April 1, 2014, 11:40 AM

Global distributor of electronics components builds a new e-commerce platform

Following its recent launch of new B2B e-commerce sites in North America, Premier Farnell is preparing to roll out new sites this year in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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Premier Farnell plc, a London-based global distributor of electronic components, is upgrading its worldwide network of business-to-business e-commerce sites with such new features as quick checkout, product comparison tools and price quotations.

“It is essential that we have a web platform that is fit for customer demands,” says Kevin Yapp, chief marketing and strategy officer.

The company sells more than 450,000 electronic components and related items from more than 3,500 suppliers. Its worldwide base of customers use those items to design, manufacture and repair electronics products, including computers, lighting fixtures and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

In November, Premier Farnell launched the first of several new B2B e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico for its North American distribution business, Newark/element14, on IBM Corp.’s WebSphere Commerce technology platform. Premier Farnell also worked with Salmon, a United Kingdom-based web design and development agency, to develop a new content management system, with product data migrated from a legacy system, to ensure the accuracy of online product data.

The North American sites which Salmon also helped develop, are at Newark.com for the U.S., Canada.newark.com and Mexico.newark.com.

Among the features of the new sites are:

● Express checkout;

● A Favorites section where customers can quickly re-order frequently purchased items;

● Product comparisons, allowing customers to compare products by multiple criteria including price and size;

● A shopping cart “hover-over” feature that lets customers quickly view up to 10 of the last items added to a cart;

● The iBuy purchasing control, which lets customers set limits on employee spending authorization by product type and budget limits;

● Electronic quotation, which lets customers purchase products at agreed-upon pricing that is not included in the product catalog;

● Merchandising tools that let Premier Farnell manage promotions across its global network of web sites.

Later this year, Premier Farnell plans to roll out similar new B2B e-commerce sites across Europe and Asia-Pacific, the company says. In Europe, its distribution business goes by the name Farnell; in Asia-Pacific, it’s called element14. It also operates as Farnell Newark in Brazil. For a free subscription to B2Bec News, click here.

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