Rod Aggett, managing director of on-line ladder distributor, Ladders4u is a typical example of how e-commerce works. Ladders4U sells a wide range of aluminum and fibreglass ladders over the internet.
Asked about the basic concept behind his business Rod explained, “It is all about achieving efficiency in the distribution of the product and passing these savings on to customers”.
The aim is to get a product, in Rod’s case ladders, from the manufacturer to the end consumer by the most cost effective means. A website could never replace a person touching and feeling the product before they buy, but a well built website with good digital images can come pretty close. Add to that a competitive price, a secure method of payment and reasonable freight charges and customers begin to see the real benefits.
Ladders4U have no sales staff, no premises, and as all of their customers pay up front via secure credit card link, they have no debtors either.
Rod Aggett explains, “These are huge cost factors in most traditional business structures, but selling over the net can eliminate these costs altogether”.
Rod went on to explain that conducting sales through his online ladder business has helped to grow his business without needing to employ staff. The administration work is done by the bank and the credit card security company, and as the ladder business grows the fees will increase, but this is small when compared to employing staff.
Rod Aggett says that from the consumers’ point of view it is about convenience at a competitive price.
Unlike retail outlets, the internet is always open and this suits many people who shop whenever they like. Whilst there is a delivery fee to be taken into account, Rod Aggett believes the smart shopper realises that there is also a transport cost when shopping at a retail outlet, and in the case of bulky goods like a ladder, a vehicle and rack is required to carry it.
There is also the cost of the customers own time. Trades people are very aware of this and a freight charge is generally quite small when compared to the total cost of their time, vehicle running costs and inconvenience.
This type of trading particularly appeals to consumers in regional Australia where distances to travel are often greater and the range of product is not always available locally.
Many regional Ladders4U regional customers are purchasing higher end ladders that may not be available at the local hardware store and they are pocketing significant savings at the same time.
Further information on the range of fibreglass and aluminium ladders is available from Ladders4U.