The Open Food Network is often compared to a virtual farmers market and provides an easy-to-use software solution that farmers, producers and food hubs can use to sell fresh local produce online. This article is intended for enterprises who are looking to optimise their existing listing. If you don’t have a listing yet – what are you waiting for?
It’s easy to set up and won’t cost you a thing until you’ve reached over $500 in sales per month.
In our previous post, we wrote about what you can do to help people find your Open Food Network listing. In this post, we are going to share what you can do to increase the likelihood that shoppers will buy from you by optimising your listing.
Each Open Food Listing can include:
- A banner image
- A promo image
- A description
- Contact details
- Social sharing links
- Products (with product properties and types)
Here are some easy ways to optimise your listing:
1.) Use images in your listing
You should definitely include both a logo and a promo image in your listing. Dimensions for each can be found below:
- Logo Image – 100 x 100 pixels
- Promo Image – 1200 x 260 pixels
If you don’t have an existing logo or promo image you can use a service like Canva to design one. Make sure you use the custom size feature to input the dimensions of each image type under ‘Create a Design’ ⇒ ‘Custom Size’.
The Promo Image got it’s name because – you guessed it – you can use it for promotions. It can stay static, but it’s an easy way to quickly get your potential customer’s attention. Use it to showcase new products, specials or even to try and prompt certain behaviours (e.g. signing up to your newsletter).
If you are new to design tools, we recommend Canva because it’s easy to use and free. The UK team has even put together a free webinar about how to use it.
2.) Write a quality description for your listing
When someone visits your listing they will probably ask themselves four questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you sell?
- Can I trust the quality of your produce?
- How will I receive it?
You’ll want it to be easy for them to answer these questions. Some things that you may choose to highlight in your description are:
- How long you have been in operation
- Where you are located
- How you are producing your food/ drinks/ products (e.g. chemical-free, organic principles, ethical, regenerative agriculture).
- What you are producing
- When you are selling it if it is seasonal
- If you have it, a testimonial from a real customer
- How customers can buy from you
- How they will receive your goods
This will vary differently for each enterprise selling on the open food network. If in doubt, try to keep it concise and relevant, using plain language that the general public will understand.
You might want to check out this free webinar on messaging as well.
3.) Drive traffic to your Open Food Network listing
If your sole online sales platform is the Open Food Network, then you should try and point as many links as possible from online properties that you own (e.g. your website, social media accounts, email newsletters, email footers and any other places you can add a link).
Not only will this make it as easy as possible for interested consumers to buy from you online, but it will also help to improve your listing’s performance in search engines like Google and Bing.
4.) Stay top of mind with your customers
Your Open Food Network listing has places for:
- A link back to your website (this can also help with search engine optimisation or SEO)
- A link to your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
You can also easily add URLs in your description, and many successful enterprises use this as a way to get their customers to sign up to their email newsletter.
We’ve also put together some free resources on marketing and social media use if you are not sure where to start.
Can we help?
Have an idea, a project or a question? Want help using the Open Food Network software? Get in touch and find out how we can help you with it.
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