histats

How digital helps companies serve ice cream and smiles 24/7

How digital helps companies serve ice cream and smiles 24/7


Think ice cream sales are just a hot weather treat? Think again.


According to insights from Bestway Wholesale, which serves business-to-business stores, 50% of ice cream sales occur outside of the summer months. And while the research finds that good weather remains the most popular reason for purchase, accounting for 63% of sales, having products visible for consumers to see in store is a strong second.


Ensuring that every retail freezer in every location is stocked with Unilever’s ice cream brands – so store owners get their sales and consumers their Unilever ice cream – is the job of Unilever’s Out of Home Ice Cream sales team.

Develop a new business model for out-of-home sales

Until recently, the way ice cream was sold to retailers had not changed in 60 years.


Orders were generated through visits from distributors’ salespeople or telephone sales, and stock was delivered a few days later. And even when this system worked well, it had its flaws.


The success of visits was often at the mercy of the store’s relationship with the representative. Sometimes sales were lost because shopkeepers did not have the money available to make the order. And it was up to the distributor whether data was shared with Unilever or not – often leading to low-value orders and leaving little room to generate new ones.


In a retail world where e-commerce and fast-paced commerce are a given, this route to market was ripe for disruption. And with the help of smart sales teams and smart technology, change has happened – and fast.

A digital route to market that enables seamless, frictionless sales

Unilever’s new business model for serving customers outside the home is smart, seamless and digital.


“Ice cream electronic route to market” (Ice cream ERTM) is an e-commerce app that gives all retailers who make Unilever ice cream the opportunity to order whenever and wherever they want.


“It’s the app’s big unlock,” says Emma Carrera, Director, Digital Selling, Out of Home. “It’s 24/7. Our Wall’s brand is known for ‘delivering smiles’ through ice cream. With this new digital route to the market, we can deliver smiles and sales 24/7,” she says.

See also  Otonomo dévoile de nouvelles capacités puissantes de mobilité de flotte


“For Unilever’s out-of-home sales team, data also means we are able to better manage our category,” adds Emma. “We can talk to our customers directly and send reminders that keep us top of mind.”


This can range from a WhatsApp chatbot message with a timely notification to restock core products to a recommendation for appropriate stock levels of products that can help maximize sales.


“In addition to real-time data insights on transactions and sales, we can also see which products our consumers have shown interest in and act to serve them,” says Emma. “And that data can be used to serve the customer tailored offers or product recommendations that can lead to new orders for us and new sales for them.”


Smart freezers are currently being piloted. These can capture out-of-stock products and send a push message to the store suggesting a quantity that can be ordered and shipped automatically, drastically reducing the chance of them running out of stock.

Smart solutions that deliver smiles and sales to retailers

Having the ability to order electronically when it suits your company’s needs has proven popular with the small supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores that make up the team’s business-to-business customer base.


Retailers can order stock from the app at a time that suits them, transfer payment electronically, stay in stock as a seller, and browse new offers and discounts. “We are seeing order values ​​and purchase frequency increase,” says Emma. “This is because retailers can buy 24/7. And there’s also a reduction in stores running out of stock. That reduction in out-of-stocks, plus the ability to push our core products more efficiently, is that the average order value increases.”


To date, nearly 40% of Unilever’s total out-of-home customer base is equipped with the ice cream ERTM app.

See also  Moderniser les applications ? L'intégration avec les API est la voie à suivre


“If you compare our digital stores using the app to our non-digital stores, we’re growing much faster in digital channels where we can sell and engage directly with customers,” she says. “That’s why we’re working hard to have more than 30 markets and 80% of our customers globally on board the platforms by 2025.”

Pilot solutions to keep the freezers full

And while the rollout of the app continues apace, the team’s search for more agile, intuitive and automated routes to market continues.


Smart freezers are currently being piloted. These can capture out-of-stock products and send a push message to the store suggesting a quantity that can be ordered and shipped automatically, drastically reducing the chance of them running out of stock.


While in Mexico, the sales team has been working to provide business customers with the same express delivery that our Ice Cream Now teams provide to consumers.


Estefania Lupercio, Digital Transformation Director, LATAM, and her team used location data to see which customers they could reach within a certain distance from a warehouse distribution point.


The pilot saw 1,200 trade customers offered the ability to place orders through a virtual salesperson via WhatsApp at any time of the day. Once the order was placed, a team at the distribution center had it ready in an average of 60 minutes. It was then delivered in backpacks with special cooling zones in less than four hours – a system that guaranteed product stability.


“An inherent part of disruption relies on listening and understanding customers so we can offer something they may not know they want yet. Our customers weren’t specifically asking for express delivery, but they were asking for new ways to help them maximize their revenue. And that’s exactly what we did.” – Estefania Lupercio, Digital Transformation Director, LATAM

Express delivery sample gives sales 25%

By the end of the trial, sales had increased by more than 25%, thanks to increased delivery frequency and droplet size.


See also  Comment utiliser Dynamic Island sur iPhone 14 Pro et Pro Max

“An inherent part of disruption relies on listening and understanding customers so we can offer something they may not know they want yet,” says Estefania. “Our customers weren’t specifically asking for express delivery, but they were asking for new ways to help them maximize their revenue. And that’s exactly what we did.”


Increased sales for us and increased income for our customers is growth for both. And, in the language of Wall’s brand mission, that means a delivery of smiles for everyone.

Using data to trigger, capture and fulfill demand

A pilot that looks to use data to digitize the entire value chain is also underway in Turkey.


“The journey begins with consumer apps and social media channels that provide customized offers to the mobile phone user with the aim of triggering an impulse purchase of ice cream,” explains Ibrahim Gulec, head of data-driven execution. Devices such as in-store smart freezers can then track the success of the offer to the consumer and remind the store owner to restock.


Data can also assess which offers and products are most attractive to store customers and provide more targeted points of sale to increase the chance of an ice impulse turning into a sale. And last but not least, when retailers re-order, their deliveries are fully optimized and tracked by AI and live devices to ensure smooth service without disruption.


“This new business model means we’re not just helping our dealers better understand their sales trends,” says Ibrahim. “We can also help them increase sales by delivering more smiles to their customers.”

This news content was configured by the WebWire editorial staff. Coupling is allowed.

News release distribution and press release distribution services provided by WebWire.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *