Kelly’s Distributors takes BeanScene through its mobile app, and how customers can make large-scale orders from the comfort of their phones.
Re-stocking supplies in a café can be a stressful experience. In some cases, research is required, calls to suppliers have to be made, and a waiting period by the phone is required to discover a delivery status.
Queensland-based distribution company Kelly’s Distributors has sought to minimise the anxiety over this process by using the company’s custom mobile phone online ordering application.
The family-owned business aims to make ordering easy, using simple instructions and making recommendations for new products based on the type of business submitting the order.
The company introduced the Kelly’s Distributors app to market in 2021, in a decision largely fuelled by customer feedback according to Kelly’s Distributors General Manager Ahsan Dada.
“Through our current database, we realised that most of our customers were time poor, which meant that they might not have time to place orders during the day,” says Ahsan.
“Developing the custom Kelly’s Online Ordering app gives our customers the ability to place orders at any time of the day, including on the couch at home.”
The app was developed to showcase the wide range of products available at Kelly’s Distributors, enabling users to scroll through to find the right options for their business. Ahsan describes the app as a “pocket helper”, which allows users to navigate current promotions and deals.
“It allows them to view our new products at their leisure or search for products that they have been wanting for when they have the time,” he says.
Ahsan says setting up an account on the app is an easy process, especially for those who are already business partners with the company.
“Once you register an account on the app, our customer service team will then grant you access to begin using the application,” he says. “We have chosen to do it this way to ensure that the private details of customers remain confidential and secure, giving them added peace of mind.”
These private details include previous order summaries and delivery addresses, all of which are pre-loaded into the app to ensure a faster checkout, which is a key priority.
For customers wanting to expand their offerings, there are exclusive discounts available each month in a specially marked section of the app.
“Customers can view and place orders from a monthly deals section, which can save them a lot of money,” says Ahsan.
He adds that the app has allowed for a smoother operation on both sides of transactions.
“The app not only helps our customers but also integrates with our internal systems, helping our salespeople to see that customers have placed orders online. Therefore, they can have more meaningful conversations in-store about new product ranges and increase profit margin rather than just placing orders,” Ahsan says.
The home screen of the app is customisable, and shows products a customer’s business might be interested in first. For those looking to investigate the range, the app includes a search bar, and a drop-down menu.
“Once logged in, each customer is able to view the customised catalogue of products they purchase, as well as prices and suggestions of additional items that might grow their business,” Ahsan says.
“The layout on the app follows the same template as our website, which helps familiarise our customers and make purchases easier.”
Once orders are placed, the Kelly’s Distributors warehouse springs into action with staff members getting involved to make sure delivery is completed as quickly as possible.
“All orders come through our system in real time,” says Ahsan. “The orders are then checked to eliminate both human and computer error before the payment is processed, and the delivery commences.
“Delivery is usually very quick and can be expected between 24 and 48 hours.”
Ahsan says Kelly’s Distributors is always looking for feedback on ways to improve the app moving forward, given it’s still in its infancy.
“Our sales staff and customer service team are both here to assist customers to onboard the new app. We have simple instruction manuals for customers to follow,” he says.
The company has begun developing ideas to simplify the app further and add on more functions.
“We believe that in the future it would be great if our app could integrate more technology in its ordering systems, which would allow customers to be alerted about current stock intake and when it would be a good time to replenish,” says Ahsan.
Kelly’s Distributors has ensured that the company’s entire catalogue is available on the app, including syrups from Origin Tea, cookies from Byron Bay, and a selection of compostable and eco-packaging accessories from Little Green Panda.
Also among the range of products the app can provide, is Kelly’s Distributors’ selection of plant-based milks, a recent focus area for the company.
“We have a huge variety in our warehouse,” says Ahsan.
The list of brands includes Alternative Dairy Co, Milklab, Oatly, Macamilk, No Ordinary Oat Milk, Bonsoy, Happy Happy Soyboy, Califia Farms, Zymil, Pure Harvest, Minor Figures, Vitasoy, and Almond Breeze.
Kelly’s Distributors’ pivot towards plant-based milks started more than a decade ago when the team began noticing developing trends within the coffee industry.
“In around 2010, there was a huge increase in demand [for plant-based milks], along with a general growth in population,” Ahsan says. “There was also an increase in health consciousness with people switching to vegetarian and vegan options.”
Ahsan says having this array of options also enables business to cater to new customers.
“[Offering a range of plant-based milks] allows for diversity in dietary requirements within a businesses’ customer base,” Ahsan says. “It helps build repertoire and inclusivity, and allows them to be niche and cater for a particular market or clientele.”
Ahsan adds that the versatility of plant- based milks can’t be understated. While commonly associated with coffees, he says they are an important option for a business to have.
“You can pretty much use plant-based milks for anything,” he says. “Coffee, smoothies, muesli, cakes, biscuits, and so on.”
For more information, visit www.kellysdistributors.com.au
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.