Selling Local Food Specialties: A Storefront Is Not Enough

Categories: Food & Wine By

Today we want to offer you something a little different from the usual. Writing for us is Daniele Vinci, head of  ComunikaFood and marketing and online sales expert in the field of wine and gastronomy. Daniele will be giving us some tips on how to improve Food Shops and sell online. Here goes his guest post.

daniele-vinci-comunikafood-consulting-web-marketing-food-and-wine-150x150Everyday I conduct research on the internet for news relating to local food enterprises. Over time I have honed my ability to identify those that truly want to sell online and those that do so without any real convicition. One of the principal motivational factors, for those who sell online, is short term economic compensation. If you sell easily on your ‘first try’ everything ‘seems’ wonderfully easy.

The amount of E-commerces in local food enterprises on the internet, that I have seen in all these years, leads me to assure you that there exists a huge offer of diverse products which is both fragmented and disorganized; made up of ‘dead displays’. This can be an advantage for those who sell these products online. Having an E’commerce, however, does not preclude the fact of being inactive and non-operational on the web.

olio-di-meo-extravergine-di-oliva-biologico-coltivato-in-puglia
Lucia Di Meo produces oil on his farm in Puglia. As well as having a shop on Blomming, he has also inserted it in his website (click on the image to see it)

A simple ‘display page’ is not enough if you want to sell.
Your E-commerce is n0t like a boutique in the centre of a metropolis. It’s a lot more similar to an ice-cream van. The ice-cream man sells more ice-cream the more he is active and participates with the people that he meets and goes around looking for.

If you sell typical products through Blomming, for example, which is in and of itself a platform that leans towards sharing, don’t just insert the product – cheese, oil, tomatoes etc. – on the platform. Consider Blomming as if it were a boat that allows you to navigate the seas, docking at different harbours thanks to its ability to adapt itself in diverse contexts of the web, from blogs to Facebook.

The potential of this instrument is that of becoming a mobile seller, at a difference to those who sell only from their E-commerce website.

formaggi-tipici-zoff-fossa-di-cormons-agriturismo-caseificio-artigianale
The Zoff farm is situated in Cormòns, Friuli, and they produce brilliant local cheeses. They have also put their shop on their website, just as on their Facebook page (click on the picture to see it)

What you should do on top of displaying your products

TIP #1

Don’t limit yourself to images, make them ‘alive’ through multiple angles. One shot won’t do the trick. Those who buy have to ‘smell’ the product by seeing the photo. Give images of the product both in context and with neutral backgrounds, so that all aspects are conveyed. Take close ups and far away shots to show details and context. Every Blomming product can be associated with up to 4 photos, take advantage of this!

The emotional factor with local produce is fundamental, otherwise people would buy the same product from a shopkeeper and they wouldn’t need to come to you!

TIP #2

When you insert an image on Blomming, share it and make sure that your followers also share. Disseminating your products also means making them participatory. You don’t need to SPAM, but if you ask your followers to click on the ‘like’ button for your images, your certainly not committing a crime. Sharing is the first step for optimization and positioning.

Ideally you should make the act of sharing more inviting for others. Therefore, choose a picture that is worth sharing. To explain myself better, a bottle of oil on a white background is not shareable. It’s useful for your official gallery of products, as Olio di Meo does on their E-commerce, but it’s not good, for example, for Facebook. Would you click ‘Like’ on someone else’s simple bottle of oil?

On the other hand would you share if, instead of the bottle, you put a picture of a secular olive tree with a logo at the bottom. On the surface you are doing the same thing, promoting your product, but you are doing it in a different and more effective matter. HHHH

Pantry-Hamper-Gift-Box-from-Delectable-Gifts-jams-preserve-sauces-Breath-wild-fruits

All Delectable Gifts specialties are crafted locally in central Victoria, North-West of Melbourne, Australia

Here are some practical examples for how to transform your ‘banal’ online storefront into a ‘live and kicking’ E-Commerce.

TIP #1

Have you thought about starting a blog of recipes with your local produce? Do it! Have you thought about putting images of that finished recipe with the produce beside it? It’s more effective!

An example could be to start a recipe blogmade with the products you sell and, at the end of each article, integrate your product page with a link to your E-Commerce. You will have a better chance of selling than a scattered store on the web, don’t you think?

confettura-di-frutta-extra-gelsi-arance-ciliegie
Aromiesaporitaliani is a colourful and tasty shop…  (click on the image to visit the shop)

It takes up more time, I know. But if you want to make your buisness profitable you have to invest time. Otherwise it’s simply a game that won’t bring many results.

TIP #2

Do you use QR codes for your E-Commerce? Do you know what they are used for? It’s a simple bar code in a square shape that, through a mobile application, allows people to access your E’Commerce directly, as if it were a link.

You could, for example, use it when you go to a fair or expo. If you have a stall you could have a sticker with it, and attach it to the stall or your car or anywhere possible, so as to make your E’Commerce on Blomming more traceable.

gourmet-food-calvisius-caviar
Amongst the many Italian specialities in our Gourmet Food collection, we have also inserted a few … ‘gems’ (click on the image to see them)

TIP #3

Have you ever used videos to present your products? The good news is that there aren’t many local produce videos on YoutTube. You could take advantage of this to gain a hefty presence. You would have an advantage on search engines that are increasingly offering videos priority when they are well indecised.

These are some examples where you can read about local products here on Blomming. If you find these tips useful and you want further advice to improve your sales leave a comment.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Daniele Vinci
Head of Comunikafood.it

If your undecided on a gift for that special someone… visit our collection of  Gourmet Foods!