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Upgraded Smartengo e-commerce platform: making purchasing easier for customers

19/10/2020 - Customer

Shopping cart, quick checkout, real-time inventory access…all of this is now available on Smartengo, Vallourec’s e-commerce platform. Released in September 2020, Smartengo 2.0 has undergone an extensive makeover to optimize the user experience at every step of the online customer purchasing journey. We talk to the Vallourec digital team to learn more about the exciting improvements to Smartengo.  
When Vallourec first launched its e-commerce website in March 2019, the site’s core value proposition could be summarized in three simple words: Fast. Easy. Reliable. “Fast” refers to the promise of short lead times. “Easy” implies only a few clicks are required to generate a quote. And “reliable” means only genuine quality products are available on the site. 
Ambitious
thomas-bordenave

Our initial website objective was to generate leads by offering products available to purchase in Europe. Eighteen months later, our core value proposition of "Fast. Easy. Reliable" is still very relevant, however, our objective is now more ambitious.

Thomas Bordenave E-Commerce Business Owner

From online lead generation to e-commerce

Online lead generation enables businesses to identify potential customers for their products and/or services. And the initial Smartengo website accomplished just that: customers were able to connect with Vallourec sales teams to express interest in a product. But the final sale was generally concluded offline. Additionally, the number of products on display was often limited, and stocks availability was not updated in real time. 

Following extensive customer feedback, the Vallourec digital team decided it was time to improve the customer journey.

“The previous version of the site was essentially a catalogue,” says Logan Bertau, Vallourec Vallourec E-commerce Product Owner. “We generated some good contacts, but fewer quotations. Customers felt their journey wasn’t user-friendly enough—too many clicks after product selection, for example—so we knew we had to work on that.” 

A new technology platform—boasting a “scalable” approach that can better adapt to supply and demand—was put in place, enabling significant improvements to inventory management. And the new back-office environment now communicates directly with supply chain and logistics teams for more precise delivery times. The result is a fully functional e-commerce site that mimics the user experience offered by e-commerce giants. 
Easy

The new site offers direct, real-time access to available products and prices. Now, it’s easier than ever for customers to select products and add them to their shopping cart.

Logan Bertau Vallourec E-Commerce Product Owner

+1,000 Vallourec products available to purchase in just one click

Today, Smartengo offers more than 1,000 products—across all Vallourec product lines worldwide—for sale online at market price. In addition, customers can request specific products that are not currently on display on the website via an “on-demand” system. And thanks to improved logistics, delivery times are faster than ever.

“In our business, product lead times can be six months to one year,” Thomas explains. “So access to on-the-shelf products can help our customers deliver their projects faster.” 

And the customer benefits do not stop there.  

Because the website directly facilitates product sourcing for customers, Vallourec sales managers can concentrate on more value-added tasks. This can include offering product recommendations and further strengthening one-on-one personal relationships.  

“Our vision is to have the site manage all of the transactions between buyers and sellers,” Logan says. “This enables Vallourec sales managers to focus on helping customers better understand the technical options of each product—thus driving sales in a way that adds value to our customers.”

Supporting customers even through lockdown

For the digital team, the e-commerce website project was developed over an eight-month period—a challenging timeline that also included two months of lockdown across much of Europe. Given the unprecedented situation, the immense benefits of an online sales solution quickly became obvious to all. 
Smartengo screenshot
Support

During lockdown, the existing site was essential to supporting our customers, and our sales team. Customers could get in contact easily, and obtain a quotation. And the sales team were able to organize online meetings with customers and share information from the site as part of the conversation.

Geoffroy de Roffignac Director of Online Business
The digital team is optimistic the new e-commerce functionalities will drive even more value for customers in the months to come.