Popular Seattle Roaster Caffe Ladro Ups its Ecommerce Game

caffe ladro

Caffe Ladro, a Seattle coffee institution since 1994, currently operates sixteen retail cafés in the Seattle area. Well known as a pioneer of sustainably and ethically produced coffee, the company sources and roasts its own single-origin and blend coffees. It also bakes its own pastries and desserts.

With both coffees and baked goods available online for retail and wholesale customers, web-based sales are an increasingly important component of Caffe Ladro’s business model. Adrienne Kerrigan, the company’s wholesale marketing coordinator, said Caffe Ladro was looking to improve its online order efficiency when searching for a new ecommerce platform in 2015.

“Our old platform was incredibly clunky and supported only very limited online sales,” Kerrigan said. “I would field several calls every week from customers asking for help on how to navigate our website.”

One of the reasons Caffe Ladro chose the Nexternal ecommerce platform from HighJump was its ability to seamlessly support subscription orders, which are popular in the retail coffee market. “One of the things that really sets Nexternal apart is its ability to automatically handle subscriptions and do auto reorders,” Kerrigan said. “It actually generates a new order in QuickBooks Enterprise every time a new subscription order needs to be sent out.”

Another driver for increased sales is Nexternal’s support for coupon offers. “We’ve been able to do a lot of really interesting, successful coupon offers for our customers, especially last holiday season,” Kerrigan said. “That’s been one of the major benefits of the system for us.”

For the coffee roasting side of the business, Caffe Ladro’s own retail stores are its biggest customers. The retail store managers place wholesale coffee orders twice each week. Those orders used to come in the form of paper printouts, and had to be manually entered into QuickBooks Enterprise.

Caffe Ladro decided to automate the process completely. After looking at different options, the company connected its Nexternal ecommerce platform with an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) solution from TrueCommerce, another division of HighJump. This allows store managers to place orders online through an in-house Nexternal portal, with order data exported directly to QuickBooks.

“It made a ton of sense to get TrueCommerce EDI working with what we were already doing with Nexternal,” said Kerrigan. “Those in-house orders are now much easier to view and fulfill and there’s no need to hand enter them anymore. They automatically pop up in the correct account in QuickBooks, under the correct store.”

Kerrigan estimates that online sales have quadrupled since implementing the integrated system in mid-2015, due in large part to the ease of ordering, even on mobile devices.

“It’s paid for itself simply by how organized and easy our online orders were to fulfill during the last holiday season,” Kerrigan said. “Our coffee shipments increased significantly starting in early November, and by December we were getting 40 to 50 online orders or more some days. It’s been an even better, quicker money-maker than we had hoped.”

Mike O’Brien is Senior Editor of Multichannel Merchant

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