Orgill counts 9,200 virtual attendees

The distributor's Spring Online Buying Event set sales records.

Orgill Inc.’s Spring Online Buying Event saw strong participation and set sales records, while rolling out a series of enhancements, the company said.

“We are pleased with customers’ response to our second Online Buying Event, which was highly attended and drove record sales.

The event, which ran from Feb. 8-19, marked the second virtual event for the Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor. “We learned a lot from our first event last Fall and our team and vendors incorporated some great improvements into this event designed to make ‘working the show’ as easy and efficient as possible,” said Boyden Moore, Orgill president and CEO.

Preliminary results for the show indicate that more than 9,200 retailers attended the Spring Online Buying Event, and sales during the buying window topped those posted during the fall show and set another new record for Orgill Markets. In all, nearly 1,000 vendors participated in the event offering retailers special buys, unveiling new products and helping retailers prepare for the upcoming selling season.

“I think that the success of this event is a reflection of not only the strength of the industry right now, but also that retailers are more and more comfortable doing business in this new online environment,” Moore says. “Last year, we made the announcement that we were shifting our approach to Dealer Markets and that online events would become an integral part of our plans for shows going forward, even when we can gather in person. The results of this event clearly suggest that this is the right path.”

Some of the enhancements made to the Spring Online Buying Event included features such as more streamlined communication options for attendees to interact with vendors, adding functionality that allowed retailers with multiple stores to process orders more easily and enhanced dropship purchase capabilities.

Another new feature added for attendees at the Spring Online Buying Event was the ability to run an EDGE Buying Report. The EDGE Report allows users to easily compare their purchase history alongside all the programs and specials available during the Online Buying Event to help them more easily take advantage of the special buying opportunities most relevant to their businesses.

“I definitely think they made some big improvements over the first online event,” says Dan West, brand manager at Parkrose Hardware, which has five locations based in Oregon. “The ability for us to order for multiple stores was a lot easier this time, and that’s a big deal for us. I also think the overall interaction with vendors was a lot easier because everyone was just more familiar with the way the system works.”

Misty Stenger of Lumber Direct in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, also felt that it was easier for her and her team to accomplish what they needed at the Spring Online Buying Event.

“I certainly miss going to the live shows, but there are also things you can do during the Online Buying Event that you couldn’t at a regular show,” Stenger said. “There is a certain convenience to sitting in your office and being right next to your POS terminal, or being able to run down to your sales floor to look at things while you are browsing the show.”