Transforming the E-Commerce Platform with a B2B Leader
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Get to Know Dot Foods
Formed in 1960 as a family business, Dot Foods is the largest food industry redistribution company in North America, with over $8B in revenue. They are the B2B leaders within the food service industry, functioning as a much-needed “less-than-truckload” food-supply partner for the brands you know and the channels through which you buy them.
Dot Foods makes more products more accessible to more people than ever before. When the company wanted to upgrade their e-commerce offering, they turned to Valtech.
Increasing Revenue by Improving User Experience
As is the case with most businesses, Dot Foods works to drive growth. Their existing business model helped them reach exceptional heights within the industry, but for a company to keep growing in the contemporary landscape, they have to be willing to change.
To increase Dot Foods’ online revenue, the direction was set to transform into more of a digital and e-commerce-first company who differentiates by owning their entire distribution network. Doing this meant not changing the strategy at the core of Dot Foods’ business, but engineering new experiences for the end-user that would change the way the promise of shared growth is delivered to their customers.
Taking the Holistic Approach to Partnership
As a digital partner, here at Valtech, we never want to stop at merely building a platform. Working hand-in-hand with our partners to accomplish their goals is our guiding principle. When Dot Foods came to us intending to triple their online revenue, we knew building them a new platform wasn’t enough to accomplish those goals. Instead, it was essential to create a new mindset around their established e-commerce platform.
We view these partnerships as a journey that we take with our clients. That means always challenging and questioning to ensure maximum value is delivered and taking on the weight of end-to-end implementation and delivery. If we built the platform, implemented the new systems of thought, and the new approach to business, and then walked away, it wouldn’t be a true partnership. Instead, we continue to offer Dot Foods our experience and insights on technical strategy, digital product, architecture, development, quality assurance, technical change management, and data science, and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Moving from B2B Supply Chain to E-Commerce Giant
Dot Foods’ e-commerce portal, Expressway, was primarily transactional in nature. Meeting Dot Foods’ established goals meant showing them that being transactional makes us disposable. In this sense, the transformation was less about building a new platform and more about changing the nature of the existing platform, shifting it from a place to process transactions to a user portal that builds equity with customers and by way of that equity, also builds customer loyalty.
In addition to the intangible goals of building customer loyalty, there was also a practical need for Dot Foods to respond to the COVID pandemic. We built “COVID-19 Food and Packaging Essentials,” a microsite in response to C-19 that was built in 10 days and launched at the beginning of April 2020. This microsite helps customers navigate the complexity of food demand during a nationwide pandemic. Dot Foods can now guide urgent food demand against real-time shifts in supply.
Using Microservices to Bolster E-Commerce
One step towards meeting Dot Foods’ needs was to migrate their platform over to Episerver to make better use of microservices and a long line of other benefits offered by the platform. Brands around the world are adopting microservices-enabled architecture, because it allows you to add an innovative layer to your existing technology, meaning that you can respond to customer expectations with much faster turnaround times. Because Dot Foods was making the shift away from a simple transaction-based interface to one that put the relationship with the customer first, this ability to respond to customer expectations quickly was essential.
By considering the whole customer journey, we were able to implement changes to Dot Foods’ e-commerce platform with the end goal of driving customer loyalty by getting customers to see Dot Foods as a companion instead of just a place for transactions. Dot Foods has control over special promotions and merchandising and, based on trending and commonly ordered items or even seasonal trends can help guide their customer’s journey. By making helpful, data-driven recommendations powered by Episerver’s Product Recommendations feature, they’re positioned as partners striving for their customers’ ultimate success.
As a result of this digital transformation, Dot Foods’ e-commerce platform can now:
- Elevate relevant Products and Merchandising AOV
- Increase cart conversion
- Offer better product recommendations using Epi Perform Strategies
- Show customers trending products
- Improve search results through Epi Find
- Find operational efficiency and encourage Expressway ordering
- Increase overall customer satisfaction
- Continue to evolve the customer experience by leveraging the capabilities of Epi
- Much more
Dot Foods didn’t need a digital partner to come in and change their business from the ground up; they needed someone to help them deliver their brand promises digitally. By partnering with Valtech, that’s precisely what they received to bring their B2B supply chain to the next e-commerce level.