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CASE STUDY: Google AdWords boosts Allied sales

Allied Electronics is a small-order, high-volume distributor of electronic and electromechanical parts and components. Need a precision dual-rod pneumatic actuator with a 6mm bore? Allied has one. Need a few packs of AA batteries? Allied has those too.

Allied has always relied on its famously large annual catalogue to sell its products. Weighing in at 6 pounds and 2,304 pages, the catalogue reaches hundreds of thousands of customers with information on 100,000 different items.

The catalogue still comes out every October. But these days Allied Electronics has become a powerful online merchant as well, with a content-rich website, a dedicated online marketing team, and 1.7 million products available to customers at the click of a mouse. Ninety percent of Allied's customers now visit the website before placing an order - even if they're ordering through the catalogue. Building a bridge between the old and the new took foresight and innovation from the Allied team, sparked by observing a few key trends.