Who likes chocolate? Yes, everyone. Who wants to stay in shape and fit? Also everyone. Can you combine both? Yes! FRANKY Chocolate has developed a unique recipe by combining the best ingredients to achieve exactly that! Find out how the founder, Frank Zummer, uses Shopify and byrd fulfillment to take his chocolate business to the next level on a global scale.
Frank, intrigued by the concept of creating chocolate, ventured into the chocolate-making journey in 2016. He observed that while the market was inundated with healthy protein bars, a wholesome alternative to chocolate was absent. In 2017, propelled by his vision, he visited a chocolate trade-fair in Cologne to liaise with various producers and discuss his innovative concept. Fortuitously, one producer agreed to send samples, which turned out to be impressively delicious. This fortuitous moment marked the commencement of his ambitious journey.
Regrettably, the market didn’t share his enthusiasm, leading Frank to forge ahead without external investment. Based on the scrumptious dark chocolate samples he acquired, he initiated his venture with a select range of three diverse flavours. Understanding the pivotal role of digital presence, Frank adopted a digital-first approach, facilitating swift growth while keeping fixed costs manageable, and reaching potential customers effectively through social media.
His webshop, built on Shopware, was unveiled in October 2017 and quickly gained momentum. The team managed order fulfilment in-house, focusing on creating a memorable customer experience by adding personal notes to the packages and employing different carriers for shipment. This hands-on approach resonated well initially, but as the orders soared into thousands, the need for a scalable solution became evident.
Consequently, FRANKY Chocolate explored logistics partners to manage storage and delivery, enabling the startup to concentrate on business expansion.
However, post the initial success, Frank identified discrepancies in scaling up. Despite escalating expenditures, conversion rates were plummeting, indicating a need for immediate remedial actions.
As 2020 kicked off, FRANKY Chocolate teetered on the brink; orders stagnated, and challenges mounted. Then, the pandemic threw a wrench in the works, deepening the crisis. Frank faced a stark choice: shut down or reinvent. He chose rebirth, channelling the remaining resources into a mid-2020 business revamp.
To this end, FRANKY Chocolate unveiled a sleek, rebranded Shopify webshop. Thanks to Shopify’s user-friendly interface, Frank effortlessly introduced new payment methods and functionalities, no tech wizardry needed!
Shopify’s user-centricity is incomparable to other tools and everything is designed in such a way that it drives up conversion rates.
In addition, Franky searched for a new fulfillment provider that could facilitate future growth as well.
Frustrated by his previous logistics provider's lack of technology for managing order fulfilment, resulting in extensive manual work, Frank Zummer knew a change was crucial. His quest for a better setup led him to byrd, discovered during meticulous Google research, comparing nearly 10 e-commerce fulfilment providers in the process.
He was instantly drawn to byrd’s user-friendly logistics software interface, seamlessly integrating with his Shopify store. However, it was byrd’s international logistics network that sealed the deal, offering a dependable foundation for business expansion. Fully aware of online shoppers’ elevated expectations regarding parcel delivery, Frank planned to utilise one warehouse in Germany and one warehouse in Austria, for optimised cross-border fulfilment in the DACH region. Achieving this was a breeze with byrd.
As a result, FRANKY Chocolate could work with one single Third-Party-Logistics provider and one single Account Manager on its side to efficiently manage their order fulfillment and grow their business internationally.
In Austria, orders of FRANKY Chocolate’s delightful protein chocolate bars are seamlessly fulfilled via DPD, whereas, in Germany, DHL takes the reins. However, this well-oiled mechanism wasn’t the original setup. The initial journey with byrd saw deliveries in Germany being facilitated through GLS. Regrettably, this system was marred by multiple customer grievances related to the shipping service provider. The ramifications were immediate, with a substantial upsurge in customer support tasks and a consequent downturn in the overall customer experience.
Frank Zummer, attentive and proactive, responded swiftly, requesting byrd to transition from GLS to DHL, a move albeit marked by heightened costs. However, this elevation in shipping expenses is counterbalanced by a noteworthy reduction in customer care workload, subsequently augmenting customer satisfaction and reinforcing brand loyalty. Frank’s strategic pivot underscores his commitment to customer contentment, underscoring the brand’s dedication to offering an unmatched experience, even if it comes at a premium.
Innovative Product: A distinguished product, offering an array of delectable flavours coupled with superior nutritional values.
Optimised Shopify Store: A high-performing, user-friendly Shopify store securing high conversion rates and meticulously crafted digital marketing strategies driving substantial traffic to the webshop.
Streamlined Fulfilment Process: A coherent and proficient fulfilment operation ensuring seamless order delivery.
Harnessing the insights gained, Frank Zummer is poised to navigate new frontiers, exploring burgeoning markets to extend his reach. Given the extensive e-commerce adoption and the intrinsic love for chocolate in the region, the United Kingdom emerged as the logical next step. By introducing FRANKY Chocolate to British shores, Frank is resolute in his vision to propagate healthier living by offering nutritious alternatives to prevailing consumption norms.
Fortuitously, the venture’s expansion was streamlined thanks to Shopify’s internationalisation features and byrd’s strategic warehouse location in the United Kingdom, an integral component of byrd’s extensive European Fulfilment Network.
The unfolding scenario post-Brexit presented logistical challenges, making shipments from the German fulfilment centre overly protracted and financially unsustainable. Consequently, FRANKY Chocolate made a judicious decision to fulfil all UK orders directly from a local warehouse from inception.
Presently, FRANKY Chocolate’s distinctive protein-infused chocolate bars are dispatched from three strategic warehouses located in three different countries, ensuring optimal reach and customer satisfaction in their journey to redefine chocolate consumption.
When asked what he likes most about the partnership with byrd, Frank says:
I love the practicality of byrd and that I can work with one single fulfilment provider to grow internationally. Without byrd, the shipping costs would destroy my margin.
With grand aspirations, FRANKY Chocolate is poised to expand its footprint across Europe and beyond, aiming to make its wholesome chocolate bars a global mainstay. Observing market trends and dietary habits in the USA, Frank envisages that venturing across the Atlantic is an inevitable progression in FRANKY Chocolate’s journey.
Simultaneously, FRANKY Chocolate is persistently enriching its product portfolio. The brand is also in the developmental stages of integrating a subscription-based model, a feat effortlessly achievable through Shopify’s versatile platform.
To actualise his visionary pursuits, Frank is on a quest to assemble a stellar team of talents, aspiring to elevate FRANKY Chocolate to a brand stature parallel to Quest Nutrition. And of course, realising these lofty goals over the next 5-10 years necessitates a robust and knowledgeable fulfilment partner capable of facilitating FRANKY Chocolate’s global ascent. Frank is steadfast in his belief that byrd, with its industry acumen and operational capabilities, aligns impeccably with his ambitions, standing as the ideal ally in FRANKY Chocolate’s expansive endeavours.