Practical Ecommerce

eCreamery.com: Ice Cream Made To Order

In Omaha, Neb. is a historic neighborhood called Dundee. If it sounds vaguely familiar it may be because it is home to Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the world. It is also home to a unique parlor and online venture named eCreamery.

eCreamery employees

eCreamery and its website, eCreamery.com, sells ice cream but with a twist. All orders are custom made. You name the flavor and eCreamery will make it from scratch. Some favorites include Almond Joy, Banana Foster, Green Tea and Doug’s Happy Hour, which includes a mix of premium stout ice beer and pretzels.

Business partners Becky App and Abby Klusmire purchased the company in 2007 and what they’ve done and they way they’ve done it has recently resulted in a dramatic increase in sales.

PeC: How long has the site been in existence?

APP: Rod Valeroso, whose family owns an ice cream business in the Chicago area, originally created the site in 2004. He developed the original concept and website while he worked part-time at the parlor and went to school.  Between 2004 and 2007, the site had fewer than 75 annual orders. But we saw the concept’s potential.  
 
In early 2007, we purchased the site from Rod and moved operations to our Omaha ice cream parlor.   With Abby and my marketing and ecommerce experience, we set about improving the site’s usability and creating a new brand identity for eCreamery.

PeC: You recently experienced more than a 100 percent increase in sales. What do attribute that success to?

APP: Mainly our new website. We gave the brand a facelift to better reflect the quality of our product and gave top priority to ease the users’ shopping experience. Just like a corner ice cream parlor, we wanted eCreamery.com to be a “place” customers have fun going to shop. I think we accomplished that.

PeC: In your opinion, what is the key to success online?

APP: I think we’ve seen online success by immediately connecting with our customer. Just like the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” a site visitor makes a decision about the credibility and quality of who we are and what we offer within the first few seconds of entering our site. As any retail brick-and-mortar operation, the customer or guest should feel welcome and enjoy being in our store. The key for us has been immediately visually communicating the quality of our product and offering an enticing invitation for our guests to stay and shop awhile.

PeC: What were some of the challenges of rebranding and getting the website up?

KLUSMIRE: The thing for us was we were starting with a product that wasn’t that branded, so in rebranding the biggest thing was it wasn’t there among the public. We weren’t really changing it. We were, I guess, just creating it.

APP: We thought the site needed to better reflect how good the ice cream was. When you look at it before, it included colors that we didn’t see as appetizing and the photography of the ice cream didn’t communicate how deliciously indulgent and how fantastic the ice cream was. We started off by giving the website a new voice. Before, it was just very technical. It was very factually based about ice cream statistics and things. We felt our customers really wanted to get on the website and be imaginative and creative and come up with some recipes. We just gave it a more fun, almost whimsical voice.

PeC: How difficult was it to initially get the website up and going?

APP: It was hard to figure out how to photograph ice cream and visually communicate how good our product was. And you only have about a three-minute window to actually shoot it. It was also really difficult to explain all the steps involved in creating your own flavor. There’s was a lot of education that went on to clearly communicate that in effort to keep customers on the site and not have them throw their hands up in the air and walk away. It took a lot of time to lay that out.

PeC: How much of your business is online?

APP: About 90 percent of our custom orders are from the website.

PeC: Other companies sell ice cream online. How do you try to distinguish yourself from the competition?

APP: We are the only ones where you can actually design your own flavor.

Pat Callahan

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  1. Legacy User February 12, 2008 Reply

    This stuff is amazing..I ordered some custom for Christmas gifts for my family and everyone raved. Very creative, fun and awesome taste too.

    — *IceCreamFan*

  2. Legacy User February 12, 2008 Reply

    How do you ship ice cream?

    — *Glenn*

  3. Legacy User February 12, 2008 Reply

    2 gallons of Green Tea Classic for $119.98 + $76 for shipping = $195.98 ?!?!?!?
    Isn't it a "little bit" to expensive? For this money I can have more then 10 gallons of hand made ice cream at the local des moines shop – delivered in 30 minutes.
    :D
    The number of fewer then 75 orders per year, in last three years, explains a LOT.

    — *IceCreamLover*

  4. Legacy User February 12, 2008 Reply

    There are many places to get good ice cream at a lower cost…but the value, to me, is in its novelty and giftiness.

    The ice cream is custom packaged with the name that you select for it, not just a generic container. This makes it a VERY creative, unique, and personal gift. Would I use this for the night that i am at home craving a particular flavor of ice cream? Nope. Would I use eCreamery.com for Christmas gifts or instead of a gift basket or a corporate gift to business partners? Absolutely. And I have a handful of times. And each time it was received much more enthusiastically and more impactful than almost any other 'gift basket-y' type of gift i have ever given.

    Give your significant other a few pints of "First Date Flashback" and see if it doesn't get a reaction that is unrivaled by most.

    But thats just an opinion of a satisfied customer. :)

    — *BossofYou*

  5. Legacy User February 14, 2008 Reply

    Hi Glenn,

    We ship each order overnight in a cooler on dry ice via a specialty perishables service. We have priced every major and minor shipping service we've come across and found $38 as the most competitive rate for our requirements.

    — *Becky App*

  6. Legacy User February 14, 2008 Reply

    I agree with BossofYou – not the standard weekly ice cream fix but a unique gift idea.

    Great looking website. Fun stuff.

    — *LactoseIntolerant*

  7. Legacy User March 11, 2008 Reply

    I really like eCreamery. But I was wondering if you could just spread the stores to more places all around the world. I really would appreciate it if you put it in Southern India, Japan, or even Hong Kong. I also think it just isn't fair for the people that don't live in Nebraska to pay a lot more just to get it shipped to them.
    I want everybody in the world to share the love of Ice cream made especially the way you want it. Thanks for noticing this little plea for ice cream!

    — *Ice cream Heart*

  8. Legacy User March 28, 2008 Reply

    I don't know if you already have this flavour but I think lime with mango and pistachio would be really delicious. Maybe you could try it and see!!!!

    — *Denise Elder*

  9. Legacy User March 28, 2008 Reply

    Gosh, I feel so stupid. I live in Omaha and have never heard of this place until I got an Email from a freind today. Yes, I know where Dundee is, but where is ecreamery???

    — *Keith G*

  10. Legacy User May 21, 2008 Reply

    Best ingredients, best flavors and the very best atmosphere!

    — *Sarita*