Mouser Electronics, Inc. has seen a jump in its design business in the past year, increasing the total number of its customers over the current count of 600,000 across 220 countries and territories. This translates into shipping 4.7 billion pieces in 2017 from its 750,000-sq.-ft. global headquarters and distribution center in Texas.
Plans are already underway to expand the current distribution center and build a new office building on the campus. The global authorized distributor with 700-plus manufacturer partners maintains an inventory of nearly 1 million parts and boasts a 5-Sigma confidence rating in delivery performance. Behind these impressive statistics is the successful implementation of a comprehensive strategy that enables global design activity reaching beyond traditional OEMs. It includes reaching and inspiring future engineers through innovative programs.
Kevin Hess, senior vice president for marketing at Mouser, explains that the company has been able to leverage feedback and insights from customers, allowing it to develop relevant content for its popular e-newsletter. As communication styles continue to evolve across the multiple generations of engineers, many distributors have moved from print to online materials for their offerings. Acting on this insight, Mouser Electronics created its award-winning Empowering Innovation Together program.
Mouser has teamed up with celebrity engineer Grant Imahara of “MythBusters” fame to present a series of educational and entertaining videos for its Empowering Innovation Together program, with compelling titles such as Generation Robot, Project First Responders, and Essence of Autonomy. The Empowering Innovation Together program also includes articles, white papers, and e-books prepared by industry subject matter experts, as well as Mouser’s engineering teams.
E-Commerce Empowers Global Outreach
Mouser’s impressive e-commerce strategy is manifest in multiple forms as it supports and cultivates a global customer base. On its website, the distributor has established 63 subdomains by country, with support for 17 languages. Mouser.com provides information on 26 million products, boasting 5 million products available for purchase. Mouser has also added significant on-site search enhancements. The team works with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) such as Akamai to accelerate the presentation of content as users surf its website. Nearly 1 million times a day, Mouser measures how long it takes a page to be revealed to an actual customer. The target is 1.6 sec. or less, anywhere in the world. Customers can check out in their own language and currency.
Perhaps most impressive are the tools that Mouser has implemented to measure activity on its website in real time while also capturing insights that allow it to understand the engagement and purchasing behavior of its customers. Given that its databases are searched ¾ billion times per month, Mouser has developed “Big Data” analytics as a key part of its business management. Hayne Shumate, senior vice president of Internet Business, shared highly interesting findings yielded by Mouser’s analysis regarding trends in design activity and e-commerce interactions. Among these:
- Design activity has expanded significantly beyond major OEMs, and global activity has increased as well. The number of transactions Mouser processes has jumped from an average of more than 25,000 per day to more than 45,000 per day in the last 2.5 years.
- India is becoming a major region for design activity with a large increase in product searches.
- Bots emerged as a major generator of traffic on its website starting in 2017, including both productive activities and competitive/negative data searches. (It even reached the point where only 20% of the traffic on the website is human.) Automated tools dominate the traffic volume.
- A very strong position in pages indexed on Google is key to generating traffic.
Mouser has learned that customers engage in a wide range of search behaviors, engaging with multiple websites and searches over an extended period. Most business is transacted after a highly interactive and extended process by its customers. As a result, the implementation of a live chat capability now plays a valuable role in how Mouser serves its customers. The company’s live chat, supported in eight languages, can maintain the chain of a conversation over time and multiple sessions.
Bottom line, Mouser Electronics is successfully executing on digital marketing and e-commerce strategies that are positioned to support robust future growth.
A future article will discuss the Smart Factory concepts and technologies Mouser has built around its warehouse and operations, as well as its investment in logistics for turning import/export challenges into opportunities.