In a couple of months, we’re launching Bottle 2.0. The new product is informed by questions we’ve been asking ourselves over the past year: What have we learned since launching the company? How can we build up the local food system? How do we envision local commerce working on mobile? And which features are key to Bottle 2.0?
Above all else, local bakeries and coffee shops and meal prep companies rely on weekly reorders from regulars.
Some try to get customers on subscriptions, others hope the Instagram algorithm will surface their social posts at the right time. Everybody is manually texting (or emailing) their regulars every week.
These direct, personal, high-frequency relationships are like memberships. Both the businesses and their customers are in it for the long haul.
So for Bottle 2.0, we brought the idea of memberships to the core of the merchant-customer relationship. At checkout, customers can choose whether they want to be a free member and receive weekly curated carts, or a paid member to receive even more perks for their loyalty.
We want independent makers and local businesses to be able to build stable, powerful membership-based businesses the same way Amazon and Costco have.
Bottle 1.0 → Bottle 2.0
The current version of Bottle is used by hundreds of merchants in almost 70 cities across the U.S. ranging from produce farmers to vegan meal-kit cooks to raw dog food makers. We give local sellers an online storefront, a messenger platform to communicate with customers over text, and a dashboard to manage their business. Bottle also powers a mobile-first shopping experience for consumers by enabling them to sign up during checkout to receive delivery notifications, order reminders, and answers to all their questions via text.
Bottle 2.0 will power all that Bottle 1.0 does and more. The messaging and shopping experiences will be snappier. Clients with front-facing stores will be able to use custom subdomains. And an Instagram-inspired design will communicate the casual, communal nature of buying consumables from local merchants on a regular basis.
“Sell by texting your community” is our new tagline. It encapsulates how we want to empower local makers to serve their customers on a regular and seamless basis, whether it’s with fresh flowers or frozen pizzas.
It’s our philosophy that by giving small business owners the ability to quickly launch a great-looking shop, capture customers at first sales interaction, then communicate with them simply over text, we will enable local merchants to fully own their customer relationships. With a text community, there’s no need to compete in crowded inboxes, succumb to social media pressure, or come up against subscriber fatigue.
- One-page checkout makes it swift and easy for customers to shop for local goods.
- Text memberships turn customers into regulars during checkout by asking them to join your SMS community.
- Order reminders locate customers where they’re present with a simple text.
- Curated carts allow customers to click a link and place an order within seconds.
- Product drops fuel loyalty by keeping customers in the know.