Mark Felix

Senior Director, Retail B2C & eCommerce, Allen Brothers

Supernova Award Category: 

Next-Generation Customer Experience

The Organization: 

Allen Brothers is the premier purveyor of the finest prime meats and other quality foods. In addition to our award winning steaks, we also offer the finest, Heritage breed veal and lamb as well as pork, seafood and more. See for yourself why top chefs and restaurants have trusted us as their source for the finest, most consistent, best tasting and most tender USDA Prime beef available — our sole focus is to ensure that the world’s finest beef and other foods are enjoyed by all. 

The Problem: 

We're in growth mode and had started on a Yahoo small business eCommerce platform and then transitioned to Magento one. And we were on Magento one until all of last year when we made the transition to OCC. So we were facing sunsets but also knew we needed to move to the cloud which would allow us to focus more squarely on customer needs. We're now thinking solely about customer experience and conversion rates and be more focused on sales and marketing-driven fundamentals rather than patches, upgrades, security, and operations of software. We needed to get away from that.

The Solution: 

Oracle Commerce Cloud is largely a cloud-based system that allows us to focus squarely on customer needs, we're now thinking solely about customer experience and conversion rates.

The Results: 

Oracle Commerce Cloud gave us the freedom to focus on other areas like making sure that our supply chain was in order and that we had product available to our customers to sell at a time when local grocers are finding shelves are out or looking at our competitors their websites and I see that their product, their primary products are all wiped out (sold out) and we don't have that issue. We are in a great position to meet the needs of our existing customer base and an entirely new customer base and provide them with a seamless experience starting with hitting our websites on the Oracle platform.

Key results:

  • Implemented a shipping calculator and calendar system enabling customers to select desired shipping method and arrival date, with the ability for business users to set blackout dates and custom rate tables
  • Allowed for customized gift messages per shipping address
  • Included split payments in checkout giving the customer the ability to apply both credit cards and gift cards to the same order
  • Integrated with InfoPlus for order management
  • Created a new product type with custom fields for physical and electronic gift cards
  • Implemented social and email share capabilities with the Wishlist functionality
  • Improved the structure of the cooking guides and included email share and product linking capabilities
  • Established shipping and tax estimator for the shopping cart

Right now we're seeing traffic to our site that's far beyond what we experienced during the same time last year. And we're seeing conversions far beyond what we observed last year on our site. With many of those transactions coming from entirely new customers.

The Technology: 

Oracle Commerce Cloud integrated with:

  • Listrak
  • CyberSource
  • Avalara
  • Google Tag Manager/Analytics
  • Google Merchant and Facebook Product Feeds
  • UPS
  • Mimecast
Disruptive Factor: 

There are a lot of other players and new players in this market. Omaha Steaks is one, but our customers tend to be a bit different as far as the value and the price points of our products are very different. We like to think of ourselves as the Mercedes of mail-order meats in that way but there are Kansas City Steaks and Snake River Farms at our tier. However, there's been such a fracturing inside of the proteins space by virtue of a lot of farms who are coming up and looking to diversify their business offering and sell directly to consumers right from the farm. Then there's the grass-fed movement, the all natural antibiotic-free movement, and some of the other crossbred Waygu programs, there's a lot of new faces in the marketplace. So what we've focused over the last year is becoming a marketplace for meat, where we are the curators of the best programs from grass, natural, waygu whether it's Japan, Australia, or domestic. You would come to Allen brothers much like you would go to your favorite wine shop because every beef has its own different flavor profile. And so that's what we're providing is different flavor profiles from different regions. We've become a tastemaker marketplace where people try and find their favorite beef rather than just saying this is the best beef.

Shining Moment: 

We launched right ahead of our big holiday rush and came out of it with some bumps and bruises, it was a learning experience on the new platform. But right after the holiday season ended we jumped right back in with our web development team, made a number of refinements in January and February and we're certainly reaping the benefits of it now.

About Allen Brothers

Since 1893 Allen Brothers has been serving the exacting standards of top chefs and restaurants nationally. We have earned our reputation based upon one guiding principle — never compromise. From the hand-selection of our meats to our meticulous aging methods and hand-cut custom portioning, every step of our processes is precise and performed to your exact specifications.