Transitioning your business online is a big task and should be worth the effort. In 2018, e-commerce grocery sales totalled $58.9 billion, which was an increase of 35.4% from the previous year. The truth is, consumers are changing, and the food industry is changing along with them.
Offering your customers e-commerce and online ordering is what your business needs. Buying local food right now is not convenient. Consumers who want to buy local have to jump through hoops to buy strawberries that grew around the corner, versus those grown thousands of kilometres away. The solution to getting more online sales is to make local food equally as accessible as a grocery store.
This means bringing local food to an online platform.
Sticky notes and Excel spreadsheets can only bring you so far. It doesn’t take much before orders are lost, or missing. If your ordering process is confusing and messy for you, then the odds are it’s probably the same for your customers as well. Transitioning your business online will save you loads of time, while also offering a streamlined shopping experience for your customers.
Online systems offer:
1. Updated Product Lists and Real-Time Inventory
Your online store provides your customers with an up-to-date product list with inventory that updates in real-time. When ordering through the phone or email, customers might order something that isn’t in stock or available. Save yourself (and them) trouble dealing with these situations. Additionally, an updated product list allows them to discover and order items they didn’t even know you sold!
2. 24/7 Convenience
Customers like the convenience of an online store. Most grocery stores offer extended hours and online ordering. Customers can go into the store outside of working hours or visit their online store at any hour and buy their products.
With your online store, it’s the same principle. Everyone wants the convenience of accessing the store at any time on any day, and an online store offers this.
3. Easy payment
With an online store, you can accept virtually any kind of payment, (comma) from credit card to Android pay. The flexibility of this kind of payment allows you to adapt to the needs of your customers.
The truth is, local is accessible, and for the industry to thrive in the future, it must meet the needs of its consumers. Your customers are all online; therefore, you should be too.
Get started with a free Local Line trial today!
Used by all types of local food suppliers, Local Line helps you accept online orders, communicate with customers, and organize your fulfillment.
Nina Galle is Local Line's Content Marketer, creating blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for local food suppliers.