Our website is a resource tool for everybody - whether you're an online or offline ordering customer - accessible whenever you need it. With a wealth of information at your finger tips and even more once you login to your account. Whether you're looking for the dispatch status of an order, searching for a product that meets a dietary requirement, want access to your account balance, or would simply like to save some new ideas that catch your eye, our website offers independent businesses, exactly what they need.
We’ve continued to support our customers with significant investment to enhance and upgrade our website. With background, rationale and insight in to these important changes, see what our Managing Director Ben McKechnie has to say below...
Why now is the right time to enhance online
Over the last few years the online revolution has swept through food wholesale, with research showing that of 90% of independent retailers see online as their primary means of ordering. Independent food service outlets, offices and many other businesses are reporting similar levels of online purchasing. The Coronavirus crisis has accelerated this further. There’s been huge investment in online platforms with the biggest wholesalers, like Bestway, Bidfood and the more forward thinking like JW Filshills and Abra leading the way, demonstrating what good looks like in online self-servicing for their customers. Independent retailers are also well accustomed to the online portals of their symbol groups, which have seen similar levels of investment.
We at Epicurium have always been proud to have a website that showcases the fantastic innovative brands we specialise in, but we have been aware of the limitations of our website and the frustration those limitations have occasionally caused for our customers. After 18 months - with a shoestring budget, some great developers, and a lot of head scratching to overcome a myriad of issues - we’ve managed to achieve a series of major upgrades to the site to turn it into a self-service portal available to all of our different customer groups.
What was simply an eCommerce shop is now a portal that matches the most helpful features of the leading wholesaler web platforms, and goes much further in making the best innovative brands easy to find and trial.
So what's been happening?
We’ve added two key functions to help our customers with this. Favourites lists to store regularly bought items - or interesting new ones they want to check out later – and also multiple shopping lists that allow you to create a regular order that can be added to your basket with just one click, multiple regular orders that change with seasonal occasions, or even a one off special order for special occasion. These work in much the same way as the familiar features on almost all good websites.
There's a new quick order function that allows customers to order by product code from one single page, without having to browse through categories and product listings. This great time saving feature makes large orders easy, quick and simple. We’ve also upgraded the product filtering and navigation options to really enhance how customers find new and interesting products to match a particular trend, location, fixture or occasion.
Where they’re looking for some inspiration in finding new innovative products, the enhanced filtering and signposting makes it easy to narrow down the range to those products that best suit their needs and even highlights products that they might never have thought of.
Alongside these key features, we’ve hugely upgraded the account history and now offer live order status and a full account order history that includes offline orders as well as online. For any orders they make – whether on the phone, by email, or online – all of our customers have the option to see their full 6-month order history, download their invoices, and even see how their most recent orders are progressing through our warehouse.
"A full-service portal that is proving to be a key tool that all of our customers"
This is a unique feature that even the biggest wholesalers can’t match. Customers with a trade credit account can see their credit account status, available spend, and aged balance, and make payments on account to clear either their balance or an overdue amount.
We’ve also added a load of behind the scenes functionality to allow us to serve our more bespoke customers with new pricing and promotional mechanics and bespoke navigation, we’ve added full nutritional & ingredient specification and RRP’s, live-stock status across the range, a Point of Sales category and we’ve added a series of useful resources from category advice to news and analysis on the latest trends. Alongside that we have a new live chat feature to make it easy for customers to ask any quick question they have whilst browsing for new products.
What we’ve achieved is to develop a full-service portal that is proving to be a key tool that all of our customers can benefit from regardless of whether they order online or not.
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Feedback from those customers utilising these new features has been extremely positive and we’re hoping to continue to provide all customers with the benefits of these new features.
As experts in wholesome snacks, the team at Epicurium have compiled an easy to follow guide to the best healthy snacks for independents - from sure fire hits to some of the freshest new brands on the market. Take a look at some of the new products you could be stocking to capture a greater share of the snacking audience. With a quick turnaround of 24-48 hours, no minimum order number and free delivery on any order over £80, our team here at Epicurium can have you tapping into freshest healthy snack and crisp alternatives in no time.