E-commerce retool at McGuckin Hardware

Colorado hardware brand establishes a consistent style across e-commerce – and all channels.
McGuckin closer

Family-owned McGuckin Hardware, located in Boulder, Colorado, founded in 1955, recently realized its business needed to hit the reset button on its e-commerce platform.

The well-known hardware brand needed an e-commerce product enhancement solution. They needed a maintenance solution. They needed to migrate their customer loyalty program and tie it to e-commerce. And they needed a more consistent image across all their channels.

McGuckin leaders realized the business needed outside help and turned to Orgill and its partners.

Discussing the issue at a recent Orgill Distance Learning deep-dive webcast were: Tyler Musselwhite, marketing and design manager at McGuckin; Grant Morrow, program director of retail technology and e-commerce solutions at Orgill; Mary Richardson, creative director at Tyndale Advisors; and Stephanie Lee, product data manager at Orgill.

This panel shared how they rebuilt the McGuckin Hardware brand on e-commerce and across channels.

Tyler Musselwhite talked about why they needed the retool: “We’ve had an e-commerce presence for about 20 years, but it wasn’t easy to maintain, it had limited features, and we had limitations getting our inventory represented on our e-commerce site.”

Also, he noted, there wasn’t the access to data they were looking for and they were seeking their own branded marketing materials. Recently, he said, they found that Orgill and Unilog, a B2B e-commerce software company, were partnering on some digital tools that addressed their issues.

“The first thing we needed, was to have Tyndale do the design,” said Grant Morrow.

“Everybody goes down the technology lane first, and of course customer experience is key, but you do need to worry about your customers and how they are going to shop,” he said.

“The other part of it was to have McGuckin onboard with our FanBuilder rewards program,” said Morrow. “We wanted to get the rewards program out of the lab and integrated in the hardware’s website.”

The “lab” he refers to is the pilot program for FanBuilder launched through select CNRG stores, to figure out how best to deploy the rewards program on a big scale.

Marketing firm Tyndale was brought in early during the lab phase of the project.

“In a hangout chat, Grant told me he had a new client for us,” laughed Mary Richardson.

“We were very excited to work with the McGuckin team. They had a great reputation in our circles and were very well known,” she said. “They were the ‘everything’ store.”

When first working with the McGuckin team, she noticed they didn’t have a style guide. “Before the website design, we looked at getting a style guide put together and also bringing their circular into that style.”

They also discussed with the hardware store best practices for data; how customers use the site; use of FanBuilder; and more.

“Tyler and their team had a strong understanding of who they were and their brand in the community.”

The Orgill database program that houses product information – which includes photos, pricing, all content – and goes by the buzzword PIM, has grown significantly over the years, said Stephanie Lee, “the industry PIM had about 99,000 and now has more than one million items.”

“McGuckin was one of those key accounts that really pushed us to scale,” said Lee, “their initial SKU submission had more items than were in the industry PIM.”

The Orgill data team had to learn pretty quickly what features to master, she said, to service the independent hardware retailer.

The team made strides in data discovery, she called it, where McGuckin product items were matched to the enriched item in the industry PIM.

Also, the team sought to, as Lee said, “nail down an efficient file submission process and track items through the process and report on the status of any item at any given time.”

Orgill grew along with McGuckin in this process. Now it’s an ongoing job of continuous improvement.

Customers today get a seamless, omnichannel experience at McGuckin Hardware. And that was a key to the project.

“The deeper we got into the e-commerce retool,” said Musselwhite, “the more we were cognizant that our messages must all line up.”