A new business, an ecommerce site and a new brand all on a modest budget
A new business, a new brand and a modest budget. Start-up e-retailer The Flower Pot Tea Company was facing the challenges of establishing itself in the niche of selling specialty teas and tea accessories to the USA - a country still developing a ‘tea culture’.
As a B2C and B2B e-commerce start-up, the digital side of the challenge had two aspects. First, build a great online brand and then, second, back it with a great online store.
The company director, Hong Kong-based Jason Cohen, turned to Hunted Hive to answer both needs. While the technical component of what the Flower Pot Tea Company needed from Hunted Hive was straightforward, it was finalising the branding and setting up social media presences, all while working within a tight budget, that was the real challenge.
All up, it was to be a project that melded technical skill with elegant user-experience design.
From the first, Hunted Hive and The Flower Pot Tea Company were in alignment on what would be needed for the e-commerce component: a store with a customised template that could be delivered within budget and meet the requirements for wholesaling, product bundling, and integration with an integrated POS and fulfillment service.
However, as a self-funded start-up, the retailer’s modest budget of $10,000 capped the scale of what Hunted Hive could deliver. Luckily, the digital developer is an agile company and has long experience managing and delivering projects within tight constraints.
The key was clarity. The Flower Pot Tea Company had well-understood requirements, few people in the decision loop and highly responsive and open communication lines. All these meant Hunted Hive could bypass its usual procedure of conducting a full technology roadmap. Instead, the project could be managed through regular Skype calls between the client in Hong Kong and Hunted Hive’s head office in Australia.
This meant the tea seller’s need for customer-built e-commerce functionality - such as the capacity to pre-approve B2B clients for access to wholesale prices - could be swiftly expressed, scoped, estimated and built.
Likewise, advanced stock-tracking functions that could record inventory levels for the same items sold in different configurations as product bundles (which themselves constituted their own product lines).
Through clear expectations and excellent communication , Hunted Hive delivered success on each of the four dominant tasks of The Flower Pot Tea Company project:
The tea seller’s principal, Jason, says the site is “terrific” and had given his startup immediate credibility.
“I now have a very legit looking business which should give the B2B customers I deal with some reassurance that I'm not a one-man show with no funds or ability to market to consumers,” Jason says.
“My product stands up to any established brand now, and the website is a key component of that.”
You can see that by backing its wealth of experience with clear communication, Hunted Hive could stay on budget to rapidly and responsively help a new online retailer move from a great idea to a prosperous online business. And it only took a few months from start to finish.