Best Builders' Merchants website

Published:  22 June, 2009


2007 LONG & SOMERVILLE  Enfield, Middlesex

2006 LONG & SOMERVILLE Enfield, Middlesex




Enfield, Middlesex

In addition to allowing customers to check prices, stock levels, place orders online, view and print copy invoices and proof of deliveries, Long & Somerville has recently added a number of improvements to its website.

A new ‘Live Assistance’ function allows customers to ask for help and advice with a human sales agent in real-time. 

Customers simply click on the ‘speak to an expert now’ icon at the top of every page and they are instantly connected to a private real-time conversation in a pop-up window.

The solution does not require any software to be downloaded or installed by the customer.

The conversation is saved and can be emailed to the customer.

This has helped to measure visitor traffic and increase the sales conversion rate.

Numerous additional product categories have been added to the site, including timber, heating and plumbing products and power tools and are in the process of being populated.

Using the BMF e-Xact product database, the site has more product images.

COSHH and technical data sheets have been added to enrich the visitor experience and help encourage repeat visits.

Long & Somerville is trying to increase the use of the site and is launching an incentive for existing customers to place orders online by giving them an online discount and service improvements such as an order collation facility. This allows the merchant’s customers’ staff to ‘load and sign’ for a pre-picked order, instead of having to wait in the yard for their order to be picked.





Enfield, Middlesex

Long & Somerville's website, (, was launched in 2005. It is one of the few independent builders' merchants' websites providing online ordering and nationwide delivery (through a network of partners).

Developed after an increasing number of customers requested online account management and product ordering, the site was designed and thoroughly tested before launch.

The finished website offers everything and more than you would expect from national chains with huge budgets including:


  • Entire product range.
  • Product images.
  • COSHH data.
  • Hourly updated stock levels.
  • Online quotes.
  • Ordering.
  • Invoice history (for three years).
  • Managing credit card details for card payment.
  • Viewing and checking rebate account.
  • Delivery status checker.
  • Managing contact details.
  • Password management and the ability to contact the branch. 


The recognisable shopping basket system, most widely used for online purchase of consumer goods, is used, offering a straightforward shopping experience.

Continuing to evolve, Google Adwords ‘cost per click' puts the concept of a full online builders' merchant in front of a wide audience. Offering ‘destination' reporting, it enables the company to measure the number of visitors that place an order.

As well as the Google Adwords initiative, the website now includes online proof of delivery, attracting customers who, possibly working on multiple sites, need to know that arrival on site will mean starting work straightaway and not having to wait for stock to be delivered.

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