How This Ontario Farmers’ Market Found Success Selling Online Using Local Line
Published by Nina Galle on
The Bradford Farmers’ Market has been serving their community for over 13 years. Throughout
those years their twenty vendors have become very popular with local customers, and for good
reason. The Bradford Farmers’ Market is located near the Holland Marsh, one of the province's
most fertile growing areas in Ontario.
At the start of 2020, the Bradford Farmers’ Market team had no reason to believe that this year
would be anything different, but, like the rest of the world, when the COVID-19 pandemic began
they were forced to dramatically change their plans.
Completely changing a market's operating model is not easy even when you have ample time to
prepare. In this case, Laura, the market manager at the market, had only a couple of weeks to
pull this off and save the season.
Rethinking the Farmers’ Market
The only option Laura had to continue her market was a pre-order model where customers
would order online and then arrive to pick up their products. Laura heard from a nearby market
that they were using Local Line and after researching our platform, she knew it would work for
- She could manage all of her vendors in one back end
- Her vendors could set their own payment terms and collect their own money from customers
- She could turn the store on and off according to their ordering schedule.
“The system works really well for us and the response time from Local Line has been great. The customer service team is always there when I need them,” shares Laura.
With their new online store, the Bradford Market vendors are able to upload their own inventory
and sell online via the Bradford Market storefront (www.localline.ca/bradford-farmers-market). Customers are able to purchase from multiple vendors and select their pickup date for online payment. It keeps the community feeling alive during a time where markets are not able to run as usual.
“So far I have only received positive feedback from our customers! People are happy they are still able to shop locally and the platform has been easy for them to navigate. Also, the curbside pickup still lets us have some social interaction, while the online store lets us manage all the orders!” exclaims Laura.
A Day in the Life of a Market Manager
Since launching with Local Line, Laura’s day-to-day Market Manager responsibilities have changed. She helps vendors get set up and promotes the market storefront to customers.
“Before having an online store, I would have to get all my social media marketing posts done within the market hours to remind customers to come down. With our online store, we open up for orders on Mondays, and customers have four days to get their orders in. This gives me more time in the week to experiment with different social media posts! It’s been fun to get creative and think of new marketing ideas!”
Looking Forward to Future Markets
To date, the Bradford Online Farmers Market has been a great success. In their first 3 weeks, they had 675 orders, with sales increasing 35% since the first week.
“The first market went very smoothly. We were able to easily print off the pick lists and fill orders. Payments had already been made and customers were simply able to collect,” says Laura.
When asking Laura if she had any advice to market managers switching online, she said, “1. Go
with Local Line and 2. Have trust in the system; your customers and vendors are much more
tech-savvy than you would think,” she shares.
We are so happy to hear the Bradford Farmers’ Market has found success moving their farmers’
Take your market online today with a free Local Line trial!
Local Line is the best way for your food business to keep operating and selling during COVID-19.
Use Local Line to set up an online store and offer home delivery or curbside pick-up to your customers!