Case Study: CUI

Read how this wholesale distributor fueled 75% growth with Channel Software!

CUI is a wholesale distributor of zone heating products, such as decorative appliances, grills, and fireplaces, as well as gas equipment products. CUI serves specialty hearth and home dealers throughout the northeastern, eastern, and southeastern United States.  

  • Industry: Wholesale distribution
  • Headquarters: Simpsonville, SC
  • ERP Vendor: Infor
  • ERP Product: Infor CSD
  • Number of locations/facilities: 4
  • Approximate number of SKUs on eCommerce site:  34,916
  • B2B eCommerce site:
CUI eCommerce website displayed on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, and tablet.CUI Wholesale logo

The Challenge: A B2B eCommerce Platform for the Next Generation

As a younger generation of leadership comes up through the industry, CUI saw a shift in how customers wanted to do business: More self-service and online orders, fewer phone calls and emails.  

“People want to find information and place orders online, rather than talk to someone,” said Tiffany Lockhart, vice president of marketing and eCommerce at CUI. “That drove us to look for a more cutting-edge B2B eCommerce platform.”

CUI decided to transition from Infor Storefront to a more modern platform that delivered an easy customer experience with robust functionality.

Worker on a forklift in a CUI warehouse
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Our dealers love the new site and so does our team, we constantly hear great feedback about it.


The Solution: A World-Class Platform Backed by Great People

CUI evaluated several B2B eCommerce platforms including Magento, Unilog and Insite/Optimizely and ultimately chose Channel Software’s CSX eCommerce platform.

“The first thing that stood out about Channel Software was their sales process. They were very helpful and genuine. We could tell they were good people,” said Lockhart. “We’ve never looked back or second-guessed whether we made the right decision.”

Built for distributors that want to grow and scale their business, the Channel Software B2B eCommerce platform is a responsive, flexible, and easy-to-use solution.

  • Enterprise-level features allow customers to easily integrate and manage complex rules.
  • Integrations with common systems such as EDI, CRM, punchout, any ERP, and more.
  • Integrated PIM software efficiently manages product information across channels and locations.
  • An intuitive content management system helps non-technical users create, organize and deliver engaging content.

“We gave ourselves a long runway for the implementation because we wanted to be very accurate and launch a complete site,” noted Lockhart. “Today, we have an impressive site and we continue to make adjustments and enhancements. We know that Channel Software is there to support us.”  

Shopping the CUI eCommerce website on the product tile page.

The Results: An Intuitive, Rich Site used by Everyone

CUI’s modern B2B eCommerce site is robust yet intuitive. Informational yet easy to navigate. It is a one-stop shop for customers and an essential sales tool for CUI staff – no matter their generation or tech savviness.

Integral to growth

CUI’s B2B eCommerce site has fueled a huge increase in online sales: Web-driven orders have grown 75% year-over-year. With more online orders, there are “far fewer” emails and phone calls that the CUI team has to answer.

“As our dealer businesses gets passed down to the next generation, we’re definitely taking advantage of the trend in more online orders,” said Lockhart.  

Streamlined, efficient functionality

CUI prides itself on very high inventory levels and shipping within 24 hours. The new site features rich information such as product photos, more accurate descriptions, and helpful images.

Dealers can add product to their cart as they are selling, then sign a single PO and check out. With visibility into warehouse inventory and what’s secured to them, they have peace of mind that they will get what was ordered.

Shopping the CUI eCommerce website on the detail product page.

Faster order and claims processing

Customers can easily file different types of claims online and get results more quickly.

“Our team processes warranties and claims much faster now,” explained Lockhart. “The claim forms can only be submitted online if they are complete, so our people know that the online forms will have the right information to be processed. It simplifies everything.”

A customer’s ability to navigate the new B2B eCommerce site is also much easier. CUI worked with Channel Software to ensure intuitive and flexible navigation and ordering. For instance, a dealer can choose a firebox in a particular size, style and dimension – ensuring they get exactly what they want.

Intuitive self-service

CUI appreciates the amount of control they have over their site. Lockhart explained, “With our old provider, we had to contact them every time we wanted to change something. For example, if we wanted a new ad banner, the provider had to create it, then send it to us for review, then put it up. It was way more cumbersome. Channel Software lets us do all of that ourselves.”

In addition to customers, the internal team at CUI leverages the power of the new B2B eCommerce site to make their work easier and faster: The new Resource Center features product information that is a centralized source of truth for the sales team and for customers.

“When you’re dealing with heating and gas products, safety is a top priority,” said Lockhart. “Everyone should have access to the correct manuals and literature. That’s why the Resource Center has been a game-changer for our sales team and customers. Even our less tech-savvy sales people are comfortable using the Resource Center and teaching customers how to use it.”

“Our dealers love the new site and so does our team,” concluded Lockhart. “We constantly hear great feedback about it.”

CUI Headquarters, Simpsonville, SC
CUI headquarters
A professional woman having a positive discussion with a colleague about the success they are having using the CSX eCommerce software platform for B2B companies

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