9xb shortlisted in Prolific North Tech Awards


At 9xb, we work hard to achieve success for our clients. So hard in fact, that we often forget to give recognition to those involved and to showcase to the outside world the high calibre work and innovative campaigns that we deliver for our clients every day.

We were delighted to have recently been shortlisted in the Prolific North Tech Awards, Best Application of Tech - Retail/eCommerce category - for our work with premium desserts manufacturer, English Cheesecake.

Our entry

The English Cheesecake Company is a market leading trade manufacturer, supplying high volumes of premium desserts to leading retailers and food outlets including Pizza Express, Prezzo, and Waitrose. An opportunity was identified to develop a direct to consumer channel, which, given the nature of the product, presented several eCommerce challenges.

English Cheesecake’s key objective was to drive online sales direct to the consumer through a self service ecommerce store. Several challenges had to be addressed to enable the business to profitably sell their premium desserts directly to consumers. Orders for single units have a much lower order value than larger trade orders. Technology would therefore be key in minimising the costs of acquiring customer orders and managing the fulfilment and after-sales process.

Key technology implementations that made this project such a huge success include:

Automated workflow

Consumers want to know that their cake will be fresh and in tip-top condition when it arrives. Just-in-time processes meant that orders received before 2pm would be shipped the same day - including personalisation. Seamless integration with ProdTrack (production system) feeds orders from the website to the production line delivering the following benefits for customers:  

  • Select a delivery date at checkout
  • Next day delivery for any orders received before 2pm
  • Tracking of orders to the front door
  • My Account visibility to reorder favourites
  • Address book for fast checkout
  • Reliable service


English Cheesecake’s fully automated workflow allows customers to ‘personalise their dessert’ with a name or special message, and still receive their order the next day.

Managing shipping complexity

Delivering individual delicate, ornate, cheesecakes direct to consumers provides its own unique challenges. Cheesecakes would be frozen in dry ice then packed in thermal, polystyrene containers. Orders are attractively, individually wrapped in heavy duty branded boxes and delivered via a specialist courier service. This is clearly communicated at all stages of the buying journey along with clear instructions on freezing and defrosting.

Secure Cloud Hosting

Scalable cloud hosting infrastructure supports large peaks in demand at key seasons such as Valentines and Christmas. A roadmap of seasonal campaigns helps build awareness, drive traffic and generate sales at key consumer buying times, for example, Black Friday transactions were up significantly in 2018, and were managed seamlessly.

International Orders for UK Delivery

A market was identified for overseas customers to place orders for delivery to a UK address. An order placed in India could be personalised and delivered to a loved one in the UK the following day. This is a unique way to celebrate a special occasion.  Paid search was used to target overseas customers focusing on search terms including ‘next day cake delivery’ and geographical searches such as ‘cake delivery London’.

Increasing average order value

Gifting options are available to customers, including ribbons, gift cards and luxury packaging. This helps leverage the gift market and by promoting these low value, highly profitable, add ons at checkout the average order value has increased.

Value Added Promotions

One of the key drivers for success is the ‘Mystery Cake’ promotion. This was cleverly introduced into the buying journey, offering a free full sized cheesecake with selected orders. Due to the high perceived value, and being exclusive to premium desserts, this simple promotion led to an uplift in conversion rates and average order value, increasing sales by 84%. These orders were fulfilled using overstocks from large trade orders, minimising increased investment.

Innovative Social Campaigns

Building a database of loyal brand advocates was key to the long term marketing strategy. A ‘win a free cheesecake every month for a year’ competition was promoted across social channels, attracting 9,761 visits to the campaign landing page, 8,450 entries, with a landing page conversion rate of 86.57%. An innovative social engagement strategy and creative marketing campaigns used this valuable data to create a lookalike Facebook audience for ongoing promotion.

Prolific North Tech Awards 2019

Judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts in a rigorous two stage process, The Prolific North Tech Awards celebrate and reward the very best Tech Companies, Applications, Deals, Advisors and Entrepreneurs from across the North.

The award ceremony takes place early May, and with a strong list of finalists, it’s sure to be a nail biter.

If you’re eager to grow your business online in 2019, why not get in touch with our experts to discuss your needs further? Contact a member of our team on 01423 814555.

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