Prompted by customer demand – primarily due to the COVID-19 crisis – Truro health food store Archie Browns launched its online store at the end of July.
Archie Browns remained open throughout the pandemic – all it took was ‘a bit of pre-planning and organizing and turning the whole shop on its head overnight!’ – but the online shop aims to simplify the process for customers not able or willing to visit bricks and mortar stores.
“We wanted to make it easier for people who didn’t want come into the store because of the pandemic,” says store manager Felicity Trenerry. “Lots of people were phoning and emailing orders but without any knowledge of what’s in the shop, so they had to order from memory. We wanted to solve that problem and provide an easy way of shopping.”
The site itself is a work in progress and will develop as time goes on. “It’s quite basic at the moment,” says Trenerry. “We’ve got our best-sellers which are broken down into sections and sub-sections for the customer, so it should be fairly easy to navigate. Customers who’ve been ordering from memory can also add the things they know they want but might not be listed into the comments box at checkout.”
The online shop offers a selection of the store’s ‘tens of thousands’ of lines, with everything from fresh and frozen foods, drinks, aromatherapy products and household items to snacks, supplements, toiletries, store cupboard staples, wines and spirits and zero waste products.
The delivery area covers a 15-mile radius from the Truro store and there is a set delivery one day every week, with more depending on orders and delivery capability. Delivery is £4.95 or free for orders over £100.
“It’s been about a week and a half and it’s going well,” says Trenerry. “A lot of the customers who were emailing their orders are now using the online system and they are finding it a lot easier, but we’ve had some new customers too.”