A couple years back, CUPS, a technology company dedicated to rethinking independent coffee shops operations, realized a major challenge was hitting the independent coffee shop space: it’s hard to procure goods at affordable rates if you’re not part of a larger chain of coffee shops. The team at CUPS took this opportunity and decided to aggregate a community of independent coffee shops to provide them with the ability to use their combined might to get access to the suppliers they need to order from at fair market prices.
“A paper goods or milk supplier is going to offer better prices to a group of almost 400 coffee shops than a single one. By negotiating on their behalf, we can give our partners access to those better deals, helping their bottom line.” ~ Gilad Rotem, CUPS Co-Founder & CEO
They set to work pooling a network of coffee shops and a network of suppliers together, with the goal of connecting these sellers and buyers on an online marketplace.
CUPS came to Four51 looking for a platform that would allow them to create this online marketplace connecting independent coffee shops to suppliers of everything the coffee shop needs, from milk to pastries to paper goods and beyond. They needed this supply store to be built on a platform capable of providing the exact experience they were looking for – combining a best-in-class B2C experience for the independent coffee shops with the ability to handle the complexity needed to connect and configure a network of suppliers, each with unique requirements of their own.
Because OrderCloud™ is a headless eCommerce platform with a UI decoupled from its back-end B2B data model and infrastructure, CUPS knew this platform would allow them to build out their vision for launch, and continue to evolve the experience over time. They built the CUPS Supply Store, an online marketplace that offers:
- A one-stop-shop for independent coffee shops to buy all the supplies they need to run their business.
- The ability to shop products by category (coffee, tea, baked goods, paper products, etc.) or by specific suppliers, and access fair market rates aggregated by the size of the CUPS network.
- A streamlined shopping experience for the coffee shops, where they’re able to place a single order with products from multiple suppliers.
- The logic needed to enable submitted orders to be split by supplier on the back-end and routed appropriately for fulfillment and shipping.
- The ability to set supplier-specific minimum order requirements, shipping rules, fees, order cut-off times, notifications and more.
The OrderCloud platform allowed CUPS to imagine the marketplace they wanted to provide coffee shops with, and design and develop it in three short months ready to launch to their initial market.
Within the first eight months in production, sales grew by over 800%, and the number of coffee shops placing orders each month has grown by over 280%. Independent cafes let the CUPS team know how much they love the supply store shopping experience, and they continue to see a growing number of coffee shops making the CUPS Supply Store their go-to ordering hub. The flexibility of the platform empowers the team at CUPS to continue to improve and evolve the ordering experience as feedback is provided and new opportunities present themselves.
CUPS wanted to build the perfect store for coffee shops which meant certain features had to be tailored to their specific needs. Off the shelf eCommerce solutions weren’t good enough. On the other hand, they didn’t have the expertise to build it themselves in-house. OrderCloud was the optimal solution, offering a robust infrastructure and B2B eCommerce feature set built from the ground up specifically for purchasing and procurement while still offering enough flexibility to accommodate their specific requirements.