How do e-commerce start-ups prepare for a TV appearance?
BitterLiebe is a start-up that sells bitter substances (or “bitters”) extracted from natural herbs in the form of powder, tea and drops. With their business idea, the two founders – Andre Sierek and Jan Stratmann – won over star entrepreneur Judith Williams in Höhle der Löwen, the German take on the Shark Tank/Dragons’ Den format. In fact, the American investor even went so far as to acquire a fifth of the start-up for €200,000. The founders spent months preparing for their appearance on the show – this is because the peak in orders that were expected to follow needed to be as customer-friendly as possible from a logistics perspective. This meant that products needed to be dispatched on the day they were ordered.
The ultimate guide on E-commerce inventory management - Food business edition
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- Important terms & definitions
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2.9 million people discover BitterLiebe on Höhle der Löwen
Early on in the preparation stage, the founders had already decided to professionalize their online shop for the day of broadcast and the following weeks. From experiences documented by platforms like Startup Valley and other start-ups’ use cases, Andre and Jan were well aware of the importance of being featured in a popular start-up show on German broadcaster VOX with some 2.9 million viewers tuning in for each episode. For example, the 3Bears start-up chalked up around 15,000 orders in its online shop in the first 12 hours.
Such a huge order volume can only be dealt with using automated processes – in other words, automated payment checks, error-free transfer of orders between the shop or marketplaces to the company’s own warehouse or fulfillment service provider, automatic inventory adjustment (to avoid overselling), information sent to customers automatically and automated label printing and dispatch. Not to mention dealing with the inevitable returns. Just like 3Bears, the founders looked extensively into ERP systems that offer an attractive license model for companies while guaranteeing high performance in scaling orders. In the end, they decided on the goods management system xentral ERP. The main reasons for this decision included its outstanding functionality in the e-commerce