Daniela Colagrande runs a food cart in Amsterdam, and she does everything herself — well, almost everything. She gets help from Teresa, her hand-painted cargo bike, which serves as her food transport and point of sale.
Colagrande’s business is as small as they come, but with Jotform Store Builder, she was able to create an online store that helps her food cart thrive and grow. Despite having little web expertise and modest resources for web and mobile app development, Colagrande has grabbed her share of the growing e-commerce pie.
Not only was building her online store easy, but maintaining it is as well. Colagrande says she doesn’t have to pay much attention to its inner workings — it simply works the way it’s supposed to on any mobile or desktop device. Editing the store is easy too, and changes appear automatically in real time.
I have two jobs and a busy life. [My Jotform store] allows me to focus on what I need to.Daniela Colagrande
No time, no problem
There’s rarely a dull moment for Colagrande. Polpetta Lokale Gastronomie, which specializes in dishes from her native Bari, Italy, is her passion project. She manages it alongside her responsibilities as senior Chef de Partie at a brunch restaurant in Amsterdam.
Between her dual chef duties, developing the entire menu for her food cart, ordering supplies, delivering orders, and more, she was able to build a fully functioning online store and embed it into her website in just three days.
That’s because of Jotform’s no-code, drag-and-drop Store Builder. The user interface is modeled after the easy-to-use Jotform Form Builder, but instead of building a form, users build an online store that accepts secure payments.
The process for building an online store is easy, just like building a form. From payment integrations, photos, videos, and text options, to social media share buttons and dozens of widgets that add to the user experience, it’s easy to get online and provide customers with the purchasing experience they expect in the era of mobile shopping.
“The simplicity of the tools — it’s very easy to understand what I can and cannot do,” Colagrande says. “Uploading the images and changing all the fields, it’s easy. And I really appreciate that.
Jotform gave me an e-commerce site that’s easy to build based on my needs and that I can easily share with others.Daniela Colagrande
Creating an app without the expense of hiring developers
Industry-wide, online food orders have grown 300 percent faster than dine-in ordering since 2014 and account for roughly 40 percent of total restaurant sales, according to a 2023 report from Zippia. This is why it was so important for Colagrande to have an online store.
According to Appinventiv, a developer can charge between $50,000 and $120,000 to build an app with medium complexity and a payment integration, and the process can take from three to nine months. Like many small businesses, Polpetta doesn’t have those kinds of resources, but Colagrande is thriving online anyway, because Jotform Store Builder helps businesses of any size punch above their weight.
“Other options on the market…I wasn’t intrigued with them,” she says. “Honestly, I didn’t have the money to hire somebody to make a good website for me.”
Jotform Store Builder is part of the Jotform Apps ecosystem. Customers and clients can save the store app on their mobile device’s home screen for easy access. Every Jotform store also operates as a standalone web page on any device. Plus, the store can be embedded into a website, like Colagrande’s.
After building her store in a matter of days, Colagrande has what it takes to power the success of her beloved business in today’s e-commerce landscape.
Versatile automation and the perfect payment gateway
Colagrande’s Jotform store has automation features that make it easy for clients to purchase and that provide her with valuable data.
The ability to add Colagrande’s online store to a mobile or desktop home screen ensures clients can take Polpetta Lokale Gastronomie with them wherever they go.
“If people want to order more, they can have my app on their home screen, which makes it easy for them,” says Colagrande.
As for the payment process, Jotform’s 30-plus payment gateways include the No. 1 online payment method in the Netherlands, according to Pay.com: iDEAL. Colagrande estimates that more than 95 percent of her online sales are processed by iDEAL.
“Being in the Netherlands, iDEAL is essential. Having this payment option was a big plus.”
As orders are placed in Colagrande’s store, contact information entered by customers during checkout is automatically stored in Jotform Tables. Colagrande uses the data in Tables to organize special events. She meets new people at the events, as her customers bring friends with them. Also, curious passersby often drop in.
“This of course does help me to increase my client network and my future sales,” she says. “The fact that I can have a table with all the information from the customers is really helpful. It’s just a couple of clicks, and you get all of it.”
Growing her dream with Jotform Store Builder
Colagrande can’t wait until Polpetta is her one and only occupation, in addition to her passion: “I’ve worked in the same restaurant for four years. I started there before opening my business. I hope to leave as soon as my business permits me to ‘fly solo.’”
Without Jotform Store Builder, her dream would be further away from coming true. Plus, the cost of paying a developer to create a mobile store app would’ve put Polpetta in a financial hole before the app ever saw the light of day.
With Jotform in her toolbag, Colagrande’s business is in the fast-growing mobile market, and food from her native home of Bari is accessible from any device. In true entrepreneurial spirit, Colagrande built her app herself. All she needed was the right automation tool to do the job at a much lower cost than the alternatives. She found the perfect solution with the Jotform Store Builder.
We know Polpetta Lokale Gastronomie isn’t the only business to benefit from Store Builder and other Jotform automation, and we’d love to hear your unique story. Fill out this form if you’re interested in having your business featured in a case study on the Jotform blog!
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