Price formulas: we adjust to facilitate multi-reference orders

Price formulas: we adjust to facilitate multi-reference orders

We had a lot of feedback from you, our customers, about our pricing policy, one of the results of which was a high price for the case of ordering multiple references each by small quantities.
We have updated our price formulas to lower prices in this particular case (down 15% on average). In the majority of other orders, prices are similar.

We will explain everything to you :

  1. We are changing our price formulas to offer you fairer prices
  2. We are re-applying a delivery charge below 50€
  3. We offer the possibility to order products individually
  4. We are raising prices on our Catalyst range (sorry!)
Also, we take the opportunity to:
  1. Reiterate our reasonning for 400kcal-portions

1. We are changing our price formulas to offer you fairer prices

Decreasing prices by reference before October 1st Before October 1st, 2019, our price formulas were degressive by quantity, for each product.

There was an underlying logic: to offer unconditional free delivery, but to reflect the underlying cost. A small pack (of 6 bottles for example), costs us almost as much to send as a pack of 48 bottles: about 10 € for 6 bottles (delivery provider + preparation of the order), against about 12 € for 48 bottles.

One of the consequences was a case of particularly unfavorable order:
An order with multiple references in small quantities, as shown below.

Price comparison before and after 1st October 2019

Our approach is therefore to better reflect in our prices our delivery costs and order preparation, which allows us to offer you a lower price for these orders with multiple references.

A single combination suffers significantly from this change of formula: an order of 1 individual pouch: which goes from 28.70 € to 35.80 € (including 5.90 € delivery). This is an isolated case, and reflecting that this type of order is expensive, so it was a necessary adjustment.

2. We are re-applying a delivery charge below 50€

The unconditional free delivery involved small quantity "packs" had to include part of this cost. It was an amalgam, to make things simpler. Our approach today is to separate the cost of delivery from the cost of the product.

To understand, we must look at the timeline: we had implemented this price formula in the early days of Vitaline: we had only one reference in 2015 and until mid-2016. It is the multiplication of references, the number of orders including several of these references, which makes this price formula obsolete today.

For information: the 5.90 € that we charge for delivery are well below our cost of transport via Colissimo (French Post). This is a headache for all e-commerce players, because the delivery costs (and order preparation) depend on many factors (weight, parcel size, volume negotiation with the carrier ...), but the common practice is to subsidize some of these costs.
These € 5.90 represent about half of our average shipping costs (order preparation + delivery).

3. We offer the possibility to order products individually

Decreasing prices by reference before October 1st Important consequence of separating delivery costs: we can display product prices that do not depend on quantities by reference, and this seems desirable. The discounts offered now depend on the total price of the basket.

But we also wanted to offer the opportunity to buy 1 bottle or 1 bar individually. We therefore offer individual references, but slightly more expensive because we have to take them out of a pack, this seems intuitively understandable.

4. We are raising prices on our Catalyst range (sorry!)

Sorry for the bad news, but these products are great, we have very good feedbacks, we are very happy with it... we take these products out of qualification phase. We must now reflect a price that account for their high ingredient costs (especially active ingredients). We will raise the prices for the Catalyst range on the 15th of October 2019.

Also, our products are still much cheaper than the equivalents "rebuilt" from commercially purchased foods and supplemented with active ingredients bought in pharmacy / drugstore: about 1/3 of the price!

5. Reiterate our reasonning for 400kcal-portions

A final explanation in this blog-post: we are standardising "1 serving=400kcal". As you know, at Vitaline we do not like talking about "meal replacement". We prefer to talk about "foods", and we consider our job to make these foods the best nutritionally as possible ( and we are 1st out of all the rankings in nutrition in which our products are compared, for almost 2 years).

So instead of talking about "meals", we quantify by 400kcal, to give benchmarks while leaving the "meal" approach. What does a meal means in terms of quantity? Me, Sébastien, I am very sporty and eat a lot, 800kcal to 1000kcal per meal. But my cousin Clémentine, a relatively sedentary girl, 1.67cm tall, aims at 400kcal per meal.

400kcal is a usual portion among the prepared dishes: a sandwich, a "box of salad-breakfast", a "Pasta-Box"... all these products are close to 400kcal. And it's very easy to use, because with this approach "Vitaline is a food", we can build a meal by adjusting with its tastes and quantities: "one box of vegetables + one 400kcal bottle of Vitaline + one fruit", or "one 400kcal bottle ofVitaline + one 200kcal bar of Vitaline".

400kcal seems to be a good reference.

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