After creating their signature cajun spice blend, Slap Ya Mama built a brand that spread to stores across the country, and they had their own online store to boot. Co-founding brothers Jack and Joseph Walker knew they had a great brand that could only get better as they expanded their line of spices and delved into other cooking mixes.
But there was one ingredient missing from their success story: Amazon.
Though they tried a short stint managing Amazon sales themselves, Slap Ya Mama stopped selling on Amazon and allowed their resellers to take over the complex, time consuming process. Initially, it didn’t seem to be a problem.
“From our standpoint, we were just excited,” explained Jack Walker, Slap Ya Mama’s co-founder. “People were selling our product and getting it out there more and more.”
After a while though, the Walkers began to realize the downsides of resellers: complete lack of transparency, no quality control and frequent out-of-stock days. As is so often the case, SYM had mixed bags of sellers, and this meant inconsistency.
“We knew we needed to be able to control the product that was out there,” said Jack. “Whether there was bad product, damaged product or expired product – we had no idea who most of the sellers were on Amazon.”
Not long after they had begun to be fed up with resellers, they began talking to Whitebox.
Soon, Whitebox took over the entire process of selling and fulfilling on Amazon. Since they had experience with cleaning up sales channels (a.k.a. shrinking the number of pesky resellers), Whitebox was able to quickly trim down the competition and frequently nab the Buy Box on Slap Ya Mama’s product pages.
"When Whitebox approached us, it was a godsend," Jack said. "They were able to handle all our Amazon selling and fulfillment as well."
Whitebox’s streamlined inventory tracking process means Slap Ya Mama is always able to ensure the freshest quality product goes out to consumers. If any issues do occur, Whitebox uses unique UPCs so that product can be easily tracked down and recalled. Whitebox keeps an eye on product reviews too – if any show up that don’t belong, such as a complaint about slow shipping or a damaged item – a ticket is submitted to Amazon to have the review removed.
Whitebox’s flexibility means that Slap Ya Mama continues to run a successful online store of their own, while still having a robust presence on Amazon. And, as anyone who sells online knows, having products consistently available on Amazon is critical to competing in today’s market.
“We always wanted to have a larger presence on Amazon,” Jack said. “We knew the potential was there, but we didn’t know how to do and we knew our resellers couldn’t do it right. With Whitebox, we were able to open that market and benefit from it. Our product is getting out there more, and more people are aware of who we are.”
For every client, what Whitebox does is a little bit different. For Slap Ya Mama, Whitebox means access to Amazon, which means increased visibility. And even though Amazon does occasionally compete with Slap Ya Mama’s online store, the Walkers are finally seeing the benefits of those purchases: with a constantly increasing brand awareness, quickly deliverable product and a larger chunk of the profits.
To top it off, working with Whitebox’s software is a breeze. The interface is simple to use, and makes the process of keeping an eye on products and placing new orders very straightforward. In fact, as Jack explained, he often uses it on the go.
“Right before I gave you a call, I had just submitted a new Whitebox PO on my phone,” Jack told me at the end of our call. “It’s so easy, so much easier than dealing with some of the other distribution companies we work with.”
Like all of our clients, Whitebox has given Slap Ya Mama’s team an invaluable resource: time. With that, the Walkers have been able to focus on navigating the ever changing landscape of social media and building partnerships that have been on the back burner for a long time.
And, of course, they’ve had some time to develop new products. For 2018, Slap Ya Mama has a few new recipes up their sleeves, including a Bloody Mary Mix and a few new batters to add spice and crunch to shrimp and chicken. Personally, we can’t wait to add these delicious new blends to our product line!