Good Clean Farm, a 1.2-acre vegetable farm located in Salmon River, Nova Scotia, found a new sales channel during the pandemic. When their local market closed due to COVID-19, they needed to find a different way to reach their customers.
Now, 3 months after starting with their Local Line online store, they’ve seen a 20% increase in sales!
Getting Set Up Online, Quickly
Good Clean Farm sells market vegetables, salad mix, and ferments at their local market, to a few restaurants, and at a few local retailers. When the pandemic hit, all of those sales channels came to a screeching halt.
“We knew we needed to sell online and offer delivery to our customers,” explains Angharad. “At first, we started with sending out a list of our inventory and asked customers to email us what they wanted. We would then manually process that into an Excel spreadsheet. It was getting to be too many orders at once and it took us a lot of time to go through everything.”
It wasn’t long before Good Clean Farm decided they needed an online platform to manage their orders for them. Enter Local Line! As a small farm, they needed a solution that was easy to use and didn’t break the bank.
“We liked that Local Line was affordable, available to Canadian farms, and needed minimal development.”
“We love Local Line because the platform handles the ordering process for us,” said Angharad. “After we close the storefront, we can print off a pick-list and use that to pack and fill our orders. This system eliminates errors caused by the manual spreadsheet work we had to do before.”
As Good Clean Farm is offering delivery to their customers, they need to be sure that all orders are recorded and filled accurately to avoid any mixups or miscommunication. Local Line handles this for them and allows them to communicate with customers in an efficient way.
“The team at Local Line has been great. They are interested in customer feedback and listen to their customers’ needs. They are always there for help and are with you throughout the setup process and beyond.”
The New Normal
As businesses continue to reopen, Good Clean Farm is excited to get back to the market, as well as continuing to use Local Line for online sales.
“In the last few weeks, we are continuing to be very active on social media and promote online ordering in person at the market," explains Angharad. "You never know what is going to happen in regards to the pandemic, so it is best to be prepared and have your customers connected online. We are working on developing that channel and continue growing it, even though the market is open again. It is great to be a part of a market community, but it is also really nice to have your own autonomy over your sales. Things are unpredictable. Also, having an online store has been really great for developing customer loyalty. Being able to directly market and not through another organization.”
When asked about her experience thus far with Local Line, Angharad shares, “We were trying to decide whether the cost is reasonable. Realistically, the amount of time that we spend processing orders and delivering is way less time than we would spend at a farmers’ market if we were doing a second market in person. The cost of having Local Line is similar if not less than a market table. In that way, it is really easy to justify using Local Line as a second marketing channel, no matter what is going on in the world!”
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Nina Galle writes blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for farmers and markets.