For a small business, constructing an e-Commerce strategy can be difficult without the proper resources to carry it out. Nye’s Cream Sandwiches, a producer and wholesale distributor of homemade ice cream sandwiches, experienced difficulties in trying to get its e-Commerce operations off the ground, particularly due to limited resources and high shipping costs.
Nye’s credits business turnaround to online specialty food curator FoodyDirect, which offers low-cost, flat-rate shipping. The FoodyDirect platform is designed to reduce shipping rates for restaurants and small food vendors looking to reach new customers.
“My wife and I today laugh at ourselves for not speaking with Phil prior to that, because FoodyDirect has driven the best results for our e-Commerce,” said Nye. “FoodyDirect has delivered on everything Phil said and has far exceeded those expectations.”
FoodyDirect negotiates shipping rates with UPS and the food vendor packages the order, prints out a UPS label provided by FoodyDirect and schedules a pick-up.
While FoodyDirect was originally designed as an additional sales channel, Winters and his team learned that vendors were struggling with high shipping rates and clumsy e-Commerce sites. Today the site has become a primary shipping solution for the food vendors.
“We became a quick and easy solution for restaurants, bakeries and artisan purveyors that enter the mail order business for the first time,” said Ken Koenig, Co-Founder and President of FoodyDirect. “Several of our fulfillment partners shut down their own shopping carts and e-Commerce engines and chose to direct their mail order customers to their shop within FoodyDirect, effectively using us as their front-end and their order processing engine.”
Creating Efficiencies For Small Businesses
Prior to working with FoodyDirect, Nye’s Cream Sandwiches shipped ice cream sandwiches from its web site at a rate of “two to three orders per week.” The low quantity of goods kept shipping rates high, making the delivery process difficult and expensive.
“People don’t want to pay $100 to send one box to California,” Nye said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We couldn’t increase our production with those rates.”
Because Nye did not have a “real model” for e-Commerce, his employees had to devote extra work time to printing out UPS sheets, entering information into online shipping portals, and dealing with customers whose shipments hadn’t arrived on time.
The shipping process had become so time-consuming and expensive Nye was considering closing down the e-Commerce business.
But since kicking off the partnership with FoodyDirect, manual shipping tasks have been eliminated, leaving Nye and his crew to focus on production. Today the company produces and ships an estimated 30 to 50 sandwiches for e-Commerce orders every week.
Additionally, Nye has given FoodyDirect complete control over the customer service and the e-Commerce side of the business, allowing him to focus primarily on building, packing and shipping out the products. “We’ll get emails from them suggesting us to try different things for our business, and the answer is always yes,” Nye explained. “Whatever action they think is good, do it. They’ve got our rubber stamp on it, and I trust them that much.”
The increase in demand for the sandwiches further enabled Nye to open two satellite shops in markets located in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and Bald Head Island N.C. The company also is preparing to launch two new items — ice cream pints and cookie dough pints — through FoodyDirect.
“I think that e-Commerce through FoodyDirect will be a great starting point to launch those products,” Nye said. “E-Commerce helps us determine what is considered a legitimate product to launch, and what products are already saturated. It’s not only good business that brings in revenue, but it also will dictate if the product is something that the consumer will want.”