Updated: May 28
Online shopping isn't anything new but it is the modern place where commerce happens. Sure, people still go out to the store to shop for certain things but they also want the option to find unique, fun, and local (when possible) products online. Why not your products? Creating an online store does not have to be hard. There are many great options out there for online shops (shopify,Etsy, etc). Farmbrite has one that comes with certain plan types as well. Once you find one works for your business and budget, it's time to your online cart set up and your products online.
Establishing a web presence: Offer your services or products online with your own web page. This will let more people find out about your farm and buy your products. Hopefully you've found a site that makes it easy to - not only set up - but edit and keep your cart updated. Things sell out, change and you want to keep your shop fresh without it being too complicated.
In Farmbrite, your online shopping cart gives your customers access to your unique products, and keeps your business growing. You can use the cart to track your orders and make notes about pick ups. When a customer purchases something, you get a notification and it is recorded automatically as profit in the accounting section of your Farmbrite account. Easy-peasy.
Getting people to your site:
Setting up a website where customers can find your store is just one part of the equation. The next part is getting people to the page. We've gathered a few ideas of how to reach more customers as well as giving the old ones incentive to stay with you. To keep your shop updated and fresh, post on your social media pages as you make items available on your shop page. Post updates on social media platforms like: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc. to advertise and let your customers know about your new offerings. Don't forget to add photos and descriptions (with dimensions if available) so that the customers know what to expect. You could also put what customers have said about the same products.
Marketing your shop: Make your name - Post your website on local coffee shop boards, sign up with neighborhoods and as a business online with NextDoor - Email your customer base and tell them about your new shop or new offereings - Post on social media. I've said it a few times here because it's okay to do this more than once. - Post customer quotes about your farm or shop on social media. - Post Vlogs about your farm, about how you solved a problem, made something, or other interesting things about you on a YouTube channel. - Put your shop URL in your email signature. - Write a blog about things happening on the farm. When you have new offerings talk about them here. For instance,"We just hatched 100 chicks", "Now offering farm fresh eggs with your CSA share" - Build your "social proof" in your store by offering a discount to past shoppers for a review. Online customers can't touch and feel the object they're buying. They want to know that they are getting what they're paying for. Good reviews reassure them that they are. - Make up a loyalty program where the more they purchase the more loyalty bucks (to be redeemed later) they receive. - Offer a discount if they purchase over a certain amount. - Send a follow up email with a discount for their next purchase. - Follow up at a later time with an email talking about similar products that they bought from you. For example: If they bought seeds, send a targeted email the following month talking about your live plants. Products: Use shopping cart feature on your website to offer your products online to your customers. Make it easy for them to purchase from you anytime. - Offer seasonal produce as it becomes available - Sell items you've made - Sell CSA shares - Sell original season items (pumpkin spice it up.) - Offer add on's; baskets, gift wrapping, your farm branded items, chicken/goat/cow branded items, cute things that are a little bit of an impulse buy. Tips to sell your product: Here are some different marketing and pricing strategies to think about as your setting up your online shop. - Get creative. Put in nice photos and be descriptive with your products don't just say, a dozen eggs. Why are they different, delicious, and only available for a short time. Tell the story of why this product is awesome or different. Making it compelling and you'll sell more. - Offer a coupon, contest, or promotion. It could be a gift with purchase, a t-shirt, or something you have a lot of. - Have a product of the week and discount that item...I bet you sell other things as well. - Pricing matters. There are lots of studies out there about purchasing. Many of these have shown that customers often feel loss after a purchase but when the item is an odd number they feel like you're getting a bargain. Here is the study that talks about pricing strategies. Putting the $_.99 price tag on things will help your customers have a happier buying experience. A few other ideas: Bring the people to you: You can offer events on your shop page. It could be renting camping space, farm to table dinners, bike to farm dinners, renting out space for weddings, or even goat yoga (yep, I said it.) You might even have summer camps for kids or DIY classes that help others learn about gardening, cheese making, wood turning, basket weaving, knitting, or whatever skills you're able to teach. - Hold the events at times when your other business is slow. - You pick field: Do you have a field that isn't doing much? Create a "you pick it" space. They could be sunflowers, blackberries, raspberries, pumpkins or something else that your customers would like. Think of the selfie possibilities.