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Heidelberg is set to enter the new year with growth on the agenda as it pushes for an expansion in the proportion of sales brought in by its consumables eShop portal.

The online facility currently generates around 30% of total consumable orders and sales for Heidelberg and runs alongside a consignment stock system and traditional purchasing via representatives.

In a bid to increase the eShop’s share to around 50% by 2020, Heidelberg has started to push its online platform to new and potential customers through welcome packs and a special introductory offer of a three-month triple points period, trebling the number of points obtained for each purchase, which can then be exchanged for other services.

Head of UK consumables Andrew Hall said, “What is attractive about our eShop is the ease of use. An order can be placed at any time without being restricted to office hours, which is a luxury. The reward points system is also a large part of what draws people in.

“Some of our customers like the consignment option as it is very slick and efficient, and others still enjoy the human interaction of traditional sales. But when we show people how the eShop works, they tend to be very taken by it.

“Our campaign represents an omni-channel approach to bring people on to the service, though it is a matter of what is right for the customer. There is no typical user; the mixture of people we have using the eShop is vast, as it allows them to tap into our entire consumable portfolio.”

The eShop sells “everything you can use in the printing process”, according to Hall, with the exception of paper. This includes plates, inks, coatings, blankets and rollers.

Points collected on purchases can then be used to pay towards service work, training requirements, demonstrator visits, service contracts or ISO 12647-2 colour certification.

The manufacturer is targeting 40% of orders coming from the eShop by the end of 2019, with the service making up half by 2020.

Last month, Heidelberg reported a boost in incoming orders to €1.3bn for H1 2018, largely attributed to its growing subscription service. UK managing director Gerard Heanue announced on Monday (10 December) that he would be stepping down from his role next spring to take early retirement.