SupplyHouse.com, a distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies, racked up an increase in orders of more than 40% on its annual Trade Tuesday post-Thanksgiving sale day—as workers, pictured here in one the company's distribution centers, were accompanied by live music from DJs.

Online retailers have their Cyber Monday, but at distributor SupplyHouse.com, the big sales day comes a day later—on Trade Tuesday.

Trade Tuesday is special for the entire company, and this year was no exception.
Melissa Mayer, customer service captain
SupplyHouse.com

And this year, Trade Tuesday was bigger than ever. The number of orders surged 43% over last year’s Trade Tuesday, the company says, thanks to the combined efforts of marketing, customer service and fulfillment teams.

While the work was hard, SupplyHouse also injected some fun.

All hands and DJs on deck

“It’s an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ scenario,” says Tim Sheehan, warehouse captain. “This year, we wanted to add a couple of fun things since everyone works so hard, so we had a DJ come in, set up a photo booth with some props and had raffles throughout the day. It’s an amazing feeling when the day ends and we see what we have accomplished.”

Sales were also strong on the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving, but on par with year-earlier increases, marketing specialist Raquel Sosnovich says. The company avoids extra holiday season marketing on those days to focus its efforts on Trade Tuesday. This year on Nov. 27, it ran live social media campaigns throughout the day, including Instagram Story clips and an exclusive giveaway for members of its Plumbing Hacks and Plumbing Professionals Group on Facebook. It also ran some radio ads.

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“While Black Friday and Cyber Monday have each expanded well beyond one day for many retailers, a main goal of ours is to keep Trade Tuesday on a single day—so the more resources to help us out during the day itself, the better,” Sosnovich says.

The company, based in the Long Island, New York, business and industrial center of Melville, employs 300 people across four locations, including distribution centers in New Jersey and Ohio and a customer service center in Reno, Nevada. It hired DJs to play music in each of its distribution centers.

Planning ahead is key

About 30 employees from different departments joined the distribution and customer service teams to help out with the Trade Tuesday rush, Sosnovich says. That helped to get packages picked and shipped on time, and resulted in 99.69% of customer service calls answered, she adds.

“Trade Tuesday is special for the entire company, and this year was no exception,” says Melissa Mayer, customer service captain. “All departments pitch in to help out in areas where we anticipate high volume and it really brings everyone together.”

The key to a successful Trade Tuesday is planning ahead, relying on digital technology and focusing on core customers, the company says.

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“Over the years, we’ve learned that preparation is key, and we always make sure to have sufficient resources in our operational departments,” says marketing manager Tom Reilly. “Our marketing efforts have become increasingly digital and focused on our professional customers. Plumbing, heating and cooling tradespeople are our core customers (and the basis for the name of the sale), and we’ve learned that the day should be about them.”

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