Midnight, July 26.
It’s July 26th 2016, in the midst of one of the hottest summers in recent history. Its midnight, and the summer streets of Brooklyn are quiet. But in an office in the heart of Boro Park, four men sit together having an intense discussion. To an uninformed passerby, this doesn’t seem unusual at all, but in the EZKosher office, something special is brewing. Something that is about to take the kosher world by storm, in a way that has not been done in a very long time. As their voices blend with the consistent hum of the air conditioner, and the supply of sushi is dwindling, they sense that something spectacular is about to happen.
You see, EZKosher was planning an experiment. A major advertising campaign was being planned, offering high value coupons and promotions to gain new customers and promote EZKosher. We decided to run a small test to gauge the response. Without spending a lot of money on advertising, we posted on our normal online pages and ads our offer of $50 off to each customer.
In response, we witnessed first-hand the effect of something going viral online. The few pictures and texts we wrote to announce this promotion were re-shared and re-posted tens of thousands of times. On websites, on forums, Whatsapp groups, emails, and by word of mouth. Within minutes of the first posting, visits to our site spiked twenty-fold. And during the course of the campaign, we witnessed activity twenty times the normal level, in both site visits and orders.
Spreading beyond our plans and even dreams presented challenges far beyond anything we imagined. These hurdles were also managed by our teams better than we could have imagined. Add to that some unexpected difficulties which happened to hit at the same time, such as a logistics manager being out due to having a baby (Mazel Tov!), and a fire at our internet provider causing the phones to go down. Our entire team rose to the challenge by figuring out solutions and chipping in what they could, and all in all we managed to get 95% of the orders out correctly.
Notwithstanding these hiccups, we believe this campaign was a great success, moving EZKosher from a niche position into the mainstream, being talked about on social media groups, in offices, shuls, schools, and camps. We hope to leverage this exposure to bring more exciting things to you, our customer, and being better prepared and knowing what is needed.
EZKosher is doing something new and unique in the Kosher market. Our founders vision was to modernize the entire kosher grocery marker, bringing it online, and offering modern logistics and delivery management, all without competing with existing grocery stores. To this end, we built a marketplace where any local store can get listed, integrating with their own existing POS and inventory systems, and offering professional product photography and listings, so they can fulfill orders made online.
This means that this spike had to be handled not just by our technology and customer service, but also by the stores we partner with. We expanded our normal delivery slot limits, which are based on the capabilities communicated by individual stores, to the maximum possible. Even that was not enough and many customers had to choose delivery slots later in the week or couldn’t find delivery slots at their favorite stores.
We have learnt much from this experience, both on the marketing side and on the fulfillment side, and are actively implementing processes and fixes to deal with future growth. We apologize to those customers who have experienced difficulties in making their order or in reaching customer service. If you are one of them, we will make it up to you, although it might take a bit more time. Many have expressed their understanding and good wishes, and we are grateful for that. Our success is the success of everyone: stores and customers alike. Bear with us, we are moving to the future. Be part of the ride.