March 3, 2011, 11:20 AM

eCreamery lures shoppers with a contest

The gourmet ice cream retailer uses a custom interface from FastPivot to manage the entries.

Lead Photo

Visitors to the web site of multichannel gourmet ice cream retailer eCreamery, aren’t impulse buyers. They often browse around the site a few times, checking out how the retailer crafts custom ice cream flavors before making a purchase.

So when the retailer decided it needed to increase sales, it knew it needed to boost the number of consumers visiting its site.

Becky App, the retailer’s co-founder, figured the best way to garner traffic was to give away ice cream via a contest. And, she figured, the best place to draw attention to the contest was on Facebook.

But she didn’t want consumers to enter the contest on Facebook and never visit eCreamery.com because that would be a lost opportunity to make a sale, she says. Rather she wanted the contest to live on her site and have links on Facebook that led back to her site.

“It’s a huge advantage to have the contest take place on my web site rather than on Facebook,” she says.

Working with e-commerce technology vendor FastPivot, she launched a monthly “Create Your Own” flavor contest in December. The contest allows shoppers to craft their own flavors on eCreamery.com, then share the creations on Facebook. Each month the creator of the flavor that receives the most Likes on the social network receives a free order of their creation.

To enable eCreamery to run the contest, FastPivot developed a program that takes entries submitted on the site’s contest page and stores them for the retailer’s review and approval. Once approved, the entries are displayed on the contest page. The FastPivot-built Facebook contest application then tracks the number of Likes each entry receives so the retailer can determine the winner.

Since launching the contest in December eCreamery has received more than 600 entries with an average of about five Likes per submission. That means the retailer has potentially engaged about 3,000 new consumers.

Moreover, the site’s traffic rose 30% year over year in February, which may be partly attributable to the contest, says App. And sales have risen 40%.

“We give a lot of credit to the contest,” she says.

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