Online Metals: Insights into our online store
Innovation and modern technologies are changing the way we work and live - and creating new jobs. AI, autonomous driving and robotics are no longer dreams of the future. They are part of everyday life. For our #DigiJobs series, we spoke to digital minds at thyssenkrupp and asked them how digitalization is affecting their work.
Greg Raece is president of Online Metals, a US-based online store of thyssenkrupp Materials Services, and has been with the company for several years. He and his team recently relaunched the store's online platform. What challenges does e-commerce pose for materials trading and what new advantages can customers expect?
Online Metals - A company with responsibility
Online Metals has been in existence for 22 years. The company currently employs 100 people. Greg Raece is one of them and has been the president of the online store for five years. We asked him what he does in his role. Raece explains: "We make sure that customers are provided with the best possible products and services - quickly and digitally. This is also how we meet our financial obligations to the company. After all, we want to meet our revenue and profitability projections so we can continue to grow as a company."
In the past year, the company has experienced a real wave of success. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Online Metals has been able to offer many new upgrades and features.
Modernized and evolved thanks to new technologies
Today, the online shop is continuously improved and updated every two weeks. New features are released on the site in a bi-weekly sprint cycle. A material selector, for example, ensures that customers looking for a specific material, shape, alloy or size are guided to the right product within seconds. "This is a really exciting feature that we improve every two weeks, and it's great to see the reactions," Raece says.
With the improvement of the website, the conversion rate, i.e. the percentage of people who buy a product after visiting the website, has increased tremendously. As a result, the order value has also increased. "Currently, we are recording the highest average order value we have ever had. Sales have increased by 66% compared to last year," explains Greg Raece. One reason for this is the improvement in search engine optimization. The company is now more discoverable via Google and Bing, which has allowed it to significantly increase traffic.
"Customers appreciate that they can easily buy the material they need. At Online Metals, we make a value proposition that we will deliver the highest quality of various materials in a very short time," he says.
What's next for Online Metals?
What does the future of the company look like? A question Greg Raece answers without hesitation. "We want to integrate more information into the website so we can continue to improve the shopping experience."
The website will be further personalized and individualized. Likewise, additional analytics will be used to link data from different areas. This should create a better sense of supply and demand, Raece said. For the company's chief executive, it's clear that the market for digital professionals is constantly evolving, and the emergence of new technologies means that new bright minds are needed to make those technologies accessible to businesses.
For that reason, he says, you should constantly evolve and expand technically, as Online Metals is doing. "We've had a really strong year and it continues. This development is just fun and makes for exciting times at Online Metals," Raece reports, beaming.