Updated: Oct 5
The times they are a' challenging. As foodpreneurs you've already got this creative thing down pat. Now it's about putting that creativity to real work. Lemonade, lemons, and all that will define if you sink or swim. Let's swim.
F&E announced plans to launch a multi-vendor online marketplace in late March. Our collective marketplace is pretty darn innovative, and is the only thing like it in the Upper Midwest. To be clear, our marketplace was created to offer F&E Members the greatest amount of customization and flexibility to grow their business. Meaning it's not a single kind of shop, for a single type of marketplace, selling in one type of way - like how lots of farmer's markets are now selling online. With your profile and listings, sellers can fulfill customer orders via:
traditional in-person farmer's markets.
contactless F&E Pre-Sale & Pick-Up Markets.
offering nationwide shipping.
AND doorstep delivery.
There. We said it. It's time folks. Leaving home is scary for people. Home is safe. By adapting your business to speak to this new normal, you may just beat your competition to the punch.
Further, early adopter types have been on this bandwagon for awhile. Ourselves included. What was once a luxury, is now commonplace. Online purchases at 3AM, mean groceries at 10AM - without getting out of bed. For years, F&E has been a champion of the online sale with market pick up. And we want you to be, too. We get this is new territory, but lots of businesses do it - even locally. Pet Wants Minneapolis has been delivering for year's and they've learned how it can work for them. So can you. There are tremendously affordable applications to support your foray into this doorstep delivery distribution model. Apps for route planning, for one.
Couple ways to think about this.
Trade your 4-hour (or more) farmers' market sit session for a drive session. Instead post your product online, share via your social networks, sell and receive payout - before ever leaving your home (or in some situations baking a single cupcake).Thus allowing you to specifically prepare and package product for a known customer. Better inventory management means less waste, and equals more control over your precious time and your business. Check out our resource page for links to help you plan routes, select packaging and organize your time.
With online sales you receive information about customers you never could in-person. A little creepy, but real.
You can reduce your daily sales cost by eliminating stall fees.
Get your weekend back & so much more.
F&E Marketplace is always pushing customers to consider doorstep delivery and shipping. If these are current offerings, or something you are considering - now would be the time to get your online profile and listings in order. To help you do that, keep reading.
CONFIGURE YOUR LISTINGS HERE
As of October, we've created a new customization to help sellers communicate their delivery window and day directly on the product listing. Follow the below steps to configure your listings.
Go to Seller Dashboard and login. Go to PRODUCTS and LISTINGS. Click on enabled product. Look for DELIVERY DETAILS half way down the product listing page. At the pull down select for OTHER, and then SAVE CHANGES. After you've saved changes, a second text box will show up under OTHER. See example below. You will need to add this info to each listing.
Also, on the product listing page are tags. We've created tags to speak to different delivery scenarios. These tags will then be communicated to the buyers via filters. Please click on ALL the tags that make the most sense for your distribution model.
Finally, make sure your Store Pick Up Configuration is on, and that your locations are correct. For more on this, see below for the steps to take on this.
CONFIGURING YOUR LISTINGS FOR DOORSTEP DELIVERY, ALONG WITH DROP DAYS AND/OR MARKET PICK UP
First, Login to your Seller Account. And then to offer pick ups at Drop Days, your farmers' markets or at your store location, you will need to click ON (green means "go) "Store Pick Up Configuration" and complete pick-up site addresses, days and times under "Locations."
Second, locations should look like the below. With the location name, day of the week and time of pick up, per F&E Drop Days.
Third, once configured properly, your listings will show like this.
Fourth, to offer doorstep delivery, configure this from "Store Pick Up," by selecting for both "STORE PICK UP + DELIVERY." If you'd like to set inventory from site to site differently, e.g. to offer 50 items for your Saturday market and 25 for Sunday's market, click ON "USE LOCATION FOR PRODUCT" on the far right side of the page. Further, if you'd prefer to not include ALL PRODUCT, that can be adjusted for on this page, too.
Finally, once configured correctly, product listings will look like this. Giving customers the ability to select for one or the other.