The Strong Kitchen is a prepared foods service geared towards customers who are concerned about fitness, living a healthy lifestyle, and eating within their daily allotments for macros and goals. This local Connecticut business needed management for a custom built website running an older PHP framework and support for multiple tech stacks, including their proprietary ordering service, delivery notifications, and email automation and marketing. They turned to 3PRIME to develop solutions and implement them in a way that benefits the long-term vision of the company.
The Strong Kitchen’s website tech stack for ordering, order confirmations, and had issues with their integration for sending SMS transactional notifications to their customers for specific order notifications. They wanted to be set-up for other transactional flows such as Abandoned Cart or Reactivation. All emailing, outside of order confirmations, was handled manually by the owner. He needed the ability to have as much of the email process as possible to be automated in order for him to focus more on the business front.
3PRIME approached The Strong Kitchen’s needs with a multi-faceted plan. The first objectives were to resolve the immediate need for SMS transactional notifications and to retrofit their existing tech stack to integrate nicely with other, more modern, tech solutions. Once we resolved those issues, we moved on to email marketing – which also included a custom built integration with Klaviyo’s API. We created a plan to design, create the content for, and automate all transactional and engagement emails.
Each piece of the puzzle required custom built pieces of the tech stack to integrate and activate – from continuous integration, observability, a hardened queue system and new marketing automation additions.
3PRIME started by addressing gaps in the feature development lifecycle and deployment process by improving some key facets:
- Continuous integration & continuous deployment (CI/CD) automation
- Add release observability and post deployment housekeeping
- Add runtime observability in a better way to identify issues and race conditions
- Improve application dependency management
- Create a new queue service
3PRIME’s first choice for CI/CD is CircleCI. CircleCI empowers a lot of functionality to automate testing, dependency management, and deployments. This directly addressed gaps identified in dependency management at the point of release. In the case of Strong Kitchen, hosting was on a cPanel system which made uploading release bundles a matter of scripting the typical source-to-platform pipeline. We further retrofitted their old tech stack to include custom post deployment steps and, with that, our deployment gap was filled.
A Better Queue
We next built a custom systemd service to handle the queue system driving Strong Kitchen’s SMS services via Twilio. This addressed filling gaps identified in the queueing system in a scalable and reiterable manner.
Last, but not least, we needed to address gaps identified with better observability, both at the CI/CD level and application level. To do this, we simply responded to events in-progress and propagated key details through the pipeline – into upstream logs, and even into Discord channels. Discord awareness allowed our engineers to quickly identify issues during release or application runtime which expedited our bug resolution times.
Once all the previous pieces were deployed and active, 3PRIME began the Klaviyo API integration, which hooks into The Strong Kitchen’s ordering tech to post data to Klaviyo whenever a new account is created, a customer makes a purchase, a customer abandons their cart, and more. Using this data, we rolled out multiple transactional email flows that are automated:
- Welcome Flow on account signup, including a 4-point email flow if a customer does not purchase within 72 hours of account creation. The flow gently nudges a new user to make a purchase over the course of 4 days.
- Abandoned Cart, which triggers an hour after a user gets to the checkout page and does not complete their purchase. The flow is built to quickly remind the customer about their purchase and then follow-up four hours later if no transaction is made.
- Order Confirmations on purchase made, which includes some dynamically driven data based on a user’s order type of Pickup or Delivery. It features a follow-up email 10 days later to encourage the customer to make a purchase again.
- Reactivation / Re-Engagement flows based on specific date ranges of non-purchase in order to return a customer into the system. Flows are 5 steps over a week to motivate a user to purchase.
3PRIME’s work for The Strong Kitchen has streamlined their tech stack, making it easier for automated notifications to get sent, allowing a way for SMS notifications to trigger in an effective manner, and updated their back-end to work smoothly for their day-to-day operations.
Working with 3Prime has been a growth experience for us as a business. Not only have we solved multiple functionality issues that were causing more work for staff but have also streamlined a number of important processes. In addition, we have grown our ability to market to, and retain, new customers. Having a diverse team that can solve a variety of issues and bring ideas to the table has been great for our business.Lucas Serwinski, Owner
The Strong Kitchen