Specialty Chemicals E-commerce Capabilities

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Specialty Chemical Manufacturers (1)

Two North American specialty chemical manufacturers or distributors that have customer-facing e-commerce capabilities are Charkit Chemical Company and The Lubrizol Corporation. The requested information on the two companies is presented below.

Charkit Chemical Company

  • A link to the online store can be found here.
  • Charkit Chemical Company's offices are located in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  • Charkit Chemical Company offers visibility to a full product catalog. The company provides a detailed searchable online database of their products, with downloadable specs, SDS, and COAs.
  • The company does not offer visibility to inventory. It does not offer any break down of the available inventory of each of the products listed on its e-commerce platform.
  • Charkit Chemical Company does not offer visibility to the inventory at the warehouse level. It just enlists the various products across different specialty chemical categories on its e-commerce website without offering the details of overall or warehouse level inventory.
  • Charkit Chemical Company does not offer any pricing details on its e-commerce platform. However, it offers the ability to request for pricing data. It allows its customers to request for a quote customizable by quantity and units of measure such as kilogram, Liter, or Gallon.
  • The company does not offer the ability to place an order without the need to contact the company. Thus, one needs to first contact the company in order to procure the pricing details and then process the order through the sales team.
  • Charkit Chemical Company has not listed the order tracking feature anywhere on its e-commerce website section.

Other Useful Information

  • Charkit Chemical Company is a US-based leading specialty chemicals manufacturing company serving a wide variety of markets and industries such as personal care, pharmaceutical, industrial, nutritional, metal and water treatment, imaging, flavor & fragrance, and aroma, among others.
  • The model includes a searchable online database of their products, with downloadable Specs, SDS and COAs. It also has a Quick Quote, where potential buyers can quickly submit an inquiry on a single or multiple products, opening a conversation with the Charkit sales team.
  • It also has a registration portal that streamlines the purchasing process for returning customers as well as a news section and blog, which provide additional valuable information, while also helping to boost organic search engine optimization strategies.

The Lubrizol Corporation

  • A link to the online store can be found here.
  • The Lubrizol Corporation 's offices are located in Wickliffe, Ohio.
  • The Lubrizol Corporation offers visibility to a full product catalog. The company's e-commerce platform, 'My Lubrizol,' provides detailed product information of the various specialty chemical products. However, one needs to register to access the feature.
  • The company does not offer visibility to inventory. It does not offer any break down of the available inventory of each of the products listed on its e-commerce platform. It just provides the overall product information.
  • The Lubrizol Corporation does not offer visibility to the inventory at the warehouse level. However, it offers visibility to pricing since customers are able to place orders online.
  • It also offers them the ability to request for pricing data. They can contact the sales team and procure samples and sample data like pricing.

Other Useful Information

  • The Lubrizol Corporation was founded in 1928 and operates as a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Company with revenues of $6.8 billion in 2018.
  • The Lubrizol Corporation is a provider of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial, and consumer markets. These products include additives for engine oils and other transportation-related fluids, additives for industrial lubricants, and additives for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • The company also makes ingredients and additives for personal care products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and specialty materials, including plastics technology, and coatings in the form of specialty resins and additives.

Part
02
of six
Part
02

Specialty Chemical Manufacturers (2)

Lab Alley and Krayden Incorporated are two North American-based companies that distribute specialty chemicals. Both companies have customer-facing e-commerce platforms that allow customers to order chemicals online. Company details and other useful information is listed below.

Lab Alley

  • Lab Alley's online store can be found here.
  • Lab Alley's offices are located at 1927 Lohmans Crossing, Suite 201, Austin, TX 78734
  • Customers can search available chemicals from the Lab Alley home page by selecting from the following categories: ethanol, chemicals, solvents, acids and solutions. Alternately, customers can search for specialty chemicals based on their industry here.
  • To see all products in one place, customers can view the full product catalog list online here or request an online catalog here.
  • Inventory information at the store and warehouse levels is not visible to customers.
  • Pricing information is available on the individual product pages. Customers can request a quote for custom orders using the "Quick Quote" option in the top menu of the website.
  • Customers can place orders online by adding chemical to the online shopping cart or by calling the company to order by phone.
  • Lab Alley does offer tracking for orders. Orders are shipped to all 50 states with services like FedEx or UPS. In addition to shipping costs, customers are also charged for any necessary hazmat fees.

Other Useful Information

  • Lab Alley is a leading specialty chemical distributor in the United States and has focused on developing their digital capabilities.
  • Customers also enjoy online support from Lab Alley specialists to select and order chemicals.
  • The company's website includes extensive information on the uses and applications of the chemicals, as well as safety tips and regulations.

Krayden Incorporated

  • Krayden's online store can be found here.
  • Krayden's headquarters office is located at 1491 West 124th Avenue, Denver, CO 80234. The company serves a global market and has several international locations including Mexico, Canada, Belgium, India and Brazil.
  • Customers can view the entire catalog of specialty chemical products online here. Krayden's full catalog of products including equipment such as mixers, nozzles and stoppers can be found here.
  • Product and warehouse inventory is not visible on the website.
  • Product pricing is visible to customers in the online catalog. Customers with custom needs can also request a quick quote online.
  • Customers can order specialty chemicals online by clicking "Add to Cart" from the product pages and paying for the order online. Krayden reserves the right to accept or reject any order.
  • Krayden's website does not specify whether they provide the ability to track order status online. However, they do offer premier customer service and customers can request information about their order by phone, email or the online order update form.

Other Useful Information

  • Krayden has been a distributor of specialty chemicals, adhesives, sealants and coatings throughout North America since 1989.
  • Customers enjoy access to Krayden's team of technical experts who can help create solutions and select the best products to meet the customer's needs.
  • Many product pages list detailed information including use, instructions and packaging details. Additional product information, including MSDS sheets, shelf life certificates and Krayden AS/ISO certifications are also available upon request.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Specialty Chemical Manufacturers (3)

GracoRoberts and Ellsworth are two North American specialty chemical distributors that have customer-facing e-commerce capabilities. More details about the two companies' online chemical stores are provided below.

GracoRoberts

  • GracoRoberts is a specialty chemical distributor for the aerospace market in North America. The integration of Graco Supply Company and E.V. Roberts, GracoRoberts provides engineered-materials services such as "distribution, formulation, and packaging of adhesives, sealants, surface treatments, paints, coatings, composite materials, shop consumables, etc."
  • GracoRoberts' headquarters is located at 1001 Miller Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76105.
  • The company website features e-commerce capabilities.
  • GracoRoberts' online shop already showcases a comprehensive product catalog, but still encourages its customers to send inquiries for products not found in the web store.
  • The online shop does not reveal inventory or warehouse level inventory of the products. Though, customers are prompted with a delivery lead time when they choose to add the product to their cart.
  • The price of each product featured on the web store is visible to its customers. However, the "product prices do not include shipping and handling charges." These charges will be applied at the time of shipping, according to GracoRoberts website user guide.
  • After account registration, there seems to be no need to contact GracoRoberts to be able to place an order. Although, according to the terms and conditions of Graco Supply, the company may have to reach out to its customers (via phone, e-mail, or hard copy) to confirm the placed order. In the case of E.V. Roberts products, orders are subject to the acceptance or rejection by the company, as stipulated on its terms and conditions.
  • According to GracoRoberts web user guide, customers can choose from several shipping method options. The guide does not elaborate on the tracking system for each method, but the company assures its customers to be updated (from processing up to the day of shipment) through e-mail notifications.

Ellsworth Corporation

  • Ellsworth Corporation is a specialty chemical distributor that started in Milwaukee, WI. in 1974. The company, which offers products like adhesives, sealants, lubricants, and coatings, has several branch offices and warehouses in the U.S. Ellsworth also has distribution and manufacturing operations outside the country.
  • Ellsworth Corporation's headquarters is located at W129 N10825 Washington Drive, Germantown, Wisconsin 53022.
  • The company website features e-commerce capabilities.
  • Ellsworth's online shop does not include all its product, only its most popular products. The company encourages its customers to send inquiries for products not found in the web store.
  • The online shop does not reveal inventory or warehouse level inventory for all products, but some products are indicated to be "in stock."
  • Similarly, prices are not visible for all products, with some products requiring a request for quotation (RFQ).
  • A new user of the web store will have to create an account and log in before being able to place an order. Unless the product requires an RFQ or the customer has some other concerns about the product, there seems to be no need to contact the company to be able to place an order. However, the terms and conditions of the company stipulates that Ellsworth can accept or reject a sales order in its discretion.
  • By default, the company delivers F.O.B. Ellsworth facility, but customers can also ship using their carrier accounts (such as FedEx or UPS). The shipping tracking number can be viewed in the order details page under the customer's "My Account."
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Specialty Chemical Manufacturers (4)

Cabot Corporation, Ashland Global Holdings, and Huntsman Corporation are three of the largest North American based specialty chemical manufacturers. All of these three companies have customer-facing e-commerce platforms allow customers to place the orders of various specialty chemical products. Detailed information about these companies is presented below.

Cabot Corporation

  • Link to the online store: Cabot Corporation website.
  • Office location: Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Visibility to a full product catalog: Cabot Corporation provides visibility to its full online product catalog. The product catalog includes downloadable options, such as product brochures, data sheets, distributor maps, and SDS.
  • Visibility to inventory: Cabot Corporation does not offer visibility to inventory or warehouse level inventory of the products. However, customers can contact the sales or technical service team for more information about the company's products or obtain a price quote.
  • Visibility to pricing and ability to request for pricing data: Pricing information is not available on the product's pages. Customers can request a price quote option on the product's page of the website.
  • Ability to place an order without the need to contact the company: Customers cannot place orders without contacting the company. Clients, need to first contact the company in order to obtain the pricing details and then place an order through the sales team.
  • Ability to track the order status: Cabot Corporation does not offer order tracking option. There is no information about shipping on its website. However, clients can contact customer service to place an order or receive assistance with an existing order, a shipment, an invoice or an accounting matter.

Other Useful Information

  • Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) is a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Cabot delivers a broad range of products and solutions to customers over the globe, serving key industries such as transportation, infrastructure, environment, and consumer.
  • The company strength in research and development is a major reason why it has been an industry leader for more than 130 years in products such as rubber and specialty carbons, activated carbon, aerogel, fumed metal oxides, graphenes, inkjet colorants, masterbatches, and conductive compounds.
  • Approximately 4,500 employees worldwide work in Cabot. Company workers are driven and inventive, and they represent some of the best technical, commercial and manufacturing talent in the industry.
  • Cabot has earned a reputation for producing high-quality solutions while continuing to set the industry standard with respect to sustainability and safety.

Ashland Global Holdings

  • Link to the online store: Ashland Global Holdings website.
  • Office location: Ashland Global Headquarters, 8145 Blazer Drive, Wilmington, DE, 19808.
  • Visibility to a full product catalog: Ashland provides visibility to its full online product catalog. The product catalog includes options such as product description, sample request feature, and SDS.
  • Visibility to inventory: Ashland does not offer visibility to inventory or warehouse level inventory of the products. However, customers can contact the support team for more information about the company's products.
  • Pricing visibility and the ability to request for pricing data: Pricing information is not available on the product's pages. Customers can request pricing or technical help using Prospector. It's a special search engine that allows access to 1000s of technical documents, evaluate material data & specifications, get pricing and technical assistance.
  • Ability to place an order without the need to contact the company: Customers cannot place orders without contacting the company. Clients, need to first contact the company to receive a price inquiry and then place an order through the sales team.
  • Tracking the order status: To get information on delivery and order tracking, customers can contact the company through a special contact form on the company's website.

Other Useful Information

  • Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH) is a premier global specialty chemicals company serving customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including adhesives, architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, personal care and pharmaceutical.
  • At Ashland, there are approximately "6,000 passionate, tenacious solvers — from renowned scientists and research chemists to talented engineers and plant operators — who thrive on developing practical, innovative and elegant solutions to complex problems for customers in more than 100 countries".
  • "Ashland is committed to maintaining world-class quality systems and operations to deliver products that consistently meet or exceed agreed-upon customer expectations." The company's business processes and manufacturing sites operate according to the principles of ISO9001, which utilize a quality risk management standard.
  • Ashland achieves regulatory, market, and certification compliance through appropriate applicable good manufacturing practices that are fully aligned with business requirements.

Huntsman Corporation

Other Useful Information

  • The Huntsman Corporation is a publicly-traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2018 revenues of more than $9 billion.
  • The company's chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets.
  • The company operates more than 75 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employs approximately 10,000 associates within four distinct business divisions.
  • As part of the company's commitment to bettering the industry, Huntsman strives to operate safe, clean, efficient facilities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
  • This means actively seeking opportunities to leverage the company's resources to assist people's needs around the world. It’s the company's growth-driven approach, which is centered on creating mutual benefits for customers, employees, suppliers and the communities where Huntsman works.

Research Strategy

In order to find out specialty chemical manufacturers that have customer-facing e-commerce platforms we explored and browsed various relevant companies' websites on the chemical industry based in North America. There are many chemical manufacturers in North America but such companies as Cabot Corporation, Ashland Global Holdings, and Huntsman Corporation are one of the largest and oldest manufacturers in the chemical industry, not only in North America but also around the world. All of these three companies have customer-facing e-commerce capabilities. The features listed in the request available either online on the companies' website or on request through customer support.


Part
06
of six
Part
06

Best Practices in Setting up an Online Chemical Store

Online chemical stores are subject to intense public and governmental scrutiny over how chemicals are sold to consumers. As such, ensuring the safety of the consumer and those selling the chemicals is an obligatory best practice. In establishing an online store, best practices should also include providing technical expertise to the consumer and offering a comprehensive, positive customer shopping experience.

ENSURING THE SAFETY OF BUYERS AND SELLERS

PROVIDING TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

A POSITIVE, COMPREHENSIVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In order to conduct this research and to determine the challenges faced by online chemical stores, we analyzed several regulatory agency websites. We were then able to outline which aspects of chemical sales are subject to government legislation. Additionally, we consulted chemical marketing and environmentally-conscious consumer websites to determine current trends in consumer purchases of chemical products. Finally, we reviewed the websites of e-commerce stores already selling chemical products to further examine best practices.






Sources
Sources

From Part 02
From Part 06