Do you ever feel frustrated when something you wanted to buy wasn’t in stock at your local store?
We feel your pain.
We try our best to guess what you’ll want to buy next month, but our crystal ball is not as clear as we’d like.
I’m not in a rush, I just want to know when so I can plan.
We here at Big Mountain Kitchen have been planning for this transition to a primarily digital experience for years; we want to serve you better. In this post, I’ll try to explain why pre orders are such an important part of a small business.
Supply lines to a mountain town
Shipping to Revelstoke can be expensive; we’re considered a remote location since the big trucks pass us by to get to the shipping hubs in the bigger centres.
“Free Shipping” doesn’t properly describe the environmental costs of shipping small items in large boxes. By shopping as a group, we can consolidate those shipments for a smaller footprint.
Each order requires a certain minimum to be met; if we don’t have enough being shipped, the costs rise for all of us. Our job is to balance the volume between suppliers; it’s a puzzle we enjoy. Some suppliers are so incredible that we want to keep them even if we don’t sell a large volume; this means we’ll only place orders 2 or 3 times a year.
Collecting the orders
Rather than guess what our diverse customers will want in the coming months, we would rather get smarter about what we bring in.
For example, we typically order 12 bannetons for inventory – we’ve learned these are a popular item in Revelstoke! If, however, we knew there were 6 customers interested in purchasing, we would order 18.
Our website allows you to browse the current pre order offers easily from your devices, engage with our team with any questions, and securely takes payment without needing to come into the store.
If you see something that you’d like to buy someday, we encourage you to add the item to a wishlist so you can jump in when the timing is right.
Getting the right colour
Another example is in personalization – we’ve never been able to keep a wide selection of bedding in stock. We have long focused on having the essentials (white and grey in all sizes), and happily order specific colours and fabrics to match our customers.
Yes, we can get hot pink king size sheets, but we will never have them in stock. Let us show you the wide selection we have access to!
Getting the time right
Our challenge has always been communicating timelines and order updates when situations change. We’ve made mistakes, and struggled with the workload of keeping everyone in the loop on expected arrival times. I’m grateful that so many of our customers have been patient, but I want to do better.
Shipping into the mountains can be mysterious; road closures and delays happen all the time. Since our shipments from Eastern Canada go past us on Highway 1 to Kelowna then come back up later on a smaller truck, these delays can add days on to a timeline.
No, it will not be here next week. No, you do not want to pay the shipping. Depending on the product and the source, it can cost up to double or triple the value of what you’re trying to buy.
Using this website to manage communication about changes will allow us to be much more accurate rather than hedging our bets with longer timelines. As we get updates from our suppliers, we can forward them to you through email and website updates.
Sometimes, those hot pink sheets will be out of stock at the warehouse; we commit to getting in contact about possible second choices, or refunding quickly when a long delay or substitution is unacceptable.
Will you join us?
Join our email network and Facebook groups to stay in the loop on group purchasing opportunities; there are so many great items for your home that we want to share with you!