When beverage supplier “Trinkkiste“ from Berlin delivers its products, it is not bound to set times. A patented locking system that can chain the beverage crates to the door makes all of this possible. The online pure player also developed a software for its web store that permits flexible ordering. Customers really appreciate this service.
When “Trinkkiste“ customers come home, their beverage order is already waiting by their front door. A system that prevents thirsty neighbors from grabbing some beer from the crate makes this possible. Founder and company owner Thomas Kraker von Schwarzenfeld has designed and patented a special “lockbox“ for this.
This is how the system works: a small anchor is clamped underneath the door. A wire is attached to the anchor and locks the beverage cases that are covered with special lids. The customer fastens the anchor by closing the door. The delivery service is able to attach the delivery at any time to the wire. “The system works perfectly,“ says von Schwarzenfeld, “So far, none of our deliveries have been stolen.“
Delivering the merchandise during the day to apartments in multi-family complexes which makes up 95 percent of the company’s business is not a problem. “During our test runs, we discovered that in nearly all crates somebody in the house will open the door,“ the entrepreneur from Berlin adds. In the worst case scenario, the company attempts a delivery the next day.
The only appointment with the customer is made for the first delivery to provide the anchor and explain how it works. Households with more than one person between the ages of 30 and 40 predominantly use this service.
Not needing to meet deadlines is not just a convenient service for the customer. The retailer also reaps a huge benefit since he can optimally plan routes. “We don’t offer same-day delivery. In our experience, this makes no sense for this product group,“ says von Schwarzenfeld.
Homemade software – allowing customers to be flexible in ordering
As a pure online service, the Berlin company deliberately sets itself apart from the countless brick-and-mortar beverage retailers. Orders are only accepted online. Customers are free to choose from different delivery times (most frequently chosen term: every 14 days).
This required a special tool for the online store. It makes it possible to fulfill customer requests even on very short notice. “All of the conventional shop systems were not sufficient enough to accommodate our flexible ordering process,“ says the entrepreneur. “So we developed our own system.“
But that’s when the team encountered a widespread problem. Von Schwarzenfeld criticizes, “Embedding the payment systems with plugins during the development phase was the biggest challenge. I underestimated this aspect. You would think that major companies like that would keep their interfaces clean but they are often flawed. It frequently happens that customers get stuck at this point and feel overwhelmed by all the payment options.“
He pins his hopes on Apple Pay, which is now being introduced in Switzerland. “One button, just position your finger on the sensor and done - awesome. This could be very helpful, especially for our many blind customers whom we so far have to guide through the payment systems on the phone. If this system can be used in Germany, it will definitely prevail in eCommerce.“
Keeping customers interested online
Aside from the store activities, the company’s marketing is also exclusively done online. “Traditional print ads are far too expensive,“ explains von Schwarzenfeld. He adds that the startup company’s marketing team uses popular channels like Google Ads, SEA and social media to promote customer loyalty and find new customers. Current events like the UEFA European Championship provide the platform for tips on hosting a successful barbecue. An online magazine is also intended to promote customer loyalty in the future.
The beverage supplier has been on the market since the beginning of this year. Trinkkiste doesn’t just deliver its products along with the lockbox; the system is also utilized by various grocers in the Berlin area. Demand keeps growing steadily and the delivery area is massively being expanded. At this pace, the company recently had to switch lockbox manufacturers since the previous company was not able to produce the quantities in the time frame required. “Right now, Trinkkiste delivers to ten cities. We still plan on expanding this to 40 cities this year,“ explains the adventurous founder.