How to take your farm sales online.
Updated: Sep 27
In these uncertain times, many farmers and ranchers are looking for new ways to market their products. If you’re already selling directly to consumers online, excellent: you’re helping yourself and your community.
If you’re not offering farm sales online yet, or need help doing that better, Farmbrite can help.
Whether you grow vegetable, fruits, berries, meat, milk shares, herbs or cut flowers, selling direct to consumers online creates an easy to manage new sales channel that can help reach new customers and increase revenue and profits. Read on for tips on how to quickly get an eCommerce website up and running using Farmbrite, as well as some general suggestions that can help any farmer or rancher selling their products online.
Your Farm Website
Having a website is very helpful for many reasons. Most importantly it puts you on the virtual map, helping more customers find you.
At the very least your site should indicate what products you offer and how to get in touch with you. Ideally, it would allow your customers to choose from your available products and pay you electronically.
With a Farmbrite you can create a farm website in minutes. You don’t need to know anything about websites or coding. You simply type in what you want to say on your home page, and specify common-sense things like your contact information. If you have photos or a logo to share, great, if not, that’s okay, too.
Here’s what I made in less time than it takes for the kettle to boil:
Take a closer look. There’s a “Products” link to show visitors what’s for sale. There are also links for “Pickup Locations” and “Contact Us.”
You simply type this information into your Farmbrite account and it updates the appropriate areas on your site. Farmbrite saves you time by linking information to every place it’s useful, rather than requiring you to re-enter it each time.
What to Sell Online
What should you sell online? Of course “everything” seems like the right answer, and that may be true in time, but start with the metaphorical “low-hanging fruit.” Selling CSA shares makes great sense. So do CSA-style produce boxes or “grab-and-go” bags. Maybe it’s half winter greens and half assorted root crops. You know what’s the best fit in your area and season.
Decide what you’re selling, then simply type the details into Farmbrite’s “Products” page. If you can use your phone to take a photo of each item, and upload that, even better.
Most importantly, simply let people know what you’re making available and how. This gives them the opportunity to shop locally, support you, and enjoy healthy food.
Farm Pickup Times and Locations
Part of the equation is how to get the food to your customers. Adding a delivery fee in your Farmbrite online store is as simple as clicking a checkbox and indicating the fee. You might offer delivery in an X-mile radius, or in your town, or in certain zip codes. You decide.
Don’t offer delivery? That’s fine, too. Your site can simply specify pickup times and locations. You might also clarify when orders have to be placed prior to pickup. For example, something like, “Orders must be placed before midnight on Thursday to be ready for Saturday pickup.”
Or whatever. You can refine this later as you learn what works well and what does not.
Your website is a great place to highlight the steps you take to offer a healthy shopping alternative. Are you certified organic, biodynamic, GFSI or something else? Let your customers know. You might also include any information pertinent to coronavirus concerns:
Are all products pre-bagged or boxed?
Do staff wear masks and gloves?
Will they place boxes in customer’s cars?
Whatever measures you take to protect your customers is worthy of consideration for inclusion on your site, whether it’s created with Farmbrite or not.
Collecting Farm Payments Online
One proven solution is to have folks prepay for pickup orders using a credit card on your site. With the Farmbrite Professional plan, you can securely accept credit card payments via Stripe. To do so, simply set up a free merchant account at stripe.com.
Set up this way, Farmbrite will notify you each time a purchase has been made. You can manage all your orders and customers within Farmbrite, while charges are made through – and deposited into – your Stripe account.
Want to try taking your farm sales online? No problem; with Farmbrite’s free trial you can experiment all you wish. But that’s just part of what Farmbrite offers. You can also explore all the other farm and livestock management features of the Professional plan for free for 14 days.
Already had your free trial, or need a little more? No problem; just let us know and we’ll set you up.
Right now we’re all trying new things to get by – we have to. If selling your products online is one of the new things you’re trying, we’re here to help.
No matter what you’re working on, thank you for all that you do to help your community.
COVID-19 Guidance for Farms & Markets – PASA Sustainable Agriculture
Farm Marketing: How to Sell More Online – Farmbrite Blog
Strategies for Staying in Business through the Pandemic – growingformarket.com
Your Shop Overview – Farmbrite Help Article