Wholesale, Industrial & Commercial
How BMN Bouwmaterialen Boosted B2B Revenue by 159%
A Flexible Solution for a Complicated System
BMN Bouwmaterialen is a Dutch distributor of construction materials with more than 83 stores across the Netherlands. (Bouwmaterialen is Dutch for ‘Building Materials’). Founded in 2002, the business is a subsidiary of CRH Nederland B.V., a global building materials giant with annual revenues of €26.8 billion ($30.13 billion). BMN distributes everything including wood and sheet metal, structural materials, chemicals, finishing, tiles, hardware, and tools. Among European contractors and building developers, BMN Bouwmaterialen is known as a ‘one-stop shop.’
By 2015 BMN Bouwmaterialen needed a flexible eCommerce solution to scale their growth. They started with Magento Commerce 1. “Magento is a great platform with many features for our internal users, and mainly for our customers,” explained Fons Hofstra, eCommerce Manager for bmn.nl. “Another benefit is that it’s open-source with a great community that fits with our company culture.”
BMN Bouwmaterialen has a unique buyer flow and a complicated system structure, so offering a tailored customer experience was important. They wanted to boost revenue, conversion, and the number of mobile users. They also wanted to allow contractors to buy materials from the job site, without having to find a computer or make a telephone call. At the end of 2018, they decided to upgrade to Magento Commerce 2.
Magento Commerce 2 is a great platform with many features for our internal users and mainly for our customers.Fons Hofstra
eCommerce Manager, www.bmn.nl
A robust B2B Platform
Together with their partner, Guapa E-commerce, BMN Bouwmaterialen started to build their new B2B experience. They partly integrated their NaVision ERP and Akeneo PIM, using the API and Import functions of Magento. Next they focused on creating a webstore that would change the way their users ordered materials and tools.
“With thousands of SKUs in our shop, our customers need to find their materials quickly and easily,” said Hofstra. Their new site allowed customers to start a requisition list for a specific ‘job site’ with pre-negotiated pricing specific to that project . The list allows customers to easily order and reorder items needed for each project with special “site” pricing automatically applied.
Some customers have special arrangements for various products. For example, a customer might agree to a special price for a bulk order of sheet metal, for a large construction project. When the customer logs in they’ll see special icons for the products that are part of that deal. Then they can easily order those products for the pre-negotiated price, without having to deal with a salesperson.
In construction, prices fluctuate weekly, so BMN Bouwmaterialen created real-time pricing functionality. On the Product Detail Page (PDP), cart and checkout, their API delivers up-to-the-minute pricing. Customers can see prices per pallet, and per unit. And when a customer logs in, they can see the inventory at their nearest store, or change to another store if they’re working on a project in a different part of the country.
A seamless buyer experience
“Thanks to Magento, we created a seamless buyer experience for our customers, with a seamless connection to our other software applications, including Akeneo PIM and our ERP system,” said Hofstra. “With so many features built in, we had a great starting point. And with the thousands of extensions available on Magento Marketplace you get an even better platform. Our integration partner Guapa also helped us create some useful customisations, like pricing by job sites and highlighting products with special contractual pricing, specifically for each buyer.”
BMN Bouwmaterialen’s new platform allows their customers to find the right product quickly, download important technical information, find the best price and stock information, and make a purchase any time of the day, including weekends using invoices. As a result, their conversion rate increased by 238 percent, and revenue rose by 159 percent – not to mention how Magento improved their business operations. “The new platform saves the customer a lot of time, have more product information and fewer mistakes are made.” said Hofstra.