How to Grow your Food Business Online
You started your business with great goals in mind: serve the community around you, while doing what you love and adding value to society. But as noble as your course is, your food business needs more than goodwill to operate. You have to find a way of increasing your sales if you hope to expand your revenues.
Good sales mean a reliable financial stream, which helps the organization maintain inventory and pay bills. Therefore, the better the income, the more efficient a company gets. As such, gaining more customers and increasing sales should be just as important as creating a great product and delivering great customers service.
One efficient strategy for increasing your customer reach is to get your business online.
In 2021, e-commerce was responsible for 12.9% of retail sales in the United States. Getting your business online gives you access to millions of customers who would never have heard of you.
But in the sea of competing food businesses like yours, how do you stand out from the crowd? Getting the right people to notice you in the fast-moving digital world is no easy task.
Fortunately, platforms like Foraged empower local farmers, foragers, and craft food makers to take their business online. They provide a great opportunity for small-scale food businesses to grow their brand online.
In this guide, we offer some no-nonsense tips that food businesses can apply to gain much-needed online visibility.
Tips for Growing your Food Business Online
Growing your business online means getting more people to interact with you. The tips below will help you reach more perspectives and convert them into loyal customers.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is the easiest way to reach millions of people within a short period of time since more than half of the world’s population uses it. With the right engagement, you can push your brand and grow your enterprise exponentially.
If you’re yet to do so, you should get your business on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and other platforms where you can interact with your potential customers.
Start by creating well-filled profiles, including your company logo and business name. You’ll also find an option to categorize your profile as a food business.
Additionally, social media sites provide advertising and boosting options. Tap into these alternatives and push your brand to the people that matter most. Although this will cost you some fees, it’s well worth the expenditure.
If you have the funds or lack the time, you can get a social media manager to handle your socials. This way, you can concentrate on giving your customers the best products.
Create Consistent Appealing Content
Website? Check. Social media? Check.
Having an online platform is only the first step. Next, you need to give your visitors something of value by posting useful, relevant content. Good examples of content include how-to guides, healthy eating blogs, information on your specialty foods, etc.
Another way is offering recipes for your products. You can achieve this by creating short videos on:
- Tips and tricks
You can also create blogs to show new audiences that you value giving information rather than selling your fresh products. Blogging has worked for 57% of marketers, drawing organic traffic from Google searches and converting them to sales or engagement.
Consistency will determine the efficiency of your content. You need to ensure a customer receives new information regularly. By keeping your content fresh, users will always find a reason to come back to your website, which will go a long way in boosting your search engine ranking.
Fortunately, with online marketplaces like Foraged, you don’t have to worry about fresh content. They consistently update their website with blogs, recipes, and other information about fresh foods that will keep your prospective customers coming back for more.
Get your Photography Right
Getting a customer to pause while scrolling your website and socials is essential for business. The more time they spend on your site, the more likely they will purchase fresh products.
One of the most efficient ways to attract attention is using well taken, quality pictures. Pictures have a fast and easy way to speak to the consumer without words.
Fortunately, photography has never been simpler and easier thanks to cameras and smartphones with automatic settings. You can simply create great pictures on your own.
You can also engage editing applications to give the pictures more appeal.
If you are unsure of your skills, call a professional who’ll produce high-quality photos of your fresh fruits. Good pictures might make the difference between you and your competitors.
Finally, make good use of your pictures. Join and participate in niche food photo communities such as Pinterest. The communities have a well-versed audience that loves your kind of product.
Leverage Online Marketplaces
If you have tried creating and running a website, you know it can be a daunting task. You need to have website-building skills and put in hours into the process. You can avoid this by leveraging the services on an online marketplace for your food business. You’ll have the benefits of owning a website without ever building one.
Foraged is an efficient marketplace for wild and specialty food.
Foraged serves people looking for hard-to-find foods like mushrooms and wild fruits. They feature an e-commerce platform with numerous specialty food sellers from different regions.
So what are the perks for you as a seller?
First, you’ll tap into an existing customer base that wants and likes your product. You’ll spend less money campaigning to these individuals, meaning your profits from the platform will be higher.
Secondly, Foraged frees up your time by handling the business part for you. Your products will be listed on their site for customers, and you’ll receive a notification when a client makes an order.
Thirdly, you’ll run your business without thinking about marketing. Foraged handles your marketing through numerous updated content on their website. They teach visitors and customers about the products and vendors on their site, provide recipes and engage in social media marketing for free.
Additionally, the marketplace conducts extensive data mining from their data and provides you with information for your email listing. You’ll get to conduct more targeted email marketing campaigns that have higher chances of bearing fruits.
Ask for and Manage Referrals
Consumers depend on reviews to make decisions. Around 90% of consumers look at online reviews before buying a product. These give a picture of how other customers see you. The higher the positive reviews your food business has, the easier it is for customers to engage you.
You can start by asking for reviews directly. Your satisfied customers may have a good thing to say about you, but then forget to do it. Ask nicely, and the love you end up getting might just surprise you.
Another way to get reviews is by making the process easy. Once you have made the steps simple, teach the customers how to do it. You can provide tutorials like videos and how-to guides with the necessary steps to follow.
Enable Online Ordering
Did you know that 25% of Americans shop online at least once a month?
As the world moves online, consumers prefer door delivery. It helps them save the time and energy they would have spent visiting your store. Even if you love meeting with your customers in person, tapping into home delivery helps you widen your customer base and grow your business.
If you decide to offer deliveries, make the process easy and efficient. For example, offer your customers pocket-friendly shipping rates and promotions to make online buying cost-friendly. Additionally, make payment for products simple by allowing various online payment options.
Making timely deliveries boosts your company’s brand image.
Engage Marketing Tools
Marketing is essential to growing a business. It helps you engage new and existing customers with your content in a mission to make the brand recognizable.
Marketing is about selling your brand story. The following are tips on telling a good story about your business.
- Let the marketing add value to the customers
- Remain honest in your campaigns
- Space the campaigns to avoid being a bother to your audience
The most efficient way to market is by using email and SMS marketing. They allow you to produce targeted ads with high chances of making a sale or engaging the audience.
For your email campaigns, make videos of your recipes, guides, and processes. Videos can increase open rates by 19% and click rates by 65% while reducing unsubscribe rates by 26%.
Use Google Resources
Google is the largest search engine, with over 2 billion searches a month in the US. A majority of these searches incorporate keywords relating to location.
Leverage these numbers and have your business profit from google searches. Put your business on Google My Business and provide your information and location to help google rank you high in searches.
Google also offers tools to make your business rank better in searches. The resources include:
- Google My Business Marketing Kit lets you create and share material with your audiences. You can make posters, stickers, customized posts, and share updates and highlights.
- Google review links that direct your audiences to your review page. You can incorporate the links on your blogs, websites, and social media.
Tips for Growing your Food Business Online
Taking your business online allows you a sea of potential sales and growth.
Get yourself on social media platforms and launch a user-friendly website. Then, create useful and essential content for your audience to keep them engaged – value-adding content turns audiences into consumers.
You can also get the assistance of an existing marketplace like Foraged for your Wild and Specialty foods. The platform handles your sales and lets you concentrate on delivering quality products. Take your business online and engage millions of online shoppers.