Customers are rapidly becoming more confident with online buying and starting to rely on it for their weekly shop, hence online food sales is a rising ecommerce sector. Consumers are getting more intelligent, and they are requesting uncommon foods and ingredients, which the internet can provide. Improvements in supply chain infrastructure have also made it possible to deliver even very fresh food to people’s doorsteps. Pizza delivery by drone aircraft has even been discussed!
However, selling food over the internet presents a distinct set of obstacles. People are accustomed to viewing their food before purchasing it and visiting the location where it is procured. Online food vendors lose the ability to promote their products via scents, samples, and in-person demonstrations. These difficulties must be solved in order to gain online customer trust.
The good news is that customers may be willing to pay more for food that is made just for them (such as a customised cake) or items that are highly rare or special (such as fresh seafood). This means you may be able to charge a premium for delivering it to them. Because of the high cost of packaging and speedy shipment, remember that selling edible products online is a costly business. To make it worthwhile, make sure you properly analyse your pricing.
Photography is extremely important.
If you’re selling food online, it’s critical to have high-quality images to make the food look appealing and delicious. Photographs are the most important factor in selling your stuff, so make sure you get some that are visually appealing. Hiring a professional photographer is typically an investment that pays for itself over time. Consider investing in a modest home studio with decent lighting if you’re doing the photos yourself, as this can really help convince customers.
Many ecommerce sites now feature what is referred to as “lifestyle” photography. This entails showing the things for sale in a typical setting where they would be utilised, possibly with some non-obtrusive or distracting props. If you’re selling home baked bread online, for example, you might want to picture it on a breadboard with a bread knife. This isn’t only a fashion statement; it also aids your buyers in visualising the size of the thing they’re purchasing.
Customers expect food to arrive promptly because it is a high-turnover product. This is especially true for perishable fresh commodities. You must carefully select your delivery partner and decide who will handle customer service related to shipping — you or them? Make sure you communicate with customers about their delivery in a clear and concise manner. If the food won’t fit through the letter box, for example, someone will need to be home to accept it, so they’ll need to know when it’ll arrive.
When clients buy food for a particular occasion, they expect it to arrive on schedule. Make it clear when they may expect delivery and give them the option of paying extra for delivery at a specified time.
It’s critical to get food packaging right, not just because it looks appealing and expresses your brand values, but also because it protects the food during transit. You may need to change your food packaging to meet the demands of shipping, and you might be shocked at how much this costs. If you’re not sure how your packaging will fare in the mail, you can easily test it by mailing the package to yourself and seeing how it arrives. If you switch shipping firms, repeat the process.
Where can I sell?
Think about where you want to sell your cuisine on the internet. Many stores choose the route of creating their own website where customers can shop. The benefit is that you keep complete control, can access all consumer information, including how they found you online, and can set your own prices. However, you can also sell on online marketplaces or through other retail platforms. For example, Amazon.co.uk has a booming business selling obscure American breakfast cereals at a premium to UK clients. Customers have a lot of faith in Amazon, so it’s a smart method to establish credibility online. Other markets, such as Ebay and Etsy, aren’t well-known for food sales, however some vendors do offer food on these sites.
Other niche marketplaces for your type of product may exist. For example, the souschef.co.uk website helps sophisticated home cooks find hard-to-find products like exotic spices. It’s worth looking into whether there’s a similar specialty site for the type of food you’re offering, as this would allow you to reach a larger audience more rapidly.
The rule of law
Food sales are subject to a number of restrictions and regulations. According to EU laws, you must mention allergies in your ingredients list and include a use-by date on your package. Check your market’s relevant legislation and make sure you’re following the regulations. In addition to publishing crucial information on your packaging, you should also include ingredients on the product’s online listing.