Elkay Manufacturing Co. has just kicked off an Order Online feature on its Web site, which connects consumers with participating wholesale showrooms.
"We don't sell directly to consumers off the Web site and we will not do that," said Alan Danenberg, director/marketing services. "We are trying to help facilitate our customers' business through our Web site."
Starting this month, visitors to www.elkay.com can click on a button marked "Buy Online" to browse through product features, benefits, and list prices and then place an online order with a participating wholesaler's showroom.
Elkay has mailed notices to wholesalers that are registered as Elkay Diamond showrooms inviting them to sign up for this e-commerce program. "You enjoy the huge potential of Web marketing without any of the work of setting up your own site, creating an order form or finding a secure server," Elkay said in its letter to wholesalers.
"This is purely voluntary," Danenberg said. "We have been getting a good response from wholesalers."
The Internet shopper can obtain detailed specifications by clicking on a model. The site lists only suggested list prices for the products. Actual pricing will be determined by the participating showroom.
Online customers are asked to provide their names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and then are provided with a choice of participating Elkay Diamond Showrooms in their areas or they may buy from an independent online dealer. After the online order is submitted, the selected showroom contacts the consumers to complete the order and arrange for pickup or delivery.
"We don't sell direct over the Internet because we believe consumers will be better served by the personal service and design expertise our Diamond Showrooms can provide," Danenberg said. "Only Elkay Diamond Showrooms may participate."