Following the latest government announcement that restaurants and pubs must close by 10pm, b2b.store is offering its premium e-commerce on-boarding service free of charge to any foodservice wholesaler that signs up to the service in October.
The e-commerce platform has been designed specifically for wholesalers and enables them to offer their customers digital ordering via mobile, tablet or desktop. It is completely free to use the basic version and there are a number of premium features which can be added to the subscription at a cost. It has been developed by RNF, which launched the first ordering app into the sector for Bestway in 2016.
RNF and b2b.store founder and chief eective Rob Mannion said: “Our foodservice clients have been having a tough time throughout the Covid-19 crisis. The feeling was that things might get back to normal in the Autumn but it is becoming clear that this is definitely not the case.
“There has never been such a strong case to offer digital ordering for customers which keeps orders flowing 24/7 and means you don’t have to rely on telesales staff. b2b.store is cost effective and can be up and running within 24 hours of us receiving a client’s product data. However, we’ve found that many clients are struggling to provide this information in the correct format so we introduced an onboarding service whereby we sort out the data for them. Given the financial pressures foodservice wholesalers will be under, we’re going to offer that service for free, removing a potential barrier to getting their businesses online,” he added.
Meanwhile, RNF has secured £870,000 from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to develop its b2b.store. The funding will be used to drive future expansion in the wholesale sector, as well as overseas.
“This significant support from Innovate UK is great news,” said Mannion, “not only for our business but also for the sector as a whole as it will enable us to invest more heavily in our product and make it more accessible to wholesalers of all sizes in all sectors. It also means we can focus more on data-driven insights that are revolutionising the sector.”