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June 2014 Newsletter

With peas and strawberries in abundance at our local market, and Memorial Day behind us, the busy harvest season and our 5 year anniversary have snuck up on us.  We have much to be thankful for and we’re excited to include you in our celebration.

We’re holding six exciting giveaways throughout June and July, with one lucky food hub getting a complete package (value up to $2,700), including a branded mobile app, website, training, and implementation with no initiation fee and no monthly minimum subscription fee for one year.  Read more about our anniversary promotion and how to enter in this post.  Our first winner will be announced Monday, June 16, so enter right away for your best chance to win!

We are also offering a new “Starter” pricing option, that includes core product features with a standard template for your order page.  Read more about this new option and a payment plan for startup food hubs below, plus hear about our new website, our NGFN food hub conference report,  an updated mobile app report, and a recap of LFM news.

New website!

We quietly published a new website a couple of months ago, with a resources section and an ever growing set of customer profiles.  We invite you to browse and let us know what you think!

NGFN conference – a big success!

We attended the NGFN conference in Raleigh back in March and got to put faces to many of the voices we speak with on a regular basis.  We saw more than a dozen customers including Kristen from Our Harvest (pictured in the middle with Amy and Laura).  Our session on Challenges and Opportunities with Multichannel Sales with panelists from Penn’s Corner Farm AllianceIdaho’s Bounty, and Farm Fresh Rhode Island drew a crowd and lots of engaging questions.  If you missed the session, you can download the mp3.

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile app update

Since our release of our first customer branded mobile app a year ago,  we have carefully observed the impact of mobile on our customer’s businesses.

In our last newsletter, we reported that mobile orders were 28% larger than web orders on average.  We’ve refined our reporting to differentiate between mobile, web, and admin orders (previously web and admin entered orders were lumped together).  With this adjustment, mobile orders are an aggregate 48% larger than web orders across all sites with a mobile app.

Our customers are also seeing an increasing number of orders placed via mobile app, driven primarily by chefs and consumers, with some markets now receiving up to 26% of their orders via mobile.  We expect this trend to continue as more people rely on mobile technology for work and personal use.

We’ve been asked a few times in the last few months about how mobile apps are different than responsive websites.  They are different in a couple of key ways:

  • Mobile apps offer the ability to send push notifications (notifications that appear on mobile devices).  Push notifications can be a strong sales driver and call to action.  Sending customers notifications like “Strawberries available – order now!” or “A few flats of cherries just listed” that appear on your customer’s phone or tablet generate instant action.
  • Based on numbers alone, customers prefer the app experience to the mobile browsing experience.  According to Nielsen, nearly 90% of mobile internet time is spent in apps, while only 10% is spent on a mobile browser.  This is likely because mobile apps better customize the user experience.  In LFM’s apps, food hub customers can instantly see which of their favorite products are available, add to their order, see their order history, adjust payment and delivery, and more.

New “Starter” plan

This is the perfect plan for small and emerging food hubs to get started! For a limited time (through end of July), we’re also offering payments plans with this package to spread your initiation fee over 12 months.  For just $50/mo plus our standard monthly subscription fees for the first year (and just the standard monthly subscription fees for your second year and beyond), this is a great way for food hubs with limited budgets to get started and add new features such as a multi-channel sales management, customized website template, branded mobile app, route management, and more as you grow.  Please contact us for more details!

Resources for food hubs and producers

Don’t forget about the quickly approaching deadlines for USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program and Farmers Market Promotion Program grants, both due June 20, 2014.

LFM news recap

LFM’s mobile app was recently featured in Modern Farmer and our company was profiled in 1859 Magazine.

For a thought provoking read, check out Dan Barber’s NY Times opinion on “What Farm to Table Got Wrong” and my reaction to it on our blog.

New customer, Puget Sound Food Hub, was featured in Grow Northwest.  Be sure to take the time to check out their elegant new website.

Another new customer, Capital District Community Gardens of Troy, NY held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their food hub, Virtual Veggie Mobile, with the NY State Ag Commissioner.

Thank you for all that you do for our local food systems!

Cheers!

Amy McCann, CEO
Local Food Marketplace