Taste Tradition Direct’s Ian Smith discusses growing a new site to 50 orders per month in just 2 months (episode 034)

Ian Smith is in the process of creating an online butchers – Taste Tradition Direct, as we record this interview we’re in month 3 of the business and they’ve already hit an average 50 orders per month. He’s building it as the online, B2C side of Taste Tradition – an award winning wholesale farmers and butchers who specialise in rare breed meats, with an amazing reputation with the UK’s top chefs.

Click to Tweet: Hear all about Taste Tradition Direct – they don’t mince their words – Ian Smith’s on the @eCommerceMasterPlan #podcast

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Ian Smith of Taste Tradition Direct
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only (with a strong Wholesale side)
  • Product Range Scale – niche
  • On a Woocommerce platform
  • An Average 50 orders per month within their first 3 months of business
  • Based in North Yorkshire, UK, sell UK only

Listen to hear how Ian Smith has built a successful eCommerce business from his establish wholesale business.

Most Awesome Thing Right Now

Ian is excited by the process of transforming Taste Traditions brand and reputation among the catering industry and highly acclaimed chefs to a consumer brand.  Key to this is maintain the business’ customer service standards.

Listen to hear more about managing an online B2B and B2C business

On the Radar for the Coming Months

Ian has ambitious plans for the business over the next coming weeks.  Most online butchers offer an online meat box – Taste Tradition Direct would like to do this with a difference.  They hope to offer a box which can be customised to include only the meats their customers want.  They are also looking to provide services such as whole lamb / half pigs butchered to the bespoke requests of their customers.  This would all build into a subscription based service.

Other eCommerce topics we cover include:

  • When developing the new consumer side to the business Ian and his team went by the slogan ‘Get it wrong quickly’ as it is an online offering any mistakes they made could be easily rectified.  As Ian was managing the website in house it meant he could carry out a lot of testing and immediately put any learning into action.  He credits this for the reason they have been able to get this new side to their business up and running quickly and effectively.

Transferring Brand Equity from B2B (wholesale) to B2C (eCommerce)

  • Ian had the following great tips that he used to ensure that the brand equity would flow from his existing business into his new business:
    • Maintain customer service levels and use the knowledge within the established business to get great testimonials and create a happy customer base.
    • Write great FAQs and collate information relevant to the product range – what would B2C customers want/need to know.
    • Limit the product offering to ensure you create a good experience – picking the right product for the season.
    • Take links from the B2B site on those key products – because due to natural SEO this is likely to be the starting position of your potential customers.

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

eCommerce Book Top Tip

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

Ian believes that perfecting your customer service to encourage repeat orders and customer referrals has been one of the keys to their success.

Tool Top Tip

Ian has 2 great tool tips.

  • Zappier – which connects apps and automates processes
  • Zopim a messaging / instant chat tool.

Start Up Top Tip

Ian had 2 pieces of advice to offer here dependent on your circumstances:

  • If you are brand new business with no existing brand to use as leverage Ian would recommend you try piggybacking on to a site such as ebay to get a real feel for your market and how your business will fare.
  • If you have an established brand that you are looking to build into an ecommerce brand Ian recommends the ‘do it wrong quick’ approach that Taste Tradition Direct took – with an online business if things don’t work you can change them very quickly.

If your business didn’t exist, which eCommerce Business Would you like to be Running?

Audible – Ian likes the idea of a business where there is no stock or risk of it going off and the subscription element provides the repeat business that he thinks is key to a successful business – it ticks all his boxes.

Interview Links