minimal design, which positively reflects on Bosch’s brand attributes for the best-built products.

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