While Betty Blocks’ no-code platform helps large corporate companies undergo digital transformations, the platform also helps startups build their business. Stockon, the innovative startup that lets you order groceries through a mobile app and delivers them to your doorstep, needed a flexible platform to build their back-end with. The company found a connection with Betty Blocks, not only with the technology but also with the human-centered culture of the technology company.
We interviewed Stockon Co-Founder René Hansen, to learn about his experience as a customer of Betty Blocks and what his company gained from using the no-code platform.
So Rene, could you tell us about your business?
René: Stockon offers a home-delivery grocery service through an app, on a weekly-basis. The goal is to provide people with more time to maximize their life, focus on the groceries they’d like to select more specifically, such as those at a farmer’s market, and more time to focus on doing activities they enjoy.
Through increasing convenience, saving time and helping to manage households, we want to improve the quality of life of our customers. In a way, we offer the same promise as the Betty Blocks platform - it saves time, it’s efficient, it’s convenient and most importantly, we offer more than a good price. Stockon offers free delivery through all of the Netherlands with discounts up to 10% on all your favorite products.
That is similar to Betty Blocks’ vision! As a startup, could you share the challenges you had to overcome to launch Stockon?
René: The biggest challenge is getting all the pieces of the chain aligned with each other. From having a value proposition to a marketing story, user interface to having suppliers and offering the right things at the right time, everything is working and moving at the same time.
Coming from Amazon, we were running operations totally focussed around the customer and we continuously aim to improve the experience based on metrics. When I started in Stockon, there were pieces of a scattered puzzle put in place with a variety of software and tools. The heart of the organization was missing and we wanted to solve this in an agile and flexible way.
With those challenges, which one did you start with?
René: We first had implemented our concept in an app as a minimum viable product (MVP) and a warehouse with inventory. With that constellation we were able to run tests with friendly first users to further improve. Very quickly we then made the decision to implement the back office to connect the different parts.
So you knew what solution you were looking for, what made you choose Betty Blocks?
René: I wanted to make sure we could build a "pluggable eCommerce platform" with enough flexibility to create the perfect customer experience. We decided therefore not to select a standard eCommerce tool, but to build on a flexible architecture. We visualized this as our architecture to create a common understanding of how the different pieces would be aligned.
I was referred to Betty Blocks and I looked into the platform, which got me interested in trying the demo.
Ultimately what sold me about Betty Blocks was the human side, the authenticity and size of the company and its culture. Software is often sold as a technology despite it being a service. Companies that provide a service should have a more human style of engagement. With Betty Blocks, I knew I wouldn’t be treated as a number, and instead, we could collaborate on projects together. The decision was made based on my instinct, and it turned out to be the fastest deal closed with Betty Blocks.
We’re glad that Betty Blocks provided you with the quickest solution. What are the main benefits for your business now using Betty Blocks?
René: The main benefits are that it’s fast, easy to use and flexible. We built a crucial part of back office in four weeks. I still think that’s super impressive. The back office interface is intuitive and everyone understands it. Making adjustments to the backend can also be done efficiently. Changing pricing schemes for example, is possible to finish in 30 mins when normally this would take much longer.
Betty Blocks also helps us with inventory management. Due to our speed we are able to support our partners to quickly develop specific requirements for grocery eCommerce. For example, if we have an order that needs to go to a delivery network, in some cases we need to pre-announce the order. The fulfilment partner would traditionally make these announcements, but they struggled to do that quickly. We were able to take over responsibilities from PostNL, our partner in logistics and distribution.
We could overcome obstacles with partners we are working with and we have more flexibility in how we reach out to customers. I see Betty Blocks as a control center, and then we have other tools, software and webservices to integrate with.
Did your choice for Betty Blocks have implications for the way you work and look ahead to other opportunities?
René: Overall, the flexibility helps us be more comfortable running our business. We are growing quickly and make improvements to our customer experience on a daily basis.
Our early launch partners have also provided very positive feedback on our producer portal. This gives us more confidence in our collaboration and provides opportunities to adapt our business quickly.
Applications need to be connected to a back-end system. With Betty, you can make an MVP with a full chain involved. So, we can make a minimum viable chain now rather than just a product. We can quickly test it in the market, and quickly change and adapt it to the system. We’re able to create a full business case and test it, in a full chain with suppliers and customers.
How big is this database going to be?
René: We just started but right now we have for example 20,000 unique vouchers in our database. These vouchers can be purchased through Friesland Campina's loyalty program "Eurosparen". We should scale and grow quickly to be able to compete in a market driven by scale. By the end of the year, we should have a large volume of orders and the numbers will grow high quickly.
The online food market is going to be a 20 billion euro industry and only 1% of that has been achieved. Market potential is expected to grow even further.
Now that you’ve experienced the platform, what should be the next steps for Betty Blocks?
René: Focus on speed, robustness and the ability to scale. That’s where I would focus. Going forward, I want to make sure the application is robust. I’d want monitoring services if things go wrong, so we can ensure quality as a small agile startup. Betty Blocks is becoming more and more of the heart of our business. We are just seeing more maturity and how we can merge everything. At first, we were looking for a flexible solution, and now we’re looking for robustness.
To put your ideas in action and create the application your business needs like Stockon did, sign up for a Betty Blocks demo.
More About Stockon
Founded by a team of experts in distribution and logistics in 2017, Stockon is more than just a grocery delivery service. It's a smart app that predicts and gives suggestions about your necessities and favorite products so that you can replenish your pantry every 2 weeks. Choose which products you always want to have at home and the delivery time that suits you best, and let Stockon do the rest. Check out their website to learn more about how it works, or download the app for iPhone or Android!