Case Study: Imperial Pools

Large manufacturer increases B2B sales and stays nimble to shifting customer demands.

Founded as a small retail pool company in 1959, Imperial Pools is now North America’s oldest and largest privately owned manufacturer and distributor of best-in-class steel and polymer inground pool kits. The company also manufactures one-piece thermoformed steps and interior pool finishes for inground pools and aboveground pools. Experienced staff is committed to delivering top quality brands to homeowners and serving as a one-stop resource for pool and spa professionals.

  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Headquarters: Latham, N.Y.
  • ERP Vendor: Epicor
  • ERP Product: Prophet 21
  • Number of locations/facilities: 11
  • Approximate number of SKUs on eCommerce site:  6,000
  • B2B eCommerce site:  imperialpoolsb2b.com
  • PDF Case StudyInteractive PDF
Imperial Pools eCommerce website displayed on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, and tablet.Imperial Pools E-Pool Marketplace logo

The Challenge: A robust website built on customer feedback

To better serve its B2B customers, Imperial Pools needed to improve the flexibility, tools, and robustness of its B2B eCommerce website. They asked customers what would be most helpful and valuable to include on the new site.

“We put together a team of large and small dealers to help us improve the B2B site,” said Jeff Mazzone, director of marketing at Imperial Pools. “We got a lot of input from them so we could build a site that best serves their needs.”

Based on customer input, Imperial Pools aimed to create a B2B eCommerce site for customers that would ultimately make it easier to do business. This included:

  • Easier and faster order placement options
  • The ability to create shopping lists  
  • Streamlined ordering with the ability to import spreadsheets created by a customer’s purchase order system
Distribution warehouse with people busy processing orders.
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With Channel Software, we developed an extremely successful B2B platform that our customers find convenient and easy to use.

- Imperial Pools

The Solution: A B2B eCommerce provider with the right functionality, support and price

Imperial Pools contacted five B2B eCommerce companies and, after thorough due diligence, selected Channel Software.

“Channel Software worked closely with us to build the site that our customers wanted. We got the functionality we needed, with the support we wanted, at a price that was fair,” said Tammy Smith, Imperial Pools’ web administrator.

Channel Software’s CSX eCommerce B2B platform is purpose-built to manage the needs of B2B eCommerce companies, large or small. With the ability to smoothly integrate with any ERP, Channel Software’s platform features robust tools and a responsive design, giving B2B companies easier website management and a superior customer shopping experience.

The Results: A nimble site that drives B2B sales

The user experience of the new Imperial Pools B2B eCommerce website was like “night and day” compared to the previous website, said Smith. The easy back-end management enables Imperial Pools to supply detailed item descriptions for customers, leverage helpful SEO functionality, and view reports for better insights into website metrics.

“We’ve only had one instance of downtime in four years and the Channel Software team had it resolved within an hour,” she said. “That is tremendous reliability.”  

Shopping the Imperial Pools E-Pool Marketplace eCommerce website on a laptop.

Robust functionality

“Our customers are thrilled with how easy it is to use and navigate our B2B website now,” said Smith. The new and improved functionality includes:

  • Several options for ordering, including: Adding a single item, adding large quantities based on a manufacturer’s part number, creating and using a shopping list, or importing a spreadsheet created in a customer’s purchase system into the Imperial Pools’ site.
  • The ability to download pricing lists on demand, so customers don’t have to search for costs item-by-item.
  • Customers maintain control of employee logins and their ability to order, even when an employee leaves the company.
The "Import Shopping Lists" functionality of the Imperial Pools eCommerce website.

“With Channel Software, we developed an extremely successful B2B platform that our customers find convenient and easy to use,” said Mazzone.

Browsing for products on a laptop at the Imperial Pools B2B eCommerce website

Growing B2B sales

Today, Imperial Pools has more B2B customers than ever, which means a world-class B2B eCommerce website is more important than ever before.

“Usage is up almost 20% through the website,” said Mazzone. “When our sales team has ideas to improve it even further, Channel Software always has a solution for us. For example, now we can separate different customer groups and target them with the most relevant product divisions based on their login. That’s giving us new sales opportunities.”

Staying nimble to customer and market demands

When COVID-19 caused supply chain and inventory issues, Imperial Pools worked with Channel Software to create a news portal to keep customers informed. Eventually, the company plans to make the B2B eCommerce site a single, go-to source for all customer news, orders, and resources for products and brands.

Most recently, Imperial Pools implemented a coupon feature to pass cost savings on to their customers. “We’re getting special deals from suppliers on the distribution side, and we can offer our customers those same deals with the platform’s coupon feature,” said Mazzone. “As we grow and learn more, we continue to do more with the Channel Software team. We work with a lot of different companies and some of them can be frustrating! But Channel Software just makes it all so easy.”

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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