Transitioning from Brick & Mortar to Online Ecommerce
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Explore the Guide to Moving From a Brick and Mortar to Ecommerce Business
Listen, analyze, and act on your customer data
Building relationships online is no different than in-person. You need to listen to customers, process and understand what they’re saying (directly and indirectly), and act on that insight—in real-time. With Klaviyo, you can have an idea in the morning and deliver by the afternoon. Read how Porto's Bakery quickly transitioned its 44-year-old brick-and-mortar bakery to an online one here.
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Moving your business online?
See how the fitness studio, Bulldog Yoga made the move online and gain some tips and insights from Jon Cummins, the founder, and owner of Bulldog Yoga.Get started
When did you decide to expand your brick-and-mortar studio business to a virtual fitness concept?
We made the decision to slowly start our online platform for Bulldog Yoga in 2018. The idea was to learn the online fitness space, what works/what doesn’t, and refine our product before starting a more significant ramp-up. In early 2020 (prior to the pandemic), we made the decision to make a more substantial investment in growing the Bulldog Online platform.
What were some challenges that you faced when expanding into the Ecommerce space? And how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for us was ensuring that we can consistently deliver high-quality streaming quickly and easily. We went through a few iterations before finding a solution that delivered the best customer experience. I’d say the other big challenge is learning how to best scale the business using a combination of SEO, paid media, email, influencers, and PR. This is a constantly evolving “Rubix Cube” that requires constant and dedicated attention.
Can you provide a few tips for other fitness concepts that are thinking of making the switch online?
First, I’d say make sure you’re properly capitalized. Creating a good product, investing in the right technology, delivering a quality customer experience, and executing a marketing plan is capital intensive.
Next, I think it’s important to make sure you’ve got a differentiated product. There’s plenty of competition in the online fitness space. To effectively compete, you’ve got to have something that’s unique in some way.
How has Klaviyo made it easier for Bulldog Yoga to grow?
Implementing Klaviyo into our marketing program has enabled us to drive down our all-important cost per acquisition by roughly 15%. By enabling us to create highly targeted customized email flows and campaigns, we’ve been able to successfully target both potential and existing customers at all points in their journey. The Zapier integration which Klaviyo offers has been critical in allowing us to do this very easily.
How Western Bagel has 15x’d their Ecommerce Business
Understand how Jeff Lawrence, the Ecommerce manager of Western Bagel has grown the Ecommerce business of this Southern California brick-and-mortar by more than 15X in just under three years.Get started
Take us through the timeline of launching the Western Bagel ECommerce business.
In the Fall of 2017 we launched the Ecommerce platform. The business has been around since 1947 so this was a big step for us. Within the first year, we realized that we didn’t have a lot of competition in the space, so we increased our digital campaign budgets and increased our focus on the online store.
As a small business learning on the fly, we learned how to weather the storm. We really found our groove in the Fall of 2019, when we were able to achieve a more affordable and faster shipping model. After we had the shipping issue solved, the business started to scale.
Once COVID-19 hit, we had so many more requests and feedback from our customers wanting to buy our bagels online. We had people purchasing bagels from us located down the street from the store as well as people from the east coast wanting our product. We started to notice that building a relationship online was no different than in person. As a result of this, our email list grew, as did our budget for advertising as we were reinvesting our online revenue right back into the business.
For context, when we first launched our Ecommerce store, we were doing about $65k annually, and now we do that monthly. The goal for 2020 is to reach $1 million in Ecommerce sales.
What do you attribute the success in growing the ecommerce business?
We have tried a variety of different marketing tactics, including influencer marketing, Facebook ads, retargeting, content marketing and of course email marketing. However, one of the main contributing factors to our growth has been a product-market fit.
We were fortunate to have a product that is perfect for a quarantine. We really perfected shipping the bagels online over the past year or so and we have put dedicated resources into growing the Ecommerce business, so these two worlds collided and the business has taken off.
What were some challenges that you thought that you would face when moving online? and how did you overcome them?
Probably the biggest was that there wasn’t a whole lot of confidence that selling bagels online was going to work since not many people were doing it and we didn’t have a lot of best practices. We started with no budget and were just playing around with different ideas trying to figure out what worked best. This approach worked really well for us because we learned so much from doing this . I’d encourage everyone in our shoes just to test and learn at first and have low expectations. And if you happen to see a similar business as you selling online, observe what they are doing.
Additionally, shortly after we launched the online store, we had a lot of one time buyers and our retention strategy had a huge hole in it. We were doing nothing to get our one-time customers back. However, once I found Klaviyo, retention became much easier and our repeat customer rate increased by 23%.
Can you provide a few tips for other food concepts that are thinking of making the switch online?
First, I’d say understand the best way to ship and how much to charge for shipping. Test different box sizes, carriers, and then test out the quality of your products to make sure that they taste great. Find a way to ship free in the eyes of the customer, even if it means increasing your product price.
Secondly, when it comes to launching a campaign, try and try again. usually your first go-around won’t be perfect, but if you believe in your product you will get it right.
Finally, less is more. Don’t try to put your whole menu online, start with the core products, and build off of that.
What is your favorite feature of Klaviyo?
One of the best things about working with Klaviyo is being able to utilize the nurture flow and the predictive analytics feature of Klaviyo. Since our bagels are consumable products, we know that regulars will generally order from us again, so we leverage the predictive analytics feature within Klaviyo to send them an email when the time is right for them to order from us again. This feature alone accounts for about 10% of our monthly online revenue.