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Case Study

How Food & Drink Franchises Sell D2C With eCommerce

Dec 14, 2022   •   2 Min Read

Those of us who live, sleep and eat in the eCommerce ecosystem can be in a bit of a bubble when thinking about economies as a whole. There are countless successful food and beverage franchises around the world with little to with little to no online presence. Selling online enables long-time brands to reach and market to new audiences they have never sold to before. Take Dippin’ Dots for example, which our team enabled to sell online directly to customers for the first time in the company’s 20-year history.

HubSpot Video

Why do so many brands with large customer bases, brand recognition and capital get stuck in their tracks when they begin considering eCommerce? Below we will break down each roadblock and how merchants can leverage eCommerce tools to thrive in today’s vast digital marketplace.

Production

Why do so many brands with large customer bases, brand recognition and capital get stuck in their tracks when they begin considering eCommerce? Below we will break down each roadblock and how merchants can leverage eCommerce tools to thrive in today’s vast digital marketplace.

Doc Popcorn is a sister brand of Dippin’ Dots that offers delicious gourmet popcorn. This brand pops its product fresh at its brick-and-mortar franchise locations to serve customers. Franchisees order seasonings, oils, raw popcorn kernels and all other materials as needed.

Challenge

When we designed and developed this client’s new website on BigCommerce, we collectively needed to decide the best purchasing and production workflow for eCommerce customers.

One option was to offer the materials unprepared directly to consumers. Although some customers may have the equipment and technical know-how to prepare the product correctly, in the case of this client, most would not. This would likely lead to ruined products and unhappy customers. In short, Doc Popcorn would have no quality control over its products.

The second more costly option would be to centralize production of both franchisee orders and eCommerce orders under the same roof. Unfortunately in the case of this retailer, their current facility could not accommodate this level of production. Doc Popcorn would need to build an entirely new facility which would be both time and cost-prohibitive. Ultimately, this client decided to take another route.

Solution

To combat these issues, Doc Popcorn created a plan for the franchised location closest to each customer to prepare and ship orders themselves. This solution allowed the client to maintain their existing production workflow, while providing additional revenue to franchisees


Storage

Product storage is where many brands lose a sizable percentage of their profit margins. However, storage is an overhead cost that is simply a part of selling products online. For years, brands have tried to implement “just-in-time logistics” to keep inventory overhead as low as possible.

In the case of food and drink brands, this importance is magnified. Not only is there a cost associated with storing the product, but it must also be kept in a climate-controlled environment. On top of that, if the product is stored for too long, it will expire and become a sunk cost, which then takes additional capital to dispose of properly.

Dippin’ Dots serves tiny nitrogen-frozen ice cream “dots” to consumers at theme parks, entertainment venues and brick-and-mortar stores across the United States. To store this product, its container must be kept at sub-freezing temperatures only achievable either through a specialty freezer or frozen CO₂, also known as dry ice.

Explore more tags: Case Study eCommerce Strategy
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