AC in e-Commerce

by RaeAnne Marsh

newACunit.com

“E-commerce dominates our buying patterns now,” says Erik Bryan, founder and owner of newACunit.com, observing that Amazon has changed the way people buy. “People want simplicity and affordability, and want what they want now. Bringing air conditioning to that platform was only a matter of when.”

Buying air conditioning units over the Internet has already been happening — millions over the past three years, according to Bryan — but he notes there were service limitations: Consumers found many contractors did not want to install such units, and the manufacturer’s warranty was not valid. Bryan created his online marketplace to solve those pain points.

NewACunit.com is an online platform where buyers can enter the information from their current air conditioning units and homes to compare the efficiency of new models and the differences in price. They can then place their order and select one of the listed installers — all of whom Bryan has vetted. And, says Bryan, “We negotiated with the manufacturers to make sure the warranty is intact.” The final step is a jobsite inspection by the selected installer “to make sure the customer bought the right equipment.” For the consumer, the website offers both cost savings and convenience.

Launched in Phoenix this past January, the company has sold hundreds of units with little marketing, according to Bryan. His initial expansion plans are to launch by mid next year in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and perhaps Jacksonville — covering the five top air conditioning markets in the country. “The platform is simple to duplicate,” he says. “[But] I will need to research contractors to be installers in those markets.” Benefit to them is the opportunity to gain customers, since, Bryan points out, “this is a free lead source; we’re not interested in [acquiring] customers.”

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