Shopping online for food and personal items has been the norm for years. Now it’s becoming common for industrial gas and welding equipment too

Although consumers were the first adopters of e-commerce ─ shopping for food, household goods and personal items on the internet ─ businesses are catching up with buying online.

At BOC, we’re seeing an exponential increase in the number of businesses buying from our BOC Online shop.

In the last 18 months we have had a six fold increase in the number of gas and equipment orders placed online. And for every one customer we had buying online from us in January 2015, we now have almost 5.

Why more gas and equipment is being bought online

There are many reasons:

  • The divide between home and work life is narrowing. Habits and ways of doing things at home – such as online shopping – are spreading over into people’s working lives.
  • If people are buying their utilities and managing their bank accounts online, it’s a natural next step to buy commodities needed for their businesses online and have an e-account with a supplier.
  • Smart phones and hand-held devices have made online purchasing even more easy and efficient. So much so that buying online is now a customer expectation, which gas suppliers need to meet.
  • As their operational processes become more digitalised, welders and other gas-users are increasingly embracing digital technology in general.

Digitalisation of products

The rise in numbers of online orders and customers for industrial gases and welding equipment is happening at a time when our actual products are being digitalised.

We’ve recently launched the EVOS™ DCi cylinder package . Compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT), it provides cloud-based data intelligence, giving businesses insight into their gas usage, providing a very intuitive digital experience.

Meanwhile the GENIE® cylinder has a digital display that indicates the flow rate and remaining gas at the touch of a button.

Both the EVOS™ DCi and GENIE® cylinders are proof points that the gas industry is changing by starting to offer more digital products to its customers.

And as digitalisation continues to spread across our industry, it’s likely that customers will be weighing up not only the functionality of products but also the ease with which they can be bought online.

Access to information and gas management

As with all e-commerce, gas customers are doing more than just transactions when they buy online. We’re seeing them access a vast amount of BOC expertise, including safety data sheets and information about the benefits and features of gases and products.

They’re also managing their cylinder holdings and reviewing their accounts 24/7, browsing and downloading delivery notes, statements or invoices. And our free app makes all this even easier. For instance, just by scanning a cylinder’s barcode with the app, gas can be reordered. Plus many customers are now signing up for e-billing, receiving their invoices digitally.

Gas e-commerce is a big part of the digital revolution unfolding in our industry. Why not be a part of it?

Visit the BOCOnline Shop today.

 

Beata Majcher

Digital Campaign Executive