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Industry Transformation: How PPG Is Investing in Digital To Better Serve Pro Painters

Index

  • The paint industry, a traditionally brick-and-mortar space, is on the verge of a digital evolution, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Research shows that professional painters are already researching and making more paint purchases online, a trend that is expected to spike over the next three years.
  • PPG, a leading global paint company, is proactively evolving to deliver quality paint and service for professional painters through new digital tools.

The Coronavirus pandemic changed life as we knew it—creating a new normal of wearing masks in public places, social distancing from others and heavily relying on technology to do our jobs, keeping in touch with loved ones, buying our groceries and everything else in between. But perhaps the most notable change spurred by Covid-19 is a shift in the North American retail landscape and buying behaviors. Since the onset of the pandemic, consumers and pros alike are becoming increasingly more comfortable with – and oftentimes even expecting – easy-to-navigate ecommerce and seamless pick-up and delivery models. The paint industry is no exception – which is why PPG, a leading global paint company, is proactively evolving to deliver quality paint and service to professional painters in new ways.

Digital Evolution

The Coronavirus pandemic changed life as we knew it—creating a new normal of wearing masks in public places, social distancing from others and heavily relying on technology to do our jobs, keeping in touch with loved ones, buying our groceries and everything else in between. But perhaps the most notable change spurred by Covid-19 is a shift in the North American retail landscape and buying behaviors. Since the onset of the pandemic, consumers and pros alike are becoming increasingly more comfortable with – and oftentimes even expecting – easy-to-navigate ecommerce and seamless pick-up and delivery models. The paint industry is no exception – which is why PPG, a leading global paint company, is proactively evolving to deliver quality paint and service to professional painters in new ways.

How PPG is bringing new value to painters through digital tools

To proactively address the evolving needs of professional painters, PPG launched ecommerce ordering capabilities available to pro painters globally. The new U.S. model offers improved convenience and ease of purchase through digital ordering at PPGpaints.com. In addition to ease of ordering, the platform also offers more options for having orders delivered directly to the job site compared to traditional ordering. Through our improved ecommerce platform and digital order fulfillment, PPG is able to deliver the right product, to the right place, at the right time; enable customers to order paint anytime, anywhere 24/7; and allowing pros to spend less time away from the job site, therefore increasing productivity, output, and ultimately allowing them to grow their top line. This isn’t just an ecommerce play, it’s a redesigned fulfillment and business process.

Prior to launching the ecommerce platform for pros, PPG was already reaching pro painters digitally in other ways. For example, PPG Services, which launched in 2019, is a comprehensive one-stop service that makes it easy for national account customers with multiple facilities across the U.S. to identify and connect with established professional painters, then manage and schedule general painting maintenance projects. It offers customers consistency, efficiency, speed and savings through simplified job quoting, scheduling, project management and more.

Customer Adoption

Ordering paint online traditionally can be a complex process because the industry is rooted in hands-on brick-and-mortar. Historically, painters have wanted to visit their local store, select product, and connect with their local sales rep. Although we’ve seen an extremely positive response from pros who have adopted the technology so far – in fact, we’ve seen use of the PPG ecommerce platform increase 650% year-over-year — we acknowledge that the industry’s digital evolution is just beginning, and that many pro painters may still prefer to place orders through their dedicated sales representatives. We’re ensuring that customers can choose how they want to do business with PPG, whether via digital, phone or in-person.

That said, digital evolution can enable and oftentimes enhance the customer experience. PPG will continue to offer customers access to our sales staff that is thoroughly trained on the technology and can answer ecommerce-related questions, in addition to providing paint expertise. Self-guided trainings are also available to customers. Because our new digital platform offers a new level of convenience, efficiency and cost saving options to our pro customers, we’ve found that once they use it a couple of times, they typically place additional orders.

The paint industry is on the verge of a digital evolution—PPG is leading the modernization of the decades-old, traditional brick and mortar paint industry through a unique paint and service offering, digitally-enabled fulfillment centers and updated delivery model in the post-Covid world.

About The Author

Akos Kosher Nagy is the head of digital transformation for PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada, which manufactures well-known brands like PPG Paint, Glidden paint, Liquid Nails Adhesives and Homax specialty products. He was appointed to this position in Jan. 2020. He joined PPG in 2014 as an IT Manager. Kosher earned both a bachelor’s degree in computer software engineering and a master’s degree in engineering/industrial management from Robert Morris University.

PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada is an industry leader in residential and commercial coatings, delivering the latest technologies and operational advancements through its strong portfolio of brands. It manufactures and sells interior and exterior paints, stains, caulks, repair products, adhesives and sealants for homeowners and professionals. Its distribution network includes more than 15,000 touchpoints through company-owned stores, independent dealer locations and major home improvement centers across the U.S. and Canada.