You can’t fit all of Nashville’s charms into a box, but you can certainly try. In 2013, Batch set out to do exactly that. Having started out as a subscription-box company, Batch has since grown to multiple channels, including e-commerce, corporate sales, and a brick-and-mortar store in the Nashville Farmers’ Market.
The company offers curated gifts featuring locally sourced, artisanal goods from Nashville and all across the South that are ideal for personal and corporate gifts, events, and weddings. Despite their budding success, however, staying relevant remains a struggle, says Rob Williams, one of Batch’s 3 co-founders. “We started as a way for our subscribers to discover their new favorite jam, cocktail mixer, or cookie, and we continue to seek out new makers and goods.”
Continually sourcing interesting goods and keeping their shelves fresh is one of the store’s main challenges. Here are some ways Batch ensures they’re delivering products that pique their customers’ interest and keep sales strong.
Batch talks to its customers a lot—and we mean a lot. That’s because the things people shop for change all the time, and chatting them up helps Batch figure out where the gaps are. It’s an ongoing strategy for the store and helps inform many of their product decisions, Rob says.
The store acts as a lab for what sells—and what doesn’t. That’s led to Batch giving their vendors incredibly candid feedback about their products, like if they can improve their packaging or sell a different size or quantity, for example. “We want to help the next small-batch makers grow their brand,” Rob says.
Batch also monitors what does well in each channel and relays this info to vendors. “By tracking sales in our store, we can feature popular purveyors online so their products can be seen by more customers,” Rob says. “The same goes for popular products online and their increased visibility in the store.”
Batch offers more than just products: One of their missions is to tell the story of the product’s maker. That way, customers can share it along with the gift, which creates a community of purveyors who spread the story and can possibly lead to more sales. So if a customer picks up a candle, for instance, the store likes to educate her about what she’s buying—like whether the business is family-owned, how the candle was made, or other tidbits. “We want to give people a taste of Nashville,” says Rob, adding that the store is proud to support the local economies of everywhere their discovery boxes are sold, including Memphis and Charleston.
“Our team is our biggest success,” Rob adds. “We have like-minded staff that works hard and gives credit where credit is due—to the hard-working makers in our community that meet our (sometimes) crazy deadlines, high holiday volume, and custom requests.”