Specialist coffee seller Has Bean has seen a steady 10% increase in sales since overhauling its website and simplifying the order management system, meaning it can now embark on more marketing activity.
The company sources, roasts, grinds and delivers coffee but was unable to cope with any uplift in demand as orders were previously dealt with manually meaning the company was spending as much time handling paperwork as it was roasting coffee.
The new website, which has been designed and built by Rock Kitchen Harris, automatically co-ordinates roast lists and invoices meaning it can now look to increase promotional activity.
Steve Leighton, founder of Has Bean, said, “We haven’t done a newsletter for the past 18 months because when we did it had a slashdot effect: we sent it out and got overwhelmed by the amount of orders it brought in, but new system has simplified the process so much that we can now cope with that increase.”
Has Bean emailed more than 20,000 of its customers on the day of the relaunch, partly because the introduction of the new system meant users had to re-enter their password.
As a result sales increased 300% during the first week, which Leighton said was somewhat due to a promotion, but mainly because it “reminded a lot of people we existed”, and reignited their interest in the site.
“The most important part for me is that we’re seeing week on week sales since remain up by around 10%, which is far more important than the initial spike created by the sweetener.”
Leighton said the company is also seeing more repeat orders from customers and average spend is up too because the “buying experience and navigation is much easier”.
Has Bean has a strong community following on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, in addition to producing the Has Blog and weekly podcast In My Mug [see below], which it uses to connect with customers, but Leighton said he is loathed to use this position as a selling opportunity.
“They’re very personal places so we try not to be corporate bods because we don’t think that’s the right place for it. We have designed a new newsletter to tie in with the site though. We want it to be a bit different. There will be [text] but at the top will be a video player which takes the user to a video screen and presents the newsletter as a video too.”
Has Bean doesn’t do any traditional advertising, instead choosing to build the business by word of mouth, so in order to attract new customers Leighton said it will keep doing what’s it’s doing, but in a smarter fashion.
The company offers a coffee subscription alongside the In My Mug videos so customers can enjoy the coffees being discussed, which Leighton says is a big part of the business, but the way it is managed isn’t very efficient so the company is missing out on repeat business.
“At the moment people have to sign up for three or 12 months but at the end of that time the subscription just runs out so we’re looking to ad a rolling Direct Debit option and recurring PayPal payments, which will help with retention and convenience. It means we’ll have a smarter grip on the data we collect.”
Additionally, Has Bean has switched from using Sage Pay to Shopify which Leighton said has improved the customer experience as it reduces the number of clicks needed to complete the process and keeps users on the site when they make a payment.
“It also gives us greater visibility of abandoned carts. In the new year we’re hoping to be able to hit those people and offer 10% off products they might have left behind. It gives us a second chance to convert customers.”