For many farmers, sticking to pack sizes doesn’t make sense for their business. For example, if you’re selling jars of jam or bags of lettuce, it’s easy to track inventory based on the number of units.
“I have 15 jars available” or “I have 12 bags of Arugula in my online store inventory”.
What happens when you sell steaks or chicken breasts or even vegetables per lb or kg? Not every steak or chicken breast is the same size.
Let’s go through an example:
You sell pork chops for $9.99/lb and list them in your online store. A customer orders 2lb of pork chops. You go to your freezer to grab the pork chops ahead of delivery, and you have one package that weighs 1.9lb and another at 2.1lb. Which one would give to the customer? Most likely, you’d give them the 2.1lb pack.
Sure, you’re not losing much money on one sale, but imagine you perpetually run your business this way. At the end of the month, you may be losing 5-10%+ of potential revenue.
So, if this is the case, why would you bother even selling online?
This is where the variable weight workflow comes into play. Just because you don’t sell by units doesn’t mean that you’re not able to sell online.
What does this mean?
You list your products in your Local Line store by the price per weight—i.e., chicken breast for $9.99 per pound. Then, customers order and the system estimates the final cost. For example, if they order three pounds of chicken breast, the system will calculate it as $29.97.
However, what happens when you weigh three chicken breasts and it comes out to 3.2 pounds?
Instead of charging the customer the full estimated amount, you have the option to set up one of the following:
Pre-authorize your Customer’s Credit Card
When an order is placed on your online store, Local Line will pre-authorize the customer’s credit card for the estimated price, plus a 15% margin in case the product weighs above average. After the order is weighed and the price is adjusted, the customer’s credit card will be charged for the final amount.
For example, the estimated price for three pounds of chicken breast is $29.97. Once the customer places the order, their credit card will be pre-authorized for $34.47.
When you weigh the final order, it is 3.2lb, and the final price becomes $31.97. When you approve the order with the updated value, the customer’s credit card will be charged $31.97.
Have Your Customers Pay Later
With the Pay Later functionality, instead of charging your customer’s credit card, you can simply have your customer pay the invoice at any point after you've packed their order. You can send a customer an invoice with the final weighed amount, in this case, $31.97, and allow them to pay with a credit card or any other payment method you have available.
This workflow benefits those who can’t refine their average package sizes to fit the 15% threshold.
Here is what the payment screen will look like for a customer once the order has been approved and payment is requested.
Let’s go through what this could look like for you in Local Line step-by-step:
- When creating a product, choose to sell the product by ‘weight’ rather than by ‘item’.
- Indicate an average pack weight and a price per pound.
- Enable ‘orders with this product require approval.’
- When customers order a product with this feature enabled, they’ll be prompted to add their credit card during checkout. They will not be charged upon entering their card details.
- Go to your Orders table. Here, orders requiring approval will be denoted by a symbol beside the order number.
- To approve an order, click on it and make the necessary adjustments. Click ‘Approve’ and ‘Save’ to bill your customer.
Whether you’re selling whole cows, bags of potatoes, or sausages, selling by weight online is easy to do!
Running your business is hard work. We want to help make it a little bit easier.
Try Local Line for yourself for free today!
Used by all types of local food suppliers, Local Line helps you sell online, communicate with customers, and manage your business all in one place.