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Seller Bootcamp Week 3: Selling artisan food online

The Yumbles marketplace is addressing the ever increasing consumer trend for buying “real” food straight from the producers.  Discerning food fans are caring now more than ever about what they eat, where it comes from and how it’s made. With more than 200 of the most talented producers in the UK listing on the marketplace, Yumbles offers the largest selection of artisan produce that can be found anywhere.

To maximise your success online it pays to understand that online buyer behaviour is different to buying in a bricks and mortar shop or market stall.  As a result of the differences in the experience (not least that purchasing isn’t instantaneous plus they have vast choice at their fingertips), online purchases are typically more considered and serve a specific need.

So what are food fans buying and what does it mean for you?


1. Original indie food in quantity/ selections

While discerning food fans are keen to access the best of indie foods and buy directly it needs to be worth their while to order.

For more “everyday” staples where your unit prices are under £10 e.g. preserves, sauces, think about offering your products either in small quantities or useful bundles to make the “basket economics” make sense for the customer when ordering from you.  Depending on your produce, themed selections like this one can work well to help introduce your range to new customers.

On a marketplace like Yumbles it’s important to note that your listings are typically viewed independently to the rest of your shop and amongst other product listings.  Don’t assume that all customers will take the time to look for your other products to create a basket.  Make sure that each of your listings work well on their own merits as a purchase.


2. Gifts

Buying gifts online, particularly quality artisan food gifts, is in high in demand and it’s also a great way to gain new fans for your products. If your produce is suitable think about offering some gift variations whether it be selection packs, hampers, or perhaps simply offering your produce in gift packaging.

Our top tips:

  • make your gift truly original and something that can’t be found on the high street. Make your USP clear.
  • tailor the gift to your target audience – who is it ideal for?
  • the gift packaging is as much the gift as your produce itself – make sure it looks great
  • consider offering a (hand written or printed) gift message. Add as an option to your listing.
  • invest as always in high quality photos of both your produce and the gift packaging
  • offer express delivery – even if just during the peak gift buying seasons especially Christmas. The large spikes in sales are typically 2-3 working days before the key events so without Next Day delivery you can miss out on significant sales.


3. Free From

Special diets are still not catered for well on the typical high street.  Bricks and mortar retailers struggle to stock a large enough selection for minority customer groups like coeliacs, the lactose intolerant and vegans.

This is where online excels. As a marketplace Yumbles is unconstrained in terms of selection and the Free From categories on Yumbles continue to gain strong momentum.

If you can or do offer free from variations of your produce don’t forget to list them and highlight they are free from in the product description, features and tags (and possibly also the product listing names).


4. Bespoke / Wedding favours/ Corporate Gifts

Sourcing unique foods forspecial occasions such as wedding favours, wedding cakes and party packs, not to mention bespoke requests including branded corporate gifts, is ideally served online and this category is one of the fastest growing areas on Yumbles.

Our top tips:

  • tailor your special occasion listings according to the target audience or use case.  For example – list your wedding favours separately from your corporate gift listings even if much of the underlying product is the same.
  • you can list bespoke items by offering a finite set of options for customers to choose from (e.g. colour scheme/ personalised text / flavours/ shapes etc).
  • show high quality photos of previous bespoke creations so that customers get a good idea of what’s possible.  Always the more photos the better.
  • consider offering quantity discounts particularly for wedding favours and corporate gifts (see the Quantity Discounts tab in the editable listings).

Don’t forget: for fully bespoke requirements customers can contact you directly and you can capture these orders by following the steps detailed here.

Inspired to make some improvements to your Yumbles shop?  Go to the Seller Portal >>

Not currently a Yumbles seller? And you make amazing produce?  Find out more here >>

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