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From offline to online sales in less than 24h.

At the beginning of March we were very intrigued about what will happen to the world due to COVID-19. But 2 weeks later we would learn very quickly that this isn’t something to play around with. We packed our laptops and anything important from the office and continued our work from home. Sadly enough, a part of our clients didn’t follow.

Some of them were forced to take a break and others had to rethink their strategies and partnerships in order to make it through the emergency state. 

A new hope.

Luckily enough, other clients saw this as an opportunity.

If your biggest competitors close shop, what do you do? You maintain your position and make the best out of it. Of course, this might not be generally true, but in most cases it might be just the right thing to do.

In 2019 we started working with Nicoleta and Radu Hrițcu, owners of Cuptorul Moldovencei. This family-owned pastry-confectionary shop in Iași delivers great products and places high importance on their ingredients, customer care, and their team.

We’ve been working together for more than a year now, and Radu’s call about how they would like to continue their operations as safely as possible in times like these took us by surprise.

But them wanting to keep their shop open wasn’t the biggest surprise. Instead, it was the fact that they wanted to move the orders that were taken in-location or by phone to online.

Now, we faced a difficult situation here. We had no online shop for them in place and nothing building towards that. We soon realized that we had to move fast in order to make the best out of this situation or else they might suffer.

Here is what we achieved within a month during the pandemic lockdown

All the data is relevant for the following period of time: 20th of March – 18th of April 2020.

  • Increased overall Facebook website generated traffic growth.
  • Through the Google campaigns set up by our partners, we’ve seen impressive growth of clicks, +1459% to be more exact.
  • The communication also saw an increase in the organic reach as well.
  • Through online orders we managed to keep the same levels of sales as through all the 5 locations for the same period.

These are some of the numerical result highlights, but let us give you a more in-depth look at how we managed to achieve all these and set the strategy in 24 hours, below.

Setting up the online ordering system

Adapting to this wasn’t easy for either of us. But we figured that we might as well try before we call it quits. So we adapted.

We used Facebook Messenger as the main collector for online orders and the contact page of the company’s website as an alternative.

This way, we made sure that we have 2 ways of receiving orders. But setting up the channels through which people can contact us wasn’t enough. We had to make sure they know about Cuptorul Moldovencei, their products, and their availability to receive orders and deliver them.

Communicating the new orders and delivery option to clients

We decided to set up a few campaigns in order to keep the orders coming, even if they were through delivery. One important thing is the fact that CM doesn’t have a delivery system set up, but they do have an amazing partner who took care of delivery and understands their need to be close to their customers through this time.

A direction that we chose was Social media ads. Besides the daily content that we post for the brand, we decided to take it a step further and create a few campaigns in order to drive sales. Nothing new so far. But adapting a business that was 90% offline to the online world is definitely new.

Birthday cakes & delivery.

The campaigns had 3 directions: birthday cakes, special Easter products & the location still being opened through this time.

First off, we wanted to make sure that people who were self-isolating could still celebrate their birthdays or any important events in their life. With this in mind, we set up a few campaigns. The purpose of them is to reach people who will be celebrating their birthday or would know someone whose birthday will be coming up.

Throughout this campaign, we managed to bring 60 orders of cakes, mini-cakes, and other products that people bought to celebrate themselves or a special someone.

Secondly, even though the locations weren’t open for people to sit down and enjoy the products on the spot, they were still open for the public to get orders to go.

When the virus started to break out, many customers asked us via Facebook messenger if we were still open. With this on our minds, we decided to make a proximity advertisement for each of the five locations to let people know that we were up and running. This helped us maintain in-store sales at a certain level.

Lastly, the whole Easter situation. 

The pastry shop creates amazing products and its regular customers already knew that, but what do we do with those that didn’t? We advertise them. This way we managed to drive more than 50% of the total orders through online channels instead of in-location or by phone.

The campaigns had different objectives in order to make the most out of the two channels that we had available for online ordering. In the chart below you can see how the percentage of orders splits between the three channels.

At the same time, our partners ran Google Ads campaigns to bring traffic to the company’s website, therefore the emails from the contact page are also a result of their efforts.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

You might be thinking that “Wow, Jojo, wouldn’t life be easier with an online shop?” and to that I say, yes, yes it would be. But in a situation where building an e-commerce website would’ve taken at least a few days if not a month in order to implement, making the best out of what you have is the greatest option.

Improvising sometimes can help you adapt to a situation in which none of us has ever been into. And even though the company’s sales weren’t the same as last year in the same period of time, it definitely helped.

Keeping one eye on the competition is also something I do at least on the communication side. While most of them were letting their customers know that they were closing down due to the situation, CM held its position in the market. Staying by their customers, their needs, and adapting was not an easy thing to do, but they overcame the situation. And people who wouldn’t usually have a cake from CM might now take them into consideration for future celebrations or a sweet-tooth desire.

Seeing how the need for an online shop has been validated throughout this impromptu campaign, we are happy to see the desire of our clients to move forward with actually building one and adapting to a new medium of sales in the pastry world, the digital one.

Marketing , Reports , Social Media

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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki