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Easing The Transition To DTC

Andy Judd, CMO of Yasso, Inc., discusses the challenges of moving into the DTC space

via https://yasso.com/our-difference/

Moving into the DTC space after operating only in retail is a tricky tightrope to walk. You have already-established partnerships that you don’t want to jeopardize and a consumer base that you don’t want to cannibalize. But you also want to bring innovation and new products to your loyal customers, and you want to build more personal relationships with them along the way. So how do you win in all areas? Or can you win in all these areas?

Andy Judd is the CMO at Yasso, Inc., and finding the answer to that question is currently at the top of his todos. . Yasso sells frozen yogurt bars, which side note, are the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Yasso just recently began its journey into the world of DTC. Ultimately, Andy knows that building a profitable DTC arm of the business is one of the toughest challenges in the ecommerce industry today, especially when shipping frozen goods, but he’s done it before, and his tapping into all his knowledge he’s built up from prior roles at companies like ONE brands and Campbell’s soup. The first of those lessons revolves around creating a platform that customers can use easily and effectively every single time they visit.

“Your selling platform, in my opinion, should be a living platform, for lack of a better word,” Judd said. “It should never get complacent with the architecture. The devil is in the details on winning the SEM game, winning how consumers work through your sites, winning on how you keep them in the fold and get to repeat levels.”

And the best way to get a repeat customer is to delight them the very first time they order. That’s hard enough in it’s own right, but it gets exponentially more difficult when you add in the fact that Yasso is shipping a shaped frozen product and the logistics for that are far from optimized.

“We make frozen novelties in a bar shape, so there’s no forgiveness in that delivery, and we have to be pretty flawless against that, unlike, let’s say, frozen fruit or even frozen ice cream pints,” Judd said. “That can have a little bit of give, and the pint carton will hold its shape and kind of refreeze, no different than when you come home from the store. Novelties do not have that.”

To get the shipping right, layers and layers of testing need to be done and quality control has to take place throughout the process. But Yasso said that the time you put in will pay off in the incremental growth you’ll see for not just the internal brand, but for the rest of the partners you work with. Explaining that idea, though, is yet another challenge to the process.

“Whether it’s DTC or third party platforms, retailers are also operating in these, and a lot of the questions we get is, ‘Are you going to be sourcing volume from my retail in order to sell on these platforms directly?’” Judd explained. “And I think having those conversations with particularly important retailer partners upfront is important to help them understand how you’re targeting, why it’s good to bring net incremental people into the total business, and that helps all boats rise, how you’re going to work with them through pricing strategy, in particular, how you’re going to work through them with promotional and merchandising that doesn’t create overlap.”

As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, and as long as you are building transparent processes and strategies with your partners, there are no limits to the heights each side can reach.

To hear more from Judd, be sure to tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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