Of all the groundbreaking technology in the last 20 years, none has been so largely ignored as the printer. Unlike MP3 players, flat screens, touch screens, and cell phones, the latest printer models are not greeted with national headlines. But at DataBazaar.com, printers and printing equipment are in the spotlight. 

Founded about 10 years ago, DataBazaar is one of the fastest growing imaging and information supply companies in the US, selling printers, copiers, faxes, paper, ink, and more wholesale to consumers and businesses. The company has headquarters is in Miramar, Fla., branches in India and Hong Kong, and customers in more than 20 countries. 

In 2003, the Databazaar.com site reached $1 million in sales per month with more than 700 orders per day shipping out of the company’s Florida warehouse. In 2006, the company posted Web sales in excess of $34 million, which is an increase of 9.9% over its 2005 sales. 

Internet Retailer ranked DataBazaar at number 203 in its “Top 500 Guide” and as the fifth largest online office supplies retailers in the US in 2006. The company is widely recognized as setting the standard for customer service and communicating with customers. 

Customer service

Anyone would appreciate DataBazaar’s policy of free standard shipping on all orders, but the company’s use of cutting-edge technology is a key tactic that enables it to deliver exceptional value to its customers, both in terms of price and customer service. 

For example, DataBazaar has been using LivePerson, a multi-tiered customer service solution that offers telephone and e-mail support, online order tracking, and live chat. All three of the company’s offices are connected over virtual private networks and VoIP lines, which allows for 24-hour work shifts. LivePerson’s services further contact the DataBazaar teams, enabling them to up the ante in customer service. 

In a 2003 interview with e-zine Ecommerce-guide.com, CEO Oney Seal explained what DataBazaar was looking for in a customer service package. 

“Computer supplies come in varying and complex models necessitating last-minute technical clarifications at the point of check-out. Also, the industry is rife with merchants trying to sell compatible or remanufactured products as original. Live chat is therefore a very convenient point-of-sale tool to increase conversion,” he said. 

According to Seal, DataBazaar converts roughly three chat sessions into new orders, and the LivePerson platform has helped increase the company’s customers satisfaction ratings. Furthermore, he said the typical customer service operator can take on as many as 40 chat sessions each day, dramatically reducing the number of phone calls necessary.

“This is a convenience we need to provide our customers at a reasonable cost, irrespective of additional revenue generated,” said Oney.

It’s no surprise that DataBazaar has earned numerous awards for its customer service. From September through August 2008, it was named a Circle of Excellence Gold Honoree on BizRate.com. Databazaar.com received above-average ratings in customer surveys for ease of site use, on-time delivery, overall satisfaction, customer support, product met expectations, and likely to shop again categories. 

The company also proudly displays the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business seal on its site, proving it meets all accreditation standards. 

Communication

Like so many retailers, DataBazaar is jumping on board with Web 2.0 strategies with its own blog and Twitter account. The company launched its own blog in January 2007, and 13,950 people are following the company on Twitter where it’s posted more than 600 tweets. 

According to Seal, DataBazaar hopes its blog will allow shoppers and partners to exchange news and views on printers, inks, and other DataBazaar products. It features useful and creative content such as news and how-to articles for both corporate and home users of printer products and consumables such as ink and interactive forum. Internet Retailer reported that in addition to regular contributions by inhouse experts, the company will work directly with major printer manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and others in providing updated product information and reviews. 

“Most e-businesses today fail in communicating directly with their customers, but we have decided to take a different approach with our blog,” said Seal. “Our blog offers a more direct line of communication.” 

The blog’s mission statement reads: “Virtually everyone who uses a computer uses a printer. But computers get all the glory. So we launched this blog to give printers their due.”

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