It's human nature to want to grow your farm shop and increase sales but we can quite often be left feeling at a loss on how to achieve this. There are several low cost and effective ways that your farm shop business can increase average basket spend, encourage existing customers to visit more often and bring new customers through the doors.
Offering a loyalty card scheme is a great way to encourage existing customers to revisit more often, as well as provide you with invaluable information and sale data. Through the loyalty card scheme not only can you allow customers to collect points when they spend money with you, you can also offer them targeted offers and incentives that are customised based on their shopping habits. This can all be linked and automated with your email marketing saving you a lot of time and getting the offers directly to the customers. It also doubles up as a very useful tool for you as well, as you are able to track important sales data, such as average basket spend, best sellers and unpopular products, as well as spot trends. All of which will enable you to react quickly to shoppers need and habits and in turn reduce waste and maximise profit.
Newsletters (email & print)
Newsletters are a great way of communicating with your customers and informing them of any news, events, new offers or products. It is a good idea to have this available both digitally and printed so you reach both the younger and older generation. Have the printed newsletter available at till points and on tables if you have a cafe restaurant. With the digital version again you can automate it with your email marketing for a quick and easy way to reach out to your customers. Maybe you could include a recipe using ingredients you stock in your farm shop, or some useful tips on growing your own food, be creative and find fun ways to entice and engage your customers, don't just make it all about selling the products.
Encourage your customers to visit your website on a regular bases with weekly blog posts, it is important to make sure the posts are relevant to your business as well as your target audience. You want to keep it very food based and focus on the high quality artisan produce you stock. Sharing recipes, behind the scenes on how things are made, or on the farm news, interviews with your suppliers, as well as food trends and foodie tips and advice, these are all things your customer base would find interesting. By encouraging people to view your website regularly you will find they will naturally browse the rest of your website so make sure you keep it up to date and relevant. Try and add seasonal relevant content for Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas, creating gift guides for example would be beneficial for your customers looking for the perfect gift whilst encouraging them to visit you to purchase such gift.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great ways to connect with your customers, as its a great way to engage with them on a more personal level. Share goings on in the farm shop and on the farm, share pictures of the yummy food on offer that day, promote events that are coming up and any other news that you think your customers would like to know. It is also good to have an element of fun on your social media but again make sure it is relevant to your business and target audience. Make sure you reply and respond to all interaction happening on your posts, your customers are likely to keep coming back if they feel valued and more involved within your business.
Holding events is a fun way to bring new and existing customers into your farm shop, events such as Christmas and Easter fairs, workshops, open farm days and farmers markets. This is a great way to give your customers a different offering whilst supporting the community by having local businesses have stalls and run workshops. It is also a great way to bring in some extra capital as businesses would normally pay for a stall or workshop space to sell the wares or services. These events will need to be promoted across your website, social media and email marketing, you should also forward any images or promotional material you create to the businesses attending your event to use, as this will be a great way of exposing your farm shop to a wider audience and encouraging new people into your farm shop who may not have otherwise found you, as the businesses attending will have their own followers and customer base.
Tasting days have been proven to be very successful not just for the farm shop but the suppliers as well. Why not arrange for your local suppliers to come in and offer tastings of their products as well as educating the public on the product and their passion towards it. Suppliers are usually really interested in doing tasting days and will usually bring their own tasting stock along with additional stock that the farm shop can purchase if stocks run out. Sales of items being tasted have been found to go up dramatically particularly on busy footfall days like Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Don't forget to promote these days on your social media, website and email marketing so customers know whats on when, and make sure the suppliers promote it across their platforms and to their customers.
Bit like a newsletter these can be fun things that are available at till points and on tables in the cafe restaurant that customers can pick up and take home, and till staff can put them into customers bags. These need to be things that your customers would like to have such as a recipe card with a discount code for the ingredients, or a craft tutorial that the children can do using the packaging of some of the products sold in your shop. It would be good to have a new one monthly to keep customers engaged, try making them seasonal when possible.