There are a lot of advantages to promoting your products online:
- It is FREE to post
- Paid advertising can be inexpensive
- Posts and paid advertising can be very effective
- Consumers can click right through to buy when they see your posts or ads
Just remember everyone knows this and there is so much being shared online it can be very difficult for you to differentiate and for consumers to even find you. You need a strategy to ensure the right consumers can find you.
Just the same as selling in bricks and mortar, success is not just about making great products to sell, it is about selling the great products you make. To help you do this we have designed a new SKUFood C.A.R.T. process specifically for e-commerce. We have been learning a lot about this channel and invested the time to develop our proven process for this channel.
You can maximize the opportunity when you put the resources and effort into selling your products in a different channel. In the second segment of our C.A.R.T. process for e-commerce we ask the question ‘How will you measure your results?’
You need a strategy to ensure the right consumers find you online
When you have a great definition of your target market you can begin to create your strategy to develop relationships with consumers online. The target market is key so that you develop relationships with the right consumers.
Your online community can be a valuable asset in your business. Like any other asset, you will need to invest resources to maintain it. This can be many things such as special offers, sneak previews of new items, insider information about your products, recipes only available to your online community and many more. You will need to continue to provide value, which does not always have to be discounts, or they will leave. Many others are trying to do the same thing.
Your online community can be in the form of a proprietary list where you contact them with email or texts. These people have consented to you interacting with them directly. You will have to curate this list over time on social media or through other one to one contact. This can be the most valuable online community as you can communicate directly and they have made the decision to be there. You are not at the mercy of the Facebook or Instagram algorithm. You communicate directly when you want to. This is also the group you need to provide with the most value. They are there for a reason and you need to keep them engaged.
Consumers can also find you on social media. When you know your target market you can determine the most effective social media platform(s). A basic rule of thumb is that as your target market age range moves up the platforms go from Tiktok to Instagram to Facebook. In other words, if your target market are 45 and older Facebook is probably the best platform. If people under 25 are the buyers or influence the decision (teens who have parents to buy) then you probably should focus on Tiktok. There are exceptions to these generalities but they are a good place to start.
When you build your social media strategy talk to the people who buy your products. Ask them where they hang out online. They will tell you.
Social media can be a combination of generic posts and paid advertising. It becomes most effective when you get interaction and reaction from consumers. Now you know they are getting value and interested in what they see.
Social media is not a one-way conversation. You need to be prepared to respond to consumers online. You also have to be prepared that not all comments and reactions will be positive.
Paid advertising on social media can be effective. You can be very specific about the people you will reach and even the geography you want to reach. Make sure the person doing this understands how to do it and that you learn from the results. You can also post different ads and measure response and effectiveness in terms of sales. This will help you learn about what resonates with your online consumers.
Websites are your home base online. If a consumer is interested in you this is likely one of the first places they will land. Yes, younger consumers probably search social media first which is a good reason for you to be watching online trends. Consumers change.
The purpose and execution of websites is constantly evolving. Your website should be designed to appeal to your target market and reflect your brand positioning. This is your space so make the most effective use of it.
So many websites are all about the company or the product. This might be so interesting to you but you also have to look at it through the eyes of your target market. What will they find interesting and how do you offer value?
If you have an e-commerce platform make it easy to buy, without it being all sell, sell, sell.
If you choose to sell on Amazon, Well.ca or any other online marketplace consumers need to find you. These marketplaces have so many items it can be a challenge for consumers.
Make sure your categories and keywords are correct. They are the categories and words used by your target market. Review them quarterly as consumers and the market change.
You can also link your social media and your website to the online marketplace. This makes it easy for consumers because they do not even have to search, you take them right to the right page.
Your strategy needs to evolve
One of the best attributes of your online strategy is you can continue to improve it all the time. You will know what works and what doesn’t. The reactions and response are great indicators but the best indicator is sales. Likes are nice but the bank is only interested in dollars.
Test and try things all the time.
Remember the conversion rate
Previously we talked about the conversion rate. This is the percentage of people who visit your website or see your social media and actually buy. Your strategy should be developed to get the total number to your online space that will be multiplied by the conversion rate to generate your desired sales.
If you have any questions or help figuring out how to get your product online or in the virtual shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email email@example.com.
We are adding more industry updates and interesting ideas to your SKUFood newsletter. Hopefully you have heard me say this before and that it resonated with you in your business.
“Success in this industry is not just about making a great product to sell; it is about selling the great products you make”
If you see things happening let us know so we can share them with our community. We also want to hear if you find this helpful and benefits your food and beverage business!
FCC creating peer groups for food manufacturers
It is very exciting to be working on two peer groups with FCC. All of the information about the groups is included here. If you are interested in either one of the peer groups just use the link at the bottom of the page.
Walmart begins construction of distribution centre in Moncton, N.B.
Walmart has operated stores in Atlantic Canada for over 25 years without a dedicated distribution centre. Products have been supplied from other regions. This will change in the fall of 2022 when a new 221,000 sq ft facility will open in Moncton, N.B.
This DC will service the stores across Atlantic Canada and be a win for suppliers in the region as well. Currently some Atlantic suppliers have to deliver to DC’s in Ontario or other provinces to sell into Walmart. We do now know what items will be in this facility yet.
EcoSmart launches the rice straw
There have been many articles written about the environmental impact of plastic straws. In Canada, single use plastic straws are supposed to be banned by the end of 2021. It is hard to argue against the policy that will improve the environment. The only time you might question it is when you are trying to enjoy a milkshake with a paper straw. It works well at the beginning but by the end you might have a wet, ineffective straw in your cup.
They say necessity brings invention so we knew it would happen. EcoSmart is introducing a rice straw that will be more rigid and guaranteed to stand up for 3 hours. Sustainable solutions continue to be introduced to the market.