Carmen’s Best is riding the digitization wave and going into cyberspace. The premium Filipino ice cream has harnessed digital technology to turn its website, www.carmensbest.com, into a full-fledged electronic store (e-store). Founder and chief executive officer Francisco Magsaysay said, like most businesses, the 10-year-old artisanal ice cream business faced major challenges when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“COVID hit us hard last year as most of our restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, resort, and airline (clients) practically stopped ordering ice cream from us,”
-Francisco Magsaysay, in an earlier interview.
They started easing into the digital world by accepting orders through social media, while maintaining a modest physical presence in selected areas.
But now, Magsaysay said their website would be a full-service Carmen’s Best ice cream retailer/distributor. What finally made up Magsaysay’s mind to embrace digitization was the growing acceptance by customers of the latest technologies, including cashless payment.“Since the lockdown, many people started to get more familiar with online banking and buying things online,” he noted. With orders from their traditional food service clients still unable to match prepandemic levels, “we had to look for a way to fill the void … sell direct to our end users.”
Magsaysay said they had put up a full e-commerce site on their website “to sell all our ice cream lines: Carmen’s Best, J&M, Arctic and NSA (No Sugar Added) line.”
The company now delivers to most parts of Metro Manila and customers can pay using credit cards. Delivery is made one day (24 hours) after order is placed. Cut-off for placing orders is 2 p.m. every day.
Minimum order for delivery is P450. Orders from P2,000 are delivered for free. Deliveries are made by Carmen’s Best refrigerator truck, which maintains a freezing temperature to ensure that the ice cream gets to the customer just the way he or she wants it.
Carmen’s Best’s decision to digitize is precisely what experts recommend for businesses to move forward and move ahead.
Panelists at the latest webinar of Inquirer Project Rebound said businesses would have to embrace the concept of digitization, including e-commerce and cashless payments, as consumer habits had changed.