There is no shortage of amazing local products being created in the United States and Batch is one way you can get a hold of those treats. Based in Nashville, Batch is a great way to send a gift for someone you care about that’s both unique and handmade.
We talked with Sam Davidson, Co-Founder and CEO, to present his company to us and what people can expect when they receive a package from Batch.
We are a gift and retail company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Given that our industry is so competitive, here are a couple of ways that we stand out from from the competition:
Our supply chain consists of small businesses all around America. Popcorn, barbecue sauce, candles, soap, lotion, textiles… You name it: it’s made by independent small businesses somewhere in America.
We offer gift themes based on location within the US. For example, if you want to send a taste of Nashville, we will make sure everything in that gift is made around Nashville. We include about a dozen different cities all over the country, like San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Asheville and more.
This is available to both individuals purchasing one or two gifts at a time, and companies that require high-volume orders as gifts for their staff or clients.
Usually, we like to find out what every city is known for. In Nashville, it’s hot chicken. We are really well-known for that, pioneered by businesses like Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack.
Interestingly enough, we found that almost every major city in America has its own unique flavor when it comes to roasted coffee, and Nashville is no exception.
Given our in-depth research of all the major cities in the U.S., we found that we can usually build something around snacks and chocolate, too.
We started out in 2013 as a subscription-based company. We attracted an excited customer base almost immediately. What we didn’t know at the time, though, is that many people were buying subscriptions as gifts for other people. So, we were a gift company from the start, we just didn’t know it for a while!
It wasn’t until about our third month when companies started calling us to get ready for their holiday gift buys that we realized we didn’t have to stick to a purely subscription-based model. This worked out well for a couple reasons:
First of all, we really didn’t know all of the costs associated with selling and shipping an ecommerce product - especially a subscription box. Shipping was a lot more expensive than we expected it to be. We were selling heavy boxes and needed them to be delivered very quickly, since there was food in there.
We also didn’t think about renewal rates. In the subscription business you really need to think about how easy it is for people to renew. Selling a premium item monthly, like in our case, makes it a little harder to justify renewal rates to customers.
Then there’s the more general price consideration. You’re less likely to spend a lot of money on yourself on an ongoing basis for non-essential products than you are on a one-time gift for someone. You’d have to really love the products.
In the end, we weren’t successful at getting people to order subscriptions for themselves. Shifting to a gift company allows us to get a better margin and more profitable items as a gift set than in a subscription.
There are two reasons.
Firstly, me and the two co founders have a background of marketing and branding which is great for storytelling. Consumers really want to find themselves in the heart of a story, so it was important to understand what brand and what value we want to put out there and to share a story around that.
Secondly, there was a little bit of luck in being in Nashville. At the time, in 2013, it was a city on the rise (I think it still is), and was gaining national popularity as tourism increased. The city’s visibility increased nationally and we were able to take advantage of that.
We were there to provide those gifts and the relic of a trip to people seeking out an authentic taste of Nashville.
We ship to all 50 states and even to other countries. What we sell is popular all over. However, most of our recipients are in the Southeast of the United States: a lot in Tennessee but also Georgia and the Carolinas as well.
Since the pandemic began people are working from home and not traveling as much. We’re seeing more shipments to more states than ever before. One interesting result is that this is the first year that we’ve gotten a clear idea of where our packages are going.
We’ve seen a lot of demand for our location-themed gift sets, especially California-themed. The geographically neutral gifts - like our breakfast gifts and home goods sets - are just as popular though, possibly because they’re such great quality. We are starting to expand and break up that mold a little bit.
Yes, the pandemic has affected our business in a couple of different ways.
We had a brick-and-mortar retail store that provided a significant amount of sales for our business, which we closed back in March. We don’t have plans to reopen for the foreseeable future.
Honestly, we don’t have any big regrets about that. Instead, we pivoted more to our online sales, especially our corporate and company sales division. That’s where a lot of conferences that have gone virtual have called us to send conference gifts.
We’ve sent a lot of work-from-home care packages and so, to that end, this year we are up over 20% from a revenue standpoint. If you would have asked me this back in March or even April,I never would’ve imagined that we would end up at such a positive place at this point and time.
But thankfully we’re still growing – and we look to continue that growth in the next year.
We’ve got a lot of holiday-themed gifts in stock, but also plenty of options for spring-themed gifts, too. They’ll always be delivered with great service.
One thing that we offer all our customers free of charge is a handwritten gift note. Whether it’s wishes for a “Happy New Year'' or “Happy Birthday,” you can type in your message and we’ll have a real human being hand write it.
Even though we are growing and sending more orders, we’re still committed to that personal touch to make your gift that much more meaningful.