After scooping the Special Recognition award at Synaxon’s 2015 event, JR Linton’s MD Jeffery Linton is now looking to further diversify the retailer’s portfolio. Jade Burke asks about the firm’s online store and offline services…
How did the business start?
It started after we visited a show at the NEC in Birmingham back in 2006, where all these gadgets were on show. We were talking to Sony and Toshiba and they told us that we needed to go to a tuition team who will explain how to get stock.
What products and services do you offer?
In terms of online, we offer most hardware, from servers to headphones, processors and laptops. One of the services we started to offer a year ago is mobile apps to businesses in London. We build apps for specific businesses like a restaurant, we service the app, we teach them how to promote it, how to get more downloads and interact through push notifications. We also team up with other resellers in the dealer community like DMSL and Cloud Telephones, and whatever services they’re offering, we then use them as experts to our customers.
You currently offer VoIP services, what are the benefits of this?
For us it’s a situation where we close the loopholes, where we become a one-stop shop. It’s nice to be able to provide IT support or sell hardware to a client, and then if they have an issue with their phone, you can help.
We’re also working with Cloud Telephones to install a cloud base IVR system, where you can queue up to 20 people on a phone.
Will you be stocking any new products this year?
Products wise, I think we have so many, but there was something we saw at the 2015 Synaxon National Conference. It was an air purifier and we are strongly looking at adding it to our portfolio, because a lot of the clients we have are businesses in London in office blocks. Believe it or not, one of my clients has bought actual oxygen, and has it on each of their staff members’ desks.
What are the benefits of being an etailer?
We don’t rely 100 per cent on just being online, for example we have got our phone number stamped online, so customers can call us for sales and advice. I would sum it up by saying we can provide a very personal, classy service. At the same time it’s just being there when customers need you. The customers that we visit on a monthly basis, their bills are never late and they’re quick to take on any advice that you give them, or a solution. So I would sum it up as, although you’re online, make sure you have a very personal service that you can offer your clients, rather than trying to go far and wide.
Do you prepare for Black Friday? If so, how?
Yes we do. Usually there’s a lot of preparation, so we’ll speak to some of the distributors, and there’s always call-out days going on.
It’s a situation where you hope customers won’t just go for that one deal, and that they’ll come back again. We take part in it for the sake of it, just to say: ‘hey, remember us, spend some of the money with us as well’.
We find that the clients that keep coming back to us allow us to look after them. It means they’re more loyal, and we don’t have to wonder what’s going to happen in six months time with the business. It’s a bit like a culture rather than a strategy and that culture is really good. The customers like it; it feels good talking to them and hearing the results of the solution we provide to them.
How did you feel after receiving the special recognition award at the Synaxon Conference?
That was a surprise and a half because JR Linton was nominated for two categories – Etailer of the Year and Special Recognition. That was amazing and it had us pumped. We came back to London with the award and we’re in a situation where we’re talking to new clients and telling them we’re an award-winning company.
What does the future hold for the business?
We are exhibiting at the Takeaway Innovation Expo at London Excel in September, which we are excited about.
JR Linton will also be pushing mobile apps in the future, we will be pushing more cloud-based services, connection vouchers and lots of other services.
FACT FILE: JR Linton
Year established: 2006
Number of staff: Four
Address: 14 Cumberland Avenue, Dephna Group, Park Royal, London, NW10 7QL
Telephone: 020 7183 8883