In an unusual move for industrial automation suppliers, Advantech Industrial Automation Group, Cincinnati, has launched a Web site for direct sales to users of automation equipment. Even though the company sells through a distribution channel, this direct sales model will help those customers who require smaller quantities with one-to-two day shipping. Channel partners are also incorporated into the site.
“The goal of eAutomationPro.com is to make it easier for Advantech customers to purchase our automation products,” says Lynette Andersen, marketing manager of Advantech Industrial Automation Group. “With this as our goal, eAutomationPro.com was built from the ground-up from the customer’s point of view. Top priority was given to creating tools such as the Selection Wizards, which make finding the right product just a matter of a few clicks. Other features include free expert help, a free 60-day evaluation period of products, easy access to compatible partner products and services, an extensive library of frequently asked questions, a download section offering all the latest support-related information and fast delivery.”
Mike Rothwell, Advantech’s director of engineering states, “We started work on this site about four months ago. After receiving a lot of feedback from customers, we added some requested tools to guide people to products more quickly. Since we already sell products through channel partners, distributors and integrators, we did not want to take business away from them. Therefore, we’ve linked these partners on the site. Customers looking for value-added services and expertise can find a local source through our Web site. For those distributors and integrators who have significant value add, this site has the potential to help them boost sales.”