During these unprecedented times, supporting local businesses has never been more important. While we all do our bit for the community, we should be working more closely with local businesses, whether it’s shopping in-store or helping in other ways.
About Dunster’s Farm
Dunster’s Farm is a local, family-run, independent food and drink supplier in Bury, Manchester and has been trading since 1963. From the current director’s grandad’s door-to-door milk round, Dunster’s Farm transitioned into the business-to-business (B2B) space by supplying chilled and ambient foods.
While no one could predict the events of 2020, many businesses have had to close their doors, some temporarily and, unfortunately, some permanently. As a family-run business that has traded for over 50 years, the pause on some customers’ accounts naturally impacted how Dunster’s Farm trade. However, the local food and drink supplier wasn’t going to let COVID-19 affect them, and they saw an opportunity to keep the business open, which meant saving jobs and helping the North-West community during these difficult times by returning to its original roots.
Dunster’s Farm stepped back in time and shifted from a B2B-led food supplier to B2C (business-to-consumer) in just 14 days and are now receiving hundreds of orders per day to help feed families across the region.
Joint Managing Director at Dunster’s Farm, Hannah Barlow said: “We had been considering launching an online service to take household orders for a while now – this line of work is in the business’ DNA after all, with the founder having started it as a milk round. When the crisis hit and we saw how much trouble people were having getting hold of the essentials they needed without compromising their health, we knew it was time.
“We’ve worked hard to get this service up and running as quickly as possible and it is paying dividends – the feedback we are receiving from customers has been brilliant and it is great to know we are doing something to help the community cope during this difficult time.”
How Did They Do It?
For almost six decades, the Bury-based £10 million business has been successful in supplying a vast range of companies from the hospitality industry to the education sector and hospitals with food and drink. With the quick rise of COVID-19 that no one could predict, the Government made the difficult decision announcing that many businesses would need to temporarily shut their doors, including Dunster’s Farm’s customers.
With a quick change in direction, Dunster’s Farm contacted PushON to help strategise on how to make their services available to North West households, who are social distancing and struggling to get hold of food and drink essentials.
As an eCommerce marketing agency, we fully understand the demand and need from consumers, which is why we were able to offer a tailored consultation with Dunster’s Farm that covered all areas of the business to assess suitability for an online offering.
Allied with their incumbent web and creative agency, A Story Called, collectively, we began to develop a brand new and fully functional eCommerce website, putting North West consumers at the forefront. Dunster’s Farm was responsive in our recommendations to developing a consumer-based transactional site. This meant we were able to add WooCommerce onto their current WordPress platform and launch the website quickly. Customers can place orders online for a wide range of products, including fresh produce, pasta and rice, snacks, household essentials, fresh and cooked meat, and arrange deliveries at home.
Within just two weeks, following the consultation, Dunster’s Farm’s new website was launched, and hundreds of orders were being placed each day. The new contactless food delivery service has provided North West households with food to feed families at the click of a button while supporting a local business.
As this is a new service, Dunster’s Farm is listening to customer feedback and continuing to make changes to their business and looking to expand their product offering and delivery.
Simon Wharton, PushON’s Business Strategy Director, said: “Our consultancy team worked tirelessly to assess and realise Dunster’s Farm’s potential to perform as a direct-to-consumer business. They already had plans to launch a consumer delivery service when they came to us but were simply taking orders via a phone number on the site. They now have an effective eCommerce-solution, which was realised in a very short period of time.
“Our team worked very closely with theirs and the team at A Story Called to make this vision a reality, and thankfully they were up for the challenge of getting things done as quickly as they were able to. We’re delighted to have shown them just how rapidly it is possible to launch a new online revenue stream and reach a brand new customer base. This is something many businesses should now be considering, in order to reach a larger audience.”
For help and advice, whether you’re a business moving into a consumer-led space or transitioning from offline to online, speak with our team today. We can help support your business needs through a range of eCommerce marketing services, including consultancy and strategy. Call us today on 0161 820 7628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.