In mid-September 2019, Dutch produce wholesaler, Kraaijeveld, held a major marketing campaign. With it, they introduced their entirely revamped online ordering platform, 'MyKraaijeveld'. We asked Joost Eggebeen about this platform's status. Joost is responsible for Kraaijveld's e-commerce and marketing. "Soon after the launch, we saw the market's readiness for this new environment. This was reconfirmed at the trade show in Berlin. The market wants an overview, speed, and comfort."
"The platform caught on immediately after going live in September. An added bonus was the number of new clients it attracted. After this initial strong growth, the stream of logins, logically, slowed down. But the number of sales is still slowly increasing. In a week, a hundred pallets of goods move through 'MyKraaijeveld'. We now have about 100 clients that structurally shop online."
"By the end of 2020, about half of our sales will have been done via our online platform. An additional advantage is that orders get into the system faster. That means the warehouse staff gets on it quicker. That makes us more flexible," says Joost. "Orders go out the door faster, and we can meet more clients' demands. It's created a kind of snowball effect."
"Kraaijeveld serves the retail, gastronomic, and processing sectors. We've noticed that retailers, especially, tend to prefer automatic orders using an EDI link. That's not a bad thing either. We can be just as efficient with that. The new ordering system is very successful with gastronomical wholesalers and processors. For this mixed trade, it's ideal for placing orders quickly. Particularly the younger generation of clients are quick to pick up on this."
"The recent months' corona crisis, of course, dealt these segments a decent blow. But we're currently experiencing a resurgence of orders. It's great that you can personalize the offers per segment. For example, crownless pineapples are an important item for the processing industry. The gastronomic industry, on the other hand, buys more herbs, dresses, and exotics. Based on data and ordering history, we can then make recommendations. That works well. We see clients that order online not only buy a wider range of products. They also order more often," explains the e-commerce manager.
Many sellers fear a rush on a mistakenly low-priced article on an ordering platform. However, according to Joost, that's never happened. "I must add that, in recent years, we at Kraaijeveld have grown toward a better group of clients. Internally, too, the new platform required a true change in thinking."
"The system is, of course, never entirely shut down. The ultimate goal is that sellers no longer use a separate system. They must do business via 'MyKraaijeveld'. We now have a trading platform. There, clients can not only place orders and create order lists. They can find order histories, report container returns, and request certificates too. Clients can also register claims and do so much more. But it doesn't end there. We've expanded the contract model. And we're now busy setting up a supplier platform. We're still trying to find more partners to work with on this," continues Joost.
"I'm delighted that we decided to chose to develop a customized package. It was a substantial investment. But we've laid a solid foundation for a stable platform. We can continue to develop rapidly. I would, therefore, also never advise colleagues to opt for a fixed package. We initially went with a fixed package, but it didn't work out. 'MyKraaijeveld' was developed on a low-code platform. It allows us to be very flexible, yet is fast. That also means we can do some of the future developments ourselves."
Quite a few fellow fruit and vegetable companies have visited Kraaijeveld to see the platform in action. "We are open to this. We, however, always emphasize - building a store is one thing; making a digital transformation is a much bigger step. Marketing plays an increasingly important role," says Eggebeen.
"We now have a five-person marketing team. They help devise, design and develop functionalities. This team inspires clients too. They do so via news reports linked to the clients' ordering lists and dashboard. Every week, we, for example, highlight a new product using banners."
"Has the client placed an order? The client then sees a personalized thank-you page. They also get an inspiring letter of thanks in their inbox. This is all linked to our new CRM system. We use this to serve our clients optimally. In this way, we add value to the 'MyKraaijeveld' ordering platform. We then say it's arranged surprisingly well for you," concludes Joost.
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