ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Home delivery orders taken by a new automated telephone system at Barlow Foods here are generating an additional $3,000 to $4,000 in weekly sales.
The single-store, upscale retailer, which introduced the program six months ago, said the surge in sales is largely attributed to business from new customers, and orders run about $75 to $80 on average.
The service will add new functionality after the first of the year, said Dan Neumeister, marketing manager, who noted that Barlow seeks to reach a $10,000 weekly order volume in 1996.
Currently, orders are placed via telephone using voice technology that instructs shoppers to specify items using their dialpad. Neumeister told SN that the system will begin accommodating coupons next month. Shoppers with coupons will be prompted to state the total value when placing an order; upon delivery, coupons will be collected, verified and the appropriate discount applied to a subsequent order.
By late January, Barlow will make the home shopping and delivery service available on-line for computer users. Barlow averages about five to 15 home shopping and delivery orders daily from the estimated 600 shoppers signed up for the program, Neumeister said.
Home delivery business has picked up with the onset of winter, he added. "Today we're having a snowstorm and we're really busy," he said earlier this month. "The weather really plays a role; when the cold weather hit, our orders increased."