Online Sales of US Steel

Goals

To assess the current usage of online services within the steel service industry by identifying how much US steel/metal service providers are investing in online portals, the adoption of online sales channels by US customers and ten or more of the most common features used within online portals in this industry. Research should ideally focus on steel service centers, but may expand to steel manufacturers as needed.

Early Findings

Prevalence of US Steel Sales through Online Channels

  • Initial research suggests that quantitative information is somewhat limited related to the current level of investment and adoption of online channels for steel sales in the US.
  • However, industry researchers (e.g., Grand View Research) and credible media sources (e.g., S&P Global Platts) indicate that steel sales in the US as well as globally are increasingly transitioning to digital channels. A few related data points:
  • In response, Cleveland, Ohio-based startup Felux launched a new online marketplace in mid-2019 to facilitate the purchase and sale of steel in America.
  • Notably, the company currently collects fees of less than 1% from its sellers, and intends to expand an initial focus on flat-rolled products to eventually include long products.
  • Meanwhile, other current distributors of steel products in the US include MetalsDepot, Metal Supermarkets and OnlineMetals.
  • Although there appears to be no publicly available, pre-compiled information regarding the most common features used on online portals in this industry, the preceding four online retailers of steel in the US may be evaluated for such data.

Proposed next steps:

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