Nourish User Adoption of your eCommerce Platform

Star Milling’s new eCommerce solution, which launched in only eight weeks, is targeting increased user adoption among their 200+ distribution partners.

The Story

Background:

Star Milling Company is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of nutritious, high-quality animal feed sold through feed stores in the western United States. Star Milling is a non-medicated, drug-free mill that does not blend antibiotics into their feeds. They sell their products under the brand names Ace Hi, Kelley’s, Integrity Horse Feed, and Ultra Balance. Star also offers a non-GMO and Certified Organic feed under the brand Simplicity Organics. They manufacture a wide range of feeds for many species, including horses, livestock, dogs, cats, fish, chicken, and birds.

Challenge:

As a manufacturer and distributor, Star Milling works with a number of dealers to market and sell their products. They were utilizing a legacy eCommerce platform that was not user friendly and yielded poor adoption among their partners. As a result, the Star sales team was heavily involved in a manual order entry process, as some of their distribution partners preferred faxing in handwritten orders over utilizing the eCommerce site. In addition to inefficiencies caused by the platform’s complexity, the system did not have the ability to calculate freight as part of the ordering process, which brought about additional complications. Instead of seeing the full cost of their order up front during the checkout process, customers would have to wait until they received their invoice to understand the total cost, including freight. Trifecta’s challenge was to implement an eCommerce solution that would suit the needs of their 200+ distribution partners, solve inefficiencies, and increase user adoption.

“The primary drivers for Star Milling’s B2B implementation project were streamlining our order process and integrating our systems for better visibility of the movement of our product. Salesforce was the solution, and Trifecta made it happen.”
Greg CarlsCOO/CFO, Star Milling

Our Work

Strategy:

Star Milling was an existing Salesforce customer, utilizing Sales Cloud to track accounts, contacts, and products. Star was interested in leveraging the full power of the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, integrating their sales data with a new eCommerce site. Our team focused on the utilization of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Communities on Lightning. Their team engaged Trifecta to implement the solution, leveraging our Rapid Start Program to get them up and running within a matter of weeks. Trifecta’s team kicked off the project with two days of comprehensive discovery to review Star’s existing systems and data flow, as well as the data within their existing Salesforce Org. Our team homed in on specific aspects of Star’s existing sales and ordering process to better understand how Salesforce Commerce could create efficiencies and enable them to reach their goals. As part of the discovery process, Star and Trifecta identified additional functionality that would better serve their operational processes, so we expanded our project implementation to include these capabilities.

Process:

Trifecta developed a user-friendly interface, navigation, checkout, and search feature to be used by Star’s 200+ dealers. We built custom logic within the Salesforce platform to determine freight costs and communicate it to users during the checkout process, giving them visibility to total costs up front. We also enabled features such as the ability for grid ordering and options for requesting email notifications when orders are dispatched and delivered. As we moved through the project process, we identified some specialized processes and requirements that were specific to Star’s business operations and could be enhanced through customization of B2B Commerce. For example, Star Milling has a minimum order requirement for delivery and will-call orders based on total weight. Trifecta’s team built a custom solution within Salesforce B2B Commerce to alert customers and distributors whether the items in their cart meet this requirement. In addition to displaying the current weight of their order, the functionality allows users to go back and add more products until they meet the requirement or switch their fulfillment preference from delivery to will-call (or vice versa).

Trifecta implemented many features to further enhance the distributor experience. Based on data from Star that 60-70 percent of their distributor partners utilized tablets to place orders, Trifecta ensured that our Commerce solution was responsive across all devices. We created dealer resource pages that Star can use to communicate new products, share logos and spec sheets, and generally enable distributors to better sell and market. Trifecta’s team also developed a series of training videos, hosted within the distributor resources pages, to assist with onboarding distributors on the new Commerce solution. Trifecta coordinated with Star to ensure proper integration of Commerce Cloud with Star’s existing ERP, AgTech via Jitterbit.

Star Order Review DesktopStar's order process now clearly identifies freight cost (something previously omitted by their legacy eCommerce site), which gives their distributors full visibility of total cost.

The Results

Results:

Trifecta’s team launched the Star Milling eCommerce solution in eight weeks. Star soft-launched their new eCommerce solution in May of 2021 with a select group of beta customers. The full roll-out is happening in phases to maximize user adoption among their distributors. Star was initially planning on meeting and training distributors in person before transitioning them to the new system. However, the training videos filmed by Trifecta’s Salesforce consulting team have enabled some of Star’s tech-savvy distributors to get up-and-running on the new solution without the need for in-person, customized training. Beta users of Star’s new eCommerce solution have delivered positive feedback about the user friendliness of the new site. In addition to ease of navigation, a majority of the feedback has also pertained to the simplicity of the checkout process.

“I would definitely recommend Trifecta to any company looking to implement or expand the Salesforce platform, and specifically, a B2B site. This was a complex implementation, and Trifecta was adept at guiding Star through every step of the process, so we knew what to expect.”
Greg CarlsCOO/CFO, Star Milling