Illustration 19276996 / Dirk Erck / Dreamstime
Iillustration 19276996 / Dirk Erck / Dreamstime
Illustration 60886103 / Kheng Ho To /Dreamstime
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Grainger expects ecommerce sales to account for 40%-50% of sales by 2015

May 15, 2012
My visit last week to the Epicor Users Group meeting in Las Vegas and an interview I did there for an upcoming article with Kevin Roach, Epicor's executive V.P. and general manager, ERP Americas, got me thinking about why more distributors aren't trying ...
My visit last week to the Epicor Users Group meeting in Las Vegas and an interview I did there for an upcoming article with Kevin Roach, Epicor's executive V.P. and general manager, ERP Americas, got me thinking about why more distributors aren't trying to differentiate themselves from competitors with online storefronts.

A recent posting on www.seekingalpha.com about Grainger's growth in recent years prompted me to do some research on the company's ecommerce operations, which last year provided $2.2 billion in sales (yes, that's "billion" with a "b").

In its 2012 Factbook, Grainger had this to say about its ecommerce operations:

“eCommerce is a powerful element of Grainger's multichannel strategy, growing at twice the rate of other U.S. channels. It is the most profitable arm of the business, creating a huge opportunity for sales and earnings growth. Grainger has been a pioneer in business-to-business eCommerce, launching the Grainger.com website in 1995. Today, more than 27 percent of the company's annual revenue is generated through electronic channels, representing $2.2 billion in sales in 2011. Based on Internet sales revenue, Grainger ranked 15th in the U.S. and Canada on the Top100 e-retailers of 2011.”

Now that's some serious sales.