US Micro has been a major innovator and leader in the enterprise IT asset-disposition industry since 1995. The company disposes over one million IT assets annually and serves companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies and government agencies that demand the highest levels of data security and environmental stewardship. US Micro leases computer equipment and disposes all of a company’s IT data and information for security purposes once a company’s contract has expired. In 2010, US Micro began selling its equipment online via its website, as well as on Amazon and eBay.
US Micro hired Karl Combs as a director in 2010 to launch the company’s online business. Combs was tasked with expanding US Micro’s e-commerce footprint to reach as many consumers as possible. At his prior job, Combs used ChannelAdvisor’s software to sell on marketplaces. When he started working at US Micro, he knew the company could use the technology as well.
“We used to manually input all our data for each marketplace using a spreadsheet,” said Combs. “The biggest challenge was finding a solution that could store all our data in one place and shoot it out to all of these channels. Fortunately, I built a relationship with ChannelAdvisor and knew what the solution could offer US Micro.”
To capture the attention of as many consumers as possible, Combs moved the ChannelAdvisor account he was using with his previous employer to US Micro. Once the new account was activated, US Micro immediately started selling on Amazon and eBay. Additionally, the company used ChannelAdvisor Premium Webstores to list and sell inventory on its website.
“EBay used to dominate e-commerce, but now there are so many additional channels that are increasingly important,” said Combs. “Having a one-size-fits-all data feed is extremely valuable for selling online. We sent our feed, photos and attributes to the ChannelAdvisor platform and quickly expanded our reach. And we were able to sell directly from our website. It’s resourceful and efficient to manage our marketplace and webstore business from one location.”
After establishing itself on Amazon and eBay, US Micro wanted a bigger piece of the e-commerce pie. The company launched on Rakuten.com Shopping and Sears. US Micro’s products have sold well on both marketplaces.
“The integration with Sears and Rakuten.com Shopping was simple,” said Combs. “ChannelAdvisor pushed our inventory feed on these marketplaces almost effortlessly. Both marketplaces have contributed to our revenue growth.”
US Micro used the ChannelAdvisor Inventory Juggler to simultaneously list the same product quantity on multiple marketplaces without needing to allocate exclusive quantity for each channel. When an item is ordered, the company’s inventory is updated on each marketplace to prevent overselling.
“Before, it was very difficult to manage inventory across so many different channels and keep up with all the moving parts,” said Combs. “With the Inventory Juggler, our stock is updated on each marketplace in real time as orders are processed. I don’t have to worry about taking down a listing on Amazon because the same item was ordered on Sears.”
Using the ChannelAdvisor platform to sell online has proven to be a lucrative business decision for US Micro. “We’re on track to grow by more than $4 million in online sales year over year. And a lot of this growth is attributed to marketplaces,” said Combs. US Micro has also generated considerable revenue from its webstore. “We made about $100,000 in sales on our webstore the first year. This year we’re projecting we’ll reach about $1.2 million.”
Most recently, US Micro launched on Newegg using ChannelAdvisor. “Each time we add a new marketplace, our performance is stable and we never see a drop in sales,” said Combs. “It took us two days to get up and running on Newegg. Because of the type of products we sell, both sites are performing better for us than any other marketplace and account for about half of our e-commerce sales.”