A Small Business Guide to Shipping Perishable FoodOctober 15, 2015
While it will be exciting to get your first online order, it’s a good idea to first ask yourself some tough questions to assess the viability of selling your food online. This blog post is a part of a short series of posts about this important start-up topic.
You may have the most amazing food product in the world, but what will your customers think, and will they actually order it online?
Quick Test: Ask 5 strangers (ideally that fit your best guess of your target market) what they think of your product, and if they would consider buying it online. Make sure to ask them in a way that is NOT suggestive; Try to remain objective. If possible, give out samples of your product. Strangers will be more likely to give you honest feedback on the uniqueness of your product than friends and family. Unfortunately, friends will often will tell you what they think you want to hear.
While this quick market research can be helpful, don’t worry if the results aren’t positive. Remember that not everyone orders online regularly, and not everyone will like your product, and that’s okay. Since selling food online gives you access to a HUGE market, you can build a viable online food business by capturing only a very small percentage of this virtual marketplace.
Some questions to consider:
- Can customers easily buy a similar product from their local supermarket?
- Will customers order it for self-consumption or send it as a gift to friends, family, or colleagues?
- Could customers subscribe to your product to receive monthly shipments?
- Is your type of product available in other parts of the world?
Want answers to some of these questions about your product?
Consider putting together your own simple online survey to gauge interest. We’ve helped several clients do exactly this, and it’s fun and surprising to see how the results can help shape your business. A little bit of market research can go a long way in saving you time and money by helping you focus your brand and marketing on the people most in need of, and most willing to pay for, your specialty food.
Let’s discuss your business.