Grainger's new e-commerce website offering, Gamut.com, has already been accessible to the public for about a month after the company's soft launch in early May, but on Monday, the MRO products distribution giant made it official with a press release.
Seperate from Grainger.com, Gamut is described by the company in the release as "a new e-commerce capability designed to provide useful information to industrial professionals seeking time-saving solutions for challenging projects."
According to the release, Gamut.com uses a proprietary information system that manages and organizes a comprehensive list of product attributes, application-specific imagery and rich, technical data. That system enables the website to generate relevant, curated search results that help customers quickly find and purchase the right products to get the job done.
"We know search is very complicated in our space given the number of products and product characteristics,” said Gamut President Brian Walker. "We also know that many customers are looking for solutions to unique problems or need something immediately. The technology behind Gamut.com provides a new way to help customers find exactly what they need along with associated product suggestions in a simplified — but complete — experience.”
Grainger — No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's Big 50 List — said orders of at least $99 (pre-tax) on Gamut.com ship free, with most items shipping the same day and frequently arrive within 24 hours. The release said Gamut.com offers more than 400,000 products in 32 categories, with additional products from Grainger's stocked inventory to be added over time.
The announcement comes 10 days after Grainger CEO D.G. Macpherson spoke about Gamut.com at the company's Electrical Products Group Conference in Longboat Key, FL. There, Macpherson said that internally, Gamut serves as a research and development website and will part of Grainger's digital portfolio that includes Grainger.com and Zoro Tools in North America; Cromwell Direct and Zoro Tools in Europe; and MonotaRO in Japan.
“Gamut allows us to have a way to avoid that clutter and get to solutions quickly,” Macpherson said on May 26. “It has a very rich set of products and product data. It gets customers to solutions quickly. It is a significantly improved capability from what we’ve had in the past.”"Gamut.com enables Grainger’s digital team to clearly analyze customer interactions, while continually refining its overall digital experiences," Monday's release said.
The immediately noticeable difference is that Gamut doesn’t showcase brand names. Some products don’t list the supplier at all, while others only show once the user clicks into a specific item.
“I wouldn't read too much into the concept that we don't have brands prominent on the website,” Macpherson advised May 26. “This is an R&D site. We're going to keep this small for now, purposefully. We had to launch a separate website. Putting it out into the wild by itself is better. We're going to learn from this and then build it into our digital capabilities.”
Gamut is part of Grainger’s overall strategy to accelerate its digital offerings, and corresponds to Grainger’s comment in its November 2016 annual analyst meeting that it expects its online-only business to double in sales to $2 billion by the end of 2019.
In 2016, Grainger did 60 percent of its total 2016 business via e-commerce — a figure Macpherson says he expects to reach 80 percent by 2022.
"During the past few years, Grainger has made key investments to create unique value for different customers, while working to ensure an effortless customer experience," said Elizabeth Ubell, Grainger vice president and president of medium customer — marketing and ecommerce. "Gamut.com is the latest of these initiatives, designed to benefit customers during specific and important buying occasions. We believe Gamut.com, along with the other actions we have recently taken, will help us create an even stronger partnership with our customers."
Grainger had already posted a series of videos promoting Gamut.com and its functionality on April 30. View those six videos in the playlist below: