Blue Car Technologies Commerce Case Study: Coffee & Cake Co.
Coffee and Cake Co. closed its doors on Friday 20th March 2020, following government advice and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The advice from the government indicated that this was to be short term. It furloughed its workers and took a break from the 60-hour weekly trading schedule.
“We were entitled to a government small business grant and felt that we would be able to pay our staff their whole salary and meet our other obligations such as electricity, internet, POS terminal costs, web site hosting, bank charges etc."
As March came to a close and then April and with no reduction in rent from the landlord, the owner felt that the business had to start trading again. Coffee & Cake Co. chose to re-open as a take-away, following strict guidelines, the business was not going to allow customers into the shop but instead serve them at the door.
The team had to rethink the way they normally trade as to continue as they had done prior to the lockdown was not going to generate enough turnover. The owner spoke to the suppliers and decided this was the right time for the business to have a way for customers to pre-order and simply come to the shop to collect; allowing them to serve more customers, cut down on waste, and keep to guidelines.
The owner researched available e-commerce products on the market and decided to go with Blue Car Technologies for their fast online store with no transaction fees that would continue to let Coffee & Cake Co. sell direct to its customers. The big names in the food delivery industry acted swiftly, offering to put the business online and use its existing customer base to sell into. However it did not make sense to use a delivery service which would take a large percentage of the takings. The store was quickly built and integrated into Coffee & Cake Co.'s existing website. The software is easy to use and in just two days the business had the majority of the products listed. New products can be added at any time and seen on the “live” store immediately. It allowed the team to effortlessly, by the click of a button, create a Facebook store as well.
"We reopened Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9am and 1pm. The pre-order cut off time was set at midnight Wednesday which would allow us to order from our suppliers and cut down on waste. Baked goods such as pastries and loaves of bread, if left over, cannot be sold the following day. Our suppliers supported us - the bakery we use told us that they were down 70% on their turnover and were happy to assist us".
The business reopened on the 2nd May 2020 and were trading better than they had in the last 5 years even though the trading hours were reduced from 60 hours to 12 hours a week. The online store and click and collect created new ways to reach potential customers and the fact that it was integrated with their existing website made the transition remarkably easy.
The software for the online store is very easy to use and Coffee & Cake Co. continue to add more products as more suppliers come on board. The business looked at products that could not easily be bought in supermarkets and are now selling both organic bread flour and organic cake flour as well as organic eggs. The business continued to stick to its values in reducing single use plastic and packaging in general.
"The Blue Car Technologies Commerce solution has enabled us to trade more efficiently, break new daily turnover records and sell to new customers. I cannot recommend them enough. Our next steps will be to offer a free delivery service in the local area, to integrate our online store with our accounts package, QuickBooks, and introduce new products to the store."
You can visit the Coffee & Cake Co. online store here http://www.coffeeandcakeco.com/