In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Rapid re-ordering programs lead to more sales to small businesses.
For each of the last 13 years, DiscountCoffee.com Inc. says it has brought in double-digit sales growth, all on an e-commerce site built in-house using Microsoft FrontPage software that was introduced in the 1990s and phased out a decade later. Finally, updating a site built with twentieth–century software became too much work for founder Kirby Newbury and his small staff.
“For 13 years, for each new product we add to the site, we have had to go in and hard code the product page and category page,” he says. “It might be 40 pages for every change. It has gotten us to where we are, but, 13 years later, it was too much.”
That’s why about three months ago, DiscountCoffee.com, No. 841 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, switched to a new Magento e-commerce platform and recruited web site design and development help from Acadaca LLC and Matchpoint Design Inc.
The new features that have had the most impact are the Rapid Re-Order and Recurring Order functions, which have been a major contributor to boosting average order value from $65 to $104, a 60% jump, Newbury says. DiscountCoffee.com’s primary customers are small businesses, so it was important to enable them to sign in to an account to re-order from previous purchase lists, which Rapid Re-Order makes possible, or to subscribe to receive regular shipments of desired items, using the Recurring Order function.
DiscountCoffee.com highlights these functions, plus Shopping Cart and Checkout buttons, prominently in a menu bar at the top of the screen on all pages of the web site. The bar remains static and visible to shoppers no matter where they navigate on the site, even as they scroll down the home page or click on a separate category or product page.
“We’ve had several customers that have asked to have an account set up so they can order from previous history,” Newbury says. “We didn’t offer this up until three months ago, and it has been a huge success.”
Other new features include a navigation bar on the left side of the screen, a What’s New section, customer reviews, product recommendations and checkout with PayPal, the online payment service owned by eBay Inc.