Introducing the Selco Builders Warehouse Innovative B2B App

The British builders merchant needed a serious app.

Known in England for its catchy radio commercials, Selco Builders Warehouse boasts more than 60 branches, where building contractors and tradespeople can choose from over 15,000 products, from power tools to the kitchen sink. The business has been thriving since 1895 because, like their jingle says: “It’s where the trades go.”

Selco had enjoyed much eCommerce success with Magento Commerce, which was the obvious choice for a major B2B company that invests heavily in its digital expansion. But as its customers are busy tradespeople constantly on the move, Selco knew they had to place a significant focus on the web and mobile to grow their business.

They wanted to eliminate the headaches that the building trade faces when buying materials and tools. It’s a scenario every contractor knows: They’ve got multiple jobs with details scribbled in notepads and it’s all too easy to lose track. Once they’ve met with a potential customer, it can take longer than promised to submit a price based on the materials, and they can end up losing the work. Selco decided to build a tool to empower tradespeople to carry out day-to-day project management, wherever they are, even when they’re offline, as can often be the case working from a job site.

“We’re really proud of the innovative Project Tool App that we’ve developed with JH. At Selco Builders Warehouse we’re always looking for new ways to use digital technologies to make life easier for all the builders, plumbers and tradesmen out there.”

Chris Green

Digital Marketing Manager

An all-in-one project management solution.

Together with Magento Solution Partner, JH, Selco got to work building the “Selco Project Tool.” The React Native app would leverage Magento APIs and wishlist functionality to power an innovative system, that would allow users to manage their trade projects on the go, using their cell phones. Tradespeople can now use the app to request a quote on the spot, giving a customer a price within minutes of inspecting their broken boiler or garage door.

Building on Selco’s successful ‘Project List’ function on their website, the app ensures that administrative work during the pricing-up process is kept to a minimum, and all information is collated quickly and efficiently. With comprehensive product listings available on the app, tradesmen can confidently create a shopping list too. Tradespeople who download the app are immediately given the option to create and title a new project, like “Mrs. Smith’s garden wall,” create a start date and submit all of Mrs. Smith’s personal details. They can even upload supporting images, of Mrs. Smith’s garden, or a note about the color bricks she prefers.

Products can be searched via the app catalogue, which is broken down into 20 different categories including bathrooms, roofing, plumbing, and heating. Once the list for a certain job is complete, markup on materials and labour costs can be added to complete a formal quote which can be emailed directly from the app to the customer. If the quote is accepted, the order can be emailed directly to the branch who will prepare it immediately. The app even features a materials calculator that estimates the quantity of tiles, concrete, bricks, paint, and loft insulation for a particular job.

Building projects made easy.

Now the Selco Project Tool is live, tradesmen can use the app to plan building projects anywhere, attach site photos and customer details to every project, find and add materials, quickly create PDF quotes for customers, pay for everything within the app, and find the nearest branch. Gone are the days of planning projects in an old notebook that gets lost in the back of the van. And the results have had a direct impact on the company’s performance: Selco enjoyed a whopping 50 percent increase in project list leads sent from its customers.

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