Case Study

Holy enables 2-day delivery to France while saving up to 25.5% per order

When you have successfully shaken up the energy drinks market in Germany, what is the next strategic move? For Holy, it was to take on the French market. Holy has developed a tasty, functional, and sustainable alternative to energy drinks for long-lasting concentration, with a particular focus on gamers. The company was founded in 2020 and has since been growing rapidly in the German market. 

“From the beginning, Holy had France in mind as its next market due to the high potential there”, explains Moritz, Head of Operations at Holy. The French market is one of the largest in Europe with a customer base open to energy drinks and other dietary supplements. 

Planning the market entry took strategic thinking about how to market to a new country, how customers might respond differently, or have different purchasing habits. “When entering a new market you have to invest time to understand how the customer base works, and for those customers to keep coming back.” – Moritz.

Luckily for the team at Holy, they already had a knowledgeable operations partner on their side to help them with this next step in their expansion. Hive had opened its doors in France in January of 2022 and had a team of local experts at hand who understood the French market and operations. Hive has been expanding its pan-EU fulfillment network across Europe to offer the best possible delivery times and speed across the continent, with full operational support.

When Holy started sending products to France, they were doing so via direct injection from their base in Berlin. However, using this method meant that orders took around 5 days on average to arrive. Customer experience is Holy’s highest priority, so quick delivery time with a local delivery experience was paramount for the brand. That is where Hive pan-EU came in.

Holy energy being packed in the hive fulfillment center

Distributed inventory leads to lower costs for Holy

The team at Holy decided to use Hive’s pan-EU fulfillment solution and start sending their products out of France. This would give them better customer experience, as well as cost savings per order. But how could they know how many of each SKU to store in which fulfillment center? 

“The cost savings combined with potential for more customer satisfaction was the main draw to using pan-EU” – Moritz.

As part of Hive’s service, the team also provides data calculating the optimal distribution of inventory across fulfillment centers. The Hive team uses historical data and also considers upcoming marketing campaigns from Holy to estimate how much inventory is needed in each market. Building on these recommendations, Hive then shares restocking recommendations with Holy.

And just in case something is calculated incorrectly, or there is an unexpected surge in demand, Hive sends the SKU from the next best fulfillment center using direct injection, and takes on the extra cost of doing so. This means the distributed inventory is a low risk option for Holy.

End-to end support with freight forwarding

Knowing that fulfillment in France was the best option for Holy in terms of cost and customer experience, the company faced two further operational challenges. Getting their stock from the supplier to Berlin, and getting it to the fulfillment center in Paris. Hive was able to help with both.

Hive was able to take over the management of freight forwarding along the whole value chain. This included inbound from the supplier, transfers between the fulfillment centers, and larger B2B orders.

Hive’s freight service gave Holy access to better rates for transport as well as significant time savings in freight negotiation and management. The team at Holy can easily request any type of freight shipments through the Hive App and the Hive team does the rest: finding the most cost-effective transport option, taking over all communication between supplier and forwarder, and any problem-solving along the way.

“Hive’s freight service gives us total end-to-end support.” – Moritz.

Holy energy powder in different flavors

Average delivery time savings of 3 days makes for happy French customers

Using the pan-EU solution has cut Holy’s delivery time from an average of around five days delivering from Berlin to their French customers, to just two days using distributed inventory. And their customers are pleased with this delivery experience. 

“We are extremely customer-centric” explains Moritz, so fast delivery times and a top-notch customer experience were a must in all markets. “At the end of the day, my biggest priority is that my customer is happy, and a good delivery experience is a key part of that.”

Building trust and customer satisfaction is especially important to feel secure in a new market. While the team started off with direct injection, they realized that to offer the best customer experience, it was necessary to increase delivery speed and allocate some of their inventory to France. Combining a good purchase and delivery experience with Holy’s exciting products encourages customer loyalty in newer buyers.

Plus, to offer a local delivery experience in France, it is necessary to offer parcel point delivery. This is where the package is delivered to a network of local delivery, pickup, and return locations rather than to the customer’s door. Using pan-EU meant Holy was able to customize the delivery options per country and give their French community what they needed.

“If you want to give your customer the same experience that they would have with a French shop then you have to send out of France.” – Moritz.

Holy’s expansion is only just beginning

What are Holy’s plans for the future? They want to settle further into the French market and then the UK is on the horizon. The UK market is an attractive one for the team due to its size and the demand for their products there. However, entering the country after Brexit means dealing with more complicated customs and they would need the expertise on their side to navigate this. 

Hive will be opening its fulfillment center in the UK in Q1 of 2023: a great opportunity for both teams in order to navigate this new market together in perfect synergy, as their current collaboration has shown since day one.

Get in touch

At Hive we know about the individual and special needs of different products and markets – and we cater to them.

If you are looking for a new fulfillment partner, check out our offering now.

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