CREATING YOUR LISTINGS
BEST PRACTICES & TIPS
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. Our blog offers update-to-date tips and techniques, and we will often include our most recent seller newsletter there, too.
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 >
CREATE PROFILE & LISTINGS
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).
When creating product listings include:
size of product, e.g. ounces, servings, etc.
detail flavors and textures
Follow these step-by-step Google Document tutorials when creating your listings.
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, 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 >>
Create short and detailed profile and product descriptions: 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.
TIP: 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.
TIP: add 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.
TIP: to take your store offline for a weekend or more (vacation, for instance) simply "disable" your products, and then upon return "enable" them again.
TIP: 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 email@example.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.
TIP: Our WHAT NOW Blog has our most up-to-date information on new applications; along with more tips and techniques.
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.
TIP: Optimize your store for the site's customer searches by using keywords and tags.
TIP: Link your store profile to your social media accounts, and within your product descriptions.
Consider marketing through paid advertising.
TIP: Consider offering discounts to incentivize shoppers to buy with sales and promo codes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up.
TIP: 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.
TIP: Sellers can offer all customers samples. F&E will add these to the customers collated orders. Reach out to email@example.com for more info.
TIP: Join the F&E Facebook group page to network with sellers and shoppers.
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
FAQs and Tips for Small MN Businesses: COVID-19 >>
BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MULTI VENDOR MARKETPLACE & AN ONLINE STORE
SHIPPING, PICK UP & DOORSTEP DELIVERY \ FOOD SAFETY
Food-safety strategies for safer delivery and takeout >>
How to start a delivery service at your restaurant >>
SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING
PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Site for free stock food photography >>
PACKAGING & LABELING
94 Best Food Delivery Packages \ Pinterest >>
Six Food Delivery Packaging Trends >>