Quick Start Guide to Selling Online

We hope this guide will support you in getting your profile set up, crafting listings, and selling products. This is a broader sellers guide complete with resources and tips, so if you're looking for step-by-step instructions, in a format different than the below visit our TUTORIALS page. Our blog offers update-to-date tips and techniques, and we will often include our most recent seller newsletter there, too. 
1. Get to Know Us, Seller Responsibilities & Become a Member
With  us, you'll find a passionate community of farmers, small-business food makers and shoppers. If you are new to us, take time to get to know us. Review our seller policies and permit requirements, learn about our in-person markets, membership fee, and make sure our online marketplace is right for you. Once ready, you'll become an F&E Member right here >
2. Create Your Profile and Configure Your Products 
  • You’ll first create a profile, upload profile images, a banner image and then include a PayPal account to receive payment after you’ve noted delivery. You will be unable to create product listings until you add your PayPal account. 

  • Set aside time to create your product listings.  We suggest using the duplication option on the product listings, and avoid working from a “new” product listing (besides the first one). 

 

Think about the below when creating listings. 

  • Confirm your inventory reflects what you can realistically offer for sale from week to week. Refunds cost F&E money, and it’s good to stay on top of your inventory to not disappoint customers.

  • I suggest adding in your full line up - even if you aren’t able to “enable” them quite yet. It will save you time in the future. Be sure to keep your products disabled until you are prepared to sell and deliver. 

 

When creating product descriptions include (frequently missed by sellers): 

  • size of product, e.g. ounces, servings, etc. 

  • list allergens

  • packaging

  • detail flavors and textures

  • quality photos

  • Is it clear how customers will receive my product? Identify how customers will receive the product directly in the product description, and using the below directions. 

3. Configuring Locations to Make Your Product Available for Drop Days

If customers are confused on this important detail, they won't purchase your products. In fact, they might not purchase any products and that isn't cool. We suggest including your email address in your listings for ease of communication with customers. 

  • On the PRODUCT LISTING, look for the DELIVERY DAY box and pulldown. Select the descriptor that makes the most sense for your distribution type. If you don't see what you need, reach out to libby@frankandernie.com. You must do this for every product listing. 

  • To have your products identified with the correct DROP DAY products, click on the COLLECTIONS on the right hand side (NE and/or South Mpls). You must do this for every product listing. 

 

  • After selected your COLLECTIONS, you will need to identify your LOCATIONS and turn on the configuration for STORE PICK UP and/or Doorstep Delivery.

 

  • Identify the locations that your products will be available for pick up. Click on the CONFIGURATION pulldown. Select LOCATIONS. Then ADD LOCATION on the upper right hand side of the screen. Follow this image EXACTLY for NE MPLS  and this image for South Mpls when completing your locations. This may seem unusual, but given our unique model it's important to be clear and consistent with customers about their options.

  • Once you've added both locations, then click on the CONFIGURATION pulldown. Then click STORE PICK UP CONFIGURATION. Turn on WANT STORE PICK UP. If you only have certain products available for pick up, then CONFIGURE FOR SPECIFIC PRODUCT. If you offer both Delivery and Pick Up, select for STORE PICK UP & DELIVERY. Then at CUSTOMER OPTION FOR PRODUCT, select the option you'd like customers to first see at your product listing page. Most sellers use ALL PRODUCT.

FINALLY: Look at your listings, and again ask "Does this listing make it clear how and when my customers will receive my product?" If not, go back over the steps. Once you’ve completed your profile and product listings, email libby@frankandernie.com to confirm. She can then review and optimize your listings. Usually it takes a few tweaks and we typically have a few more questions for you, e.g. minimums, etc.

 
Other Elements to Consider when Building Profile and Product Descriptions:
  • Banner, logo and products: upload clear images, and make a strong impression on shoppers. F&E suggests Canva.com to edit and enhance images. There are lots of resources for free photography and we encourage you to use them. Do not use images from other sites than these as they could be copyrighted. Please note, F&E and sellers can be sued for copyright infringement, and that isn't cool. Tips for product photography >
  • Short and detailed store description: begin the description with your company location, along with a description of your experience. This is  your chance to sell yourself, and your products. Tips for writing your store and product descriptions >
  • Introduce your team and any other collaborators you work with. If you work with a regional farmer and/or use the ingredients of another local food maker, tell that story and link to their seller profile, too.
  • Value driven statements drive traffic. Customers buy local for good reasons, and you want to identify how your brand fits into those reasons. 
 
  • Store policies. Sellers must consider sales workflow when crafting policies such as; shipping, deliveries, returns, exchanges, payments, custom items, or any other guidelines that are important for buyers to know before they make a purchase. 
Our WHAT NOW Blog has our most up-to-date information on new applications; along with tips and techniques. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OTHER TIPS FOR BRANDING
A marketing strategy is important to the success of your business. Marketing will help new customers find your products and lets existing customers stay up to date. By checking in often, reviewing best practices as set out by F&E and other professionals, then making adjustments for learnings, sellers are more likely to achieve more and higher sales. Just like a farmer's market stall or a retail storefront, online stores require similar kinds of attention.
Elements to Consider: 
  • Make sure you're optimizing your store for our site's customer searches by using keywords and tags.
  • Link your store profile to your social media accounts, and within your product descriptions.
  • Consider marketing through paid advertising. 
  • Consider offering discounts to incentivize shoppers to buy with sales and promo codes. Email libby@frankandernie.com to set up. 
  • Reach out to F&E customers. They are your customers and we encourage you to consider emails, text marketing and newsletters. Send follow up emails after they've received your product - find out what they think, and encourage them to leave a review on your Facebook page. 
  • Sellers can offer all customers on Drop Days samples. F&E will add these to the customers collated orders. Reach out to libby@frankandernie.com for more info. 
  • Register for in-person pop ups and farmer's markets
  • Join the F&E Facebook group page to network with sellers and shoppers.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WRITING PROFILE & PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
 
  • Develop your own voice. Your store description and listings should sound like you. Using your own words and infusing your personality will come across as genuine and unique. 
  • Write for buyers who take the time to read everything. Give all the details you can. A product listing should include sizes of products and its packaging, including the number and weight of each item in a package (such as cookies). Imagery should include close ups photos of the label, any nutrition information and the ingredient list. Descriptions should include any allergen information, such as "wheat free, tree nut free, dairy free" or others. We suggest having uniformity when identifying these details. When writing your listings, we recommend looking to sites like Goldbelly, Food52 and D'Artagnan Foods for inspiration. 
  • Remember that customers aren't able to touch or sample your product. The best advice we've read is to play "20 Questions" with yourself. If you were purchasing this product, what would you want to know about it? If there were no photos in your listing, would a buyer still understand the product. By including those details, not only will your prospective customer be able to make an informed decision, but it will save you a lot of time answering individual customer questions.
  • Be uniform in styling your listings, use short paragraphs, succinct sentences and lists. Even though you want to be descriptive in your product listings, being tedious is a surefire way to turn off your customer. Again, we refer you to the aforementioned online stores when writing your listings. 
  • Proofread. If spelling and grammar aren't your thing, ask for help. Either by enlisting the help of a friend or by tapping applications like Grammarly. This application runs in your browser and offers suggestions as you type. Customers want to know that you mean business, a sloppy listing and photos does the opposite. 
 

MORE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ONLINE SALES & NEW RETAIL

COVID19 & YOUR BUSINESS

BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MULTI VENDOR MARKETPLACE & AN ONLINE STORE

SHIPPING, PICK UP & DOORSTEP DELIVERY \ FOOD SAFETY

SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS & PHOTOGRAPHY

PACKAGING & LABELING

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 8.41.21 AM.png
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

CONTACT US

(612) 867 0854

 libby@frankandernie.com

Libby Wyrum, Owner