Cape Cod, Mass. (Oct. 5, 2011) – The Lobster Trap Company & Lobsters-Online.Com today announced the anniversary of its 14th year of selling live lobster with overnight delivery to retail customers all across the United States, making it the oldest Lobster web site in continuous operation.
Launched in 1997, the retail lobster web site became an instant success with its first live-lobster sale coming from a Florida retiree who had recently moved to Tampa from Connecticut and was missing New England lobster.
|The Lobsters-Online web site today.
Designed and built by founder Wayne Howe of Boston, the web site was developed originally as a prototype to show off a new e-commerce system and to encourage seafood wholesale vendors to move their 1-800 telephone order business onto the web. Howe was hoping to encourage the seafood outlets to employ the e-commerce system Howe was selling. Faced with resistance from the wholesalers, who rebuffed his efforts with expressions such as — “Web, what web? We are fishermen. We don’t know anything about the Internet.” — Howe decided to take the prototype and use it to create a web based retail seafood business.
Contracting with seafood suppliers, Lobsters-Online.com went live with the click of a mouse. And within minutes, orders began arriving.
First Sale in Minutes
“I saw the first e-mail alert and couldn’t believe a sale had come in. We just couldn’t stop smiling,” Howe said. “It seemed almost unbelievable that someone found the web site so fast. Back then, e-commerce was supposed to be only for the big retail players. Yet here we were, a small business able to take a credit card online, authorize it, and then deliver live seafood overnight to anywhere in the country.”
Sales grew steadily until the millennium, when orders came in so fast and so strong during December that it doubled sales for the entire year.
“Even with the automated web site, we were working 24 hours a day to manage all the orders for the holidays and the millennium,” Howe said. “We needed to request larger trucks to pick up all the orders. That holiday period was a real deal changer and it helped us map out the successful sales strategy in use today. Repeat business quickly became the engine that kept our sales growing.”
“We have thousands and thousands of satisfied customers who buy from us every year,” Howe said.
Lobsters-Online.Com has served hundreds of thousands of customers and has shipped millions of dollars worth of lobster and seafood. Sales have increased an average of 25 percent per year since the year 2000.
Logan Clark, CEO of the LobsterTrap Company, headquartered in Bourne, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, formed the partnership with Lobsters-Online in 2001. The 35-year-old Lobster Trap Company is among the largest seafood wholesalers in the country and it boasts sparkling, brand new plant facilities capable of storing thousands of pounds of lobster in seawater tanks.
Lobster Trap in Maine and Cape Cod
Today the Lobster Trap Company boasts its own lobster boat docks and facilities in Machiasport, ME; Steuben, ME; and Cape Cod. This ensures that all Lobsters-Online.Com lobsters are fresh off the boats, onto the docks and into the Lobster Trap Company facilities. There are no middlemen to drive up the price or delay shipping.
|Lobster Trap Company trucks loading at Cape Cod facility.
Featuring all the best seafood New England has to offer – including hard to find jumbo lobster — the Lobsters-Online.Com web site is open 24 hours a day with fresh live lobster available year round. Customers that order by 2:30 p.m. EST can receive their lobsters the very next day. Deliveries are available Tuesday through Saturday.
© Wayne Howe 2011