2Bits: Why Sell Your Farm Products in an Online…
To successfully sell your farm products in the direct-to-consumer marketing channel, you must stay current on consumer buying trends for retail food. Knowing why you need to offer an online buying option for your customers is critical.
Grocery stores’ marketing programs target farmer market customers.
Farmer market customers and customers that want to buy directly from a farmer spend more on fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat. Grocery stores and global food giants know this and are working hard to get your customers to shift the dollars they spend with you to their stores!
Grocery stores and individual brands, like Campbell or Nestle, are creating marketing programs specifically for these customers. They’re even using USDA information to better understand and market to your customers. One report that shares this information is, “The relationship between patronizing direct-to-consumer outlets and a household’s demand for fruits and vegetables ”.
Grocery stores are copying farmers market community activities and adding fun in-store events to engage customers and increase spending.
Farmer markets use fun educational activities to increase the amount of shoppers during market days. Grocery stores are starting to use the same types of activities to attract customers. Product sampling, food parring events, take-home recipe cards, and cooking classes are being offered. Stores are adding staff that are accessible to customers to answer their product questions, and make suggestions on purchasing.
The impact of digital on grocery shopping is significant and growing.
“The use of mobile and digital technologies are reshaping the food retail landscape. This creates the immediate need for retailers and manufacturers to implement ‘connected commerce’ strategies to maintain retail relevance,” states Chris Morley—President of Nielsen U.S. Buy
Amazon/Whole Foods’ aggressive move into retail grocery is fueling this rapid change.
The Amazon threat to the grocery industry is real. Farmer market and other direct-to-consumer food buying options are a part of the grocery industry that Amazon is targeting. When Amazon went after book publishers in the mid 2000’s, it labeled this effort, “The Gazelle Project.” This name came from the way a cheetah targets a sickly gazelle. Amazon views the grocery industry as an industry that it can disrupt by increasing efficiencies, providing convenience, and lowering costs and prices.
Amazon started their global growth by targeting small book publishers. Now, they’re targeting grocery chains and retail food sales. You must understand this will impact farmers markets!
Grocery store are adding digital shelf displays, online shopping apps, meal kits, and delivery. New technology that allows shoppers to skip the check out process entirely is now becoming more affordable. All of this increases the convenience for grocery shoppers. Added technology will decrease costs and allow grocery stores to reduce pricing. Grocery store chains must do this to compete against Amazon.
Farmers that sell direct-to-consumers should be quickly moving their customers to an online marketplace. If farmers fail to do this, there is a very real threat they will lose them to Amazon/Whole Foods and grocery stores.
You need an online marketplace solution today! Join 2BuyAg! It’s easy! Show your customers you care about their need to make their grocery shopping more convenient by going online!