31 Jan Case Study: From Brick-and-Mortar to an Online Storefront – Keeping the Customer Happy
Dan Sultzbach is the Marketing Director for Concord Pet Food and Supplies in Wilmington, Delaware. Today, this family-run business has grown to thirty brick-and-mortar stores spread throughout the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
Mr. Sultzbach came to New Media Retailer to design an e-commerce site that would help Concord Pet Food and Supplies continue to compete with the larger corporations in its industry. Companies like Chewy, PetSmart, Amazon and Petco have the resources and the wherewithal to employ in-house IT teams to manage their website and online marketing needs. Concord, like most independent retailers, did not.
New Media Retailer provided Concord Pet Food and Supplies with a digital solution tailored to a small company that would represent them as they always presented themselves in their brick-and-mortar stores – with attention to detail and excellent customer service.
Concord needed an e-commerce provider that would provide the following services:
- A dedicated e-commerce administrator to be available to answer questions and work through difficulties that always arise when company employees are given responsibilities to work with new technology
- Marketing services including proactive promotion ideas, coupon designs, and social media management.
The E-commerce Website
New Media Retailer designed a scalable e-commerce website that would launch with 10,000 items in its inventory thanks to the “Endless Aisles” solution – and include items that were also sold in each of its 30 brick-and-mortar stores.
“Retaining the customers that physically walk into our stores was a priority,” pointed out Sultzbach. “It was essential that our online pricing and our in-store pricing matched, therefore. The New Media Retailer team trained our staff on how to accomplish this. They also designed a system to document tasks that were done to keep us on track with due dates so we could get the site completed on time and ready to go live on the day we planned.”
After the Concord Pet Food and Supplies e-commerce went live, there were some immediate snags.
Not because of a problem with the website but because of one of the unavoidable features of e-commerce. On more than one occasion the shipping contractor, Fed Ex, delivered items that had been damaged in transit, and even losing packages.
Concord had to act fast to retain the new customers they had gained through their e-commerce website, and attempt to ensure that these customers continued to shop at the bricks-and-mortars locations as well.
Although it was the responsibility of the third-party shipping company when customer’s items arrived in a damaged condition or didn’t arrive at all, the reaction of the customer was, understandably, to lay blame at the feet of Concord Pet Food and Supplies.
“We were able to keep most customers satisfied by offering discounts on their next purchase,” said Sultzbach. “We have a Customer First mentality, and even though we knew some of those customers would never shop with us again we continued to work with them to resolve their issues – and many did decide to continue to use us as their primary pet food and supplies resource.”
The New Media Retailer dedicated account manager assigned to Concord facilitated this effort by going above and beyond the call of duty. They even contacted Fed Ex on Concord’s behalf on more than one occasion. New Media Retailer helped the Concord crew learn how to file lost- or damaged-shipment claims in a timely and efficient manner.
“They suggested sending coupon codes to each affected customer as well, which went a long way toward making those displeased customers happier with us,” explained Sultzbach.
While it is impossible to prevent damage occurring to packages or lost packages entrusted to a third-party shipping service, Concord has systems in place now to react quickly should such an event happen, to help maintain the customer-service satisfaction of its customers.
E-commerce and Digital Marketing Levels the Playing Field
New Media Retailer and the Endless Aisle e-commerce program saved a lot of time and money for Concord.
“Because of their back-end system, our small office staff was able to focus on other tasks for the company. On the front end, being able to rely on their customer service has been huge for us. We didn’t know anything about e-commerce when we got started, and we’re still learning every day. When our first orders came in, issues with first orders, fulfillment questions and so on – we had someone to rely on to help us navigate.”
“We never had to do this “alone,” so entering uncharted territory with a partner has helped us save time and money.”
Concord had also tasked New Media with their online marketing services, which helped the e-commerce neophyte take advantage of the profit potential offered by Cyber Monday.
“They sent me some promotion ideas for Cyber Monday (2018) in early November, I chose one from a list of options.”
After receiving his choice, the staff at New Media Retailer researched apps to support the sale, generated the coupon code, made appropriate social media posts, and sent two e-blasts for Concord.
“In total, that day generated over $20,000 in total sales for us. In just one day! With this being our first Cyber Monday sale, I really didn’t need to do much and was able to rely on their team for the ideas and execution.”
New Media Retailer provided Concord with an affordable solution to their e-commerce needs and then continued to deliver excellent customer assistance and marketing services to ensure their client not only had a successful e-commerce launch but will continue to be successful in the future.
Concord is pleased with their choice of New Media Retailer.
“When we were searching for an e-commerce website designer, price and customer service were important to us. After exploring a few different options…we knew that we were making the right decision and New Media Retailer did not disappoint.
Not having to purchase, staff and stock a warehouse [thanks to Endless Aisles, which handles fulfillment tasks] made the decision very easy. We can now be where all of our competitors are and give online shoppers a place where they can support local business.”