Innovating traditional baked goods
Jeff Tin, the owner of Polland Hopia, felt that their business needed to go online so that they could better serve their customers. “People hate traffic, and driving out just to get food proves tedious to most,” he said, adding that even he is already buying a lot of his things online.
In addition to convenience for customers, an eCommerce site increases the reach of a business far beyond the the vicinity of brick-and-mortar stores.
“And as a company, having online presence makes you available everywhere” he said.
Despite knowing that they had to sell online, they did not know where to begin. After all, their specialty was baking pastries that their patrons loved, including their signature flaky crusty hopia that could be re-baked at home to give a “just baked” oven goodness. They had little to no knowledge of the world of eCommerce and other functions that go with selling online: order management, logistics coordination and digital marketing, to name a few.
Polland Hopia began in 1966 when Mrs. Go So Po, the daughter of the baker who introduced hopia to the Philippines, exited the family business to form her own hopia shop with her husband. They grew from baking in their own kitchen to selling through a chain of stores. Although Polland Hopia continues to be a family business, they have proven to be unafraid of innovation.
“Polland Hopia is the first in the industry to introduce and sell vacuum-sealed tikoy. Our company is also the only one who can produce hopia that lasts 1 month without refrigeration and chemical preservatives,” Tin said.
Tackling eCommerce, although very promising, undoubtedly will be a new and unexplored venture for them.
Luckily, Polland Hopia found TackThis! Concierge. Through TackThis! Concierge, they are able to get the help they need to set-up and manage their own online store. Before, they relied mostly on word of mouth to sell their products, sparked from the likes of events and exhibitions. Now, Polland Hopia’s online store exponentially expand their reach at a fraction of the cost of traditional on-the-ground advertising. As part of TackThis! Concierge services, Polland Hopia’s online store is also accessible via Takatack.com, one of the Philippine’s largest online discovery platforms.
A breakthrough campaign
Polland Hopia realized the full value of eCommerce when they sponsored a campaign on Takatack.com during the Chinese New Year. The campaign was a resounding success. It generated over 3,500 page views. And most importantly, these visitors bought Polland Hopia products, as evidenced in over 200 transactions during the promotion period.
According to Tin, the campaign helped them expand their customer base and truly serve shoppers nationwide. “It’s helped us reach customers as far as Palawan!” he said with a laugh.
Polland Hopia is partnering again with Takatack.com to promote their Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival offerings (https://www.takatack.com/mooncake-festival).
He understands that some merchants may be hesitant to take the leap into selling online. They may see an online store as an opportunity cost – it’s another channel to mind that may not prove a return of interest.
Yet Tin offered up the story of Polland Hopia as proof that any merchant determined enough to succeed in the online space eventually will. If they can build a new revenue stream through their TackThis! online store, with all the challenges of selling food over the internet, such as the limited shelf life of delicacies which they are still trying to improve without compromising their quality, Tin is confident anyone can.
To these would-be eCommerce entrepreneurs, Tin had only one piece of advice. “It’s always worth a shot,” he said.
Check out Polland Hopia’s online store at http://shop.pollandhopia.com/.