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How Adding Direct-to-Consumer Delivery Helped This Juice Company Retain Its Staff during COVID-19

A look at how Stoke Cold Pressed Juicery was able to retain its staff during COVID-19 by using local delivery to sell its products to its community.

Before COVID-19, Stoke Cold Pressed Juice sold roughly 95% of its cold-pressed juices to cafes and restaurants, with the remaining 5% sold out of its storefront.

Jill Bentley-Lobban, the owner of Stoke, had started selling juices because they had left-over produce from their organic market. Instead of wasting that produce, they decided to expand their business and create tasty, healthy bottled juices. Soon this side of the business grew into its own entity.  Jill now sources most of her fruits and vegetables from local farms, keeping her product’s quality high and the carbon-footprint of her company low.

Originally, Stoke delivered to its B2B clients without requiring any kind of delivery planning or route optimization software.

“All of our deliveries were to recurring accounts, so the routes didn’t change week to week,” Jill said. “Because of that, we didn’t need to worry about route optimization or route monitoring.”

But this changed as her city went into lockdown to reduce the spread of the viral pandemic.

More customers wanted Stoke’s cold-pressed juices — along with fresh produce, which Jill sells out of her other business — delivered directly to their homes. Now, even after restrictions are being lifted, direct-to-consumer orders account for 20% of Jill’s business.

Jill knew she needed to deliver the juices quickly — cold-pressed juices are best within three days of being bottled — and she needed a system that let her efficiently deliver to multiple stops per day.

She brought on two part-time delivery drivers to help with the increased demand. But, she also needed something more sophisticated than Google Maps to help her plan deliveries.

If you manage a team of drivers and want a simple, cost-effective way to keep track of them (while making their routes more efficient), sign up for a free fourteen-day trial of Circuit.

How Jill Uses Circuit to Plan and Make Her Deliveries

Jill’s drivers completed roughly six routes every two weeks (with anywhere from 10-25 stops per route).

At the recommendation of her website developer, she started using Circuit for Teams.

With Circuit, she didn’t need to spend time trying to optimize multi-stop routes. She simply loaded the addresses into Circuit and let Circuit’s algorithm optimize a route for her drivers.  This allows Stoke to deliver more orders on a given day.

Plus, Jill saves time along with providing increased customer satisfaction by using Circuit’s route monitoring feature.

“It’s really great to be able to monitor where our drivers are,” Jill said. “If a customer calls and asks about the ETA of their delivery, I can just look at my screen and give the customer an accurate update of when their order will arrive.”

Going Forward

As stay-at-home orders begin to loosen, Jill has seen some of her B2B clients increase their orders, but it doesn’t seem like her direct-to-consumer business will go away anytime soon.

First, most restaurants and cafes where Stoke sold its cold-pressed juices are only opening at 50% capacity — so they’re still not ordering as much inventory as they once did.

Second, people are accustomed to getting their juices delivered straight to their doorstep.

Whether the direct-to-consumer side of her business plateaus or continues to grow, she’ll be able to use Circuit to optimize routes, monitor her drivers, and provide excellent customer services.

If you manage a team of drivers and want a simple, cost-effective way to keep track of them (while making their routes more efficient), sign up for a free fourteen-day trial of Circuit.

By David Klose

David is a content writer based out of Phoenix, Arizona. He has written for SaaS and e-commerce companies, as well as several mattress blogs. His work on sleep health has been featured on Today.com and Yahoo! Lifestyle. You can reach out to him through davidklosewrites.com.

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