CASE STUDY: Ecommerce pays off for RS Components

The global electronics and maintenance distributor relaunched its ecommerce site in order to build a more customer-centric business

RS Components (RS) is the trading brand of Electrocomponents PLC, the world’s leading distributor of electronics and maintenance products serving over 1.6 million customers worldwide. From relatively humble beginnings as Radio Spares nearly 75 years ago, Electrocomponents now has operations in 32 countries with distributors in a further 37 markets. From 17 distribution centres located across the globe, the company distributes over 550,000 products from 2500 suppliers.  

The problem
RS launched its first ecommerce website in 1998. Stocking just 100,000 products it attracted half a million visitors in its first year, generating two per cent of the group’s sales revenue. Fast forward to 2011 and its ecommerce site has grown to become one of the biggest in the world generating more than 53 per cent of group sales revenue. And this is set to rise further as the company delivers on its strategy to build a £1 billion-plus ecommerce business.