The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the food industry landscape, forcing dine-in restaurants to stop operating temporarily. Fortunately, online food business opens new opportunities to help shop owners get over the situation.
If you are looking to start selling food online but still face many challenges, read this article. Below is everything you need to know to overcome the obstacles related to the online culinary business.
Why Is Selling Food Online A Potential Business?
Greater customer reach
Your store can attract many customers when you put your products online, thanks to the Internet and social channels. Sharing your food business on various social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram increases visibility and reaches more customers.
With an online store, you can sell across towns, states, and even across national borders, eliminating all geographic restrictions. Thus, you can quickly increase sales, customer numbers, and customer retention at the same time.
Faster and cheaper marketing
Selling food online also means more opportunities for marketing, and the tasks can also be done with less effort and money.
You can promote your products on social media for free, creating engaging posts, videos and photos to attract more people. Besides, you can use blog content to gain more visits to your online shop. Not only that, on special occasions, you’d be able to let more people know about your promotions/events.
Unlimited income potential
With the number of customers increasing day by day, and your store can save a lot of costs such as advertising, space rent, hiring staff, the profit you earn can increase.
Steps To Build An Online Food Business
1. Analyze the market
Before you start on anything, define your target market: Who are your customers – housewives, students, families? What are their ages and their income? After determining the target market segment, try to see behind the customers’ choice, this step will help you create relevant and targeted products, plus a better marketing strategy.
If you don’t know what kind of food to start selling, you may also refer to the food trend for 2022. It can be seen that 2022 brings a great opportunity for shops selling organic food. Or selling vegetarian food, the trend now that people are often concerned about animal and environmental protection, as well as about a healthy lifestyle.
2. Identify your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Regardless of your customer segments, remember that you may not be the only one selling online food to them. Which is why you’ll need to stand out to attract customers. Whether it’s home cooking or specific cuisine, give them reasons to be interested in buying from you. These reasons will become your USP, and you have to be able to convey this unique point to buyers.
For starter, look at what your direct (and indirect) competitors are doing, and determine your competitive differences. Now here, it doesn’t have to be radical, but it must be relevant. For example, if your goal is selling to young families, creating and promoting nutritious children’s meals is enough to make you stand out from the competition.
3. Define your brand
Your brand—from your logo and the images you use to your products, your menu, etc —defines what your business stand for. Customers can see what makes your brand unique and what you can expect from them. Think carefully about how you want to position yourself and how to convey the message about what you want to be to your customers.
4. Decide your package and label
Since the competition for online food business is fierce, every aspect needs to be utilized to become your advantage – one of the best ways to do so is with your packaging and label.
Package is actually a clever way to promote your business, so don’t let it goes to waste. Tell customers that not only your food is quality, but also the packaging is beautiful as well. Eye-catching and neat packaging leaves a good impression to customers, making them want to taste your food as well as introducing your shop to their acquaintances.
Because people now pay more attention about sustainability, one tip is to try environemntal-friendly packaging if it’s suitable. This will certainly impress your customers.
Besides, labelling requirements among countries are different, which may include nutritional information, allergen alerts, and country of origin. Follow your country’s labelling regulations and list out any information which may affect your customers’ health or experience.
Lastly, if you are planning to handle the packaging process in-house, you will need the right gear for the job. Comparing affordable packaging equipment options will let you take control of every aspect of this process.
The type of packaging design and labeling you settle on will influence the type of equipment you invest in. You must also consider things like ongoing maintenance costs, as well as the staffing requirements to run it. Cover all your bases with upfront plans to make the right decisions here.
5. Build your e-commerce store
Having a legit and eye-catching website plays a crucial role in bringing profit to your online food business. So to have a great start, it’s crucial that you choose a good platform and a well-known web provider to help you build a great website.
Among popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento, Bigcommerce, etc, Magento is probably the best choice as it offers plenty of useful features for online business.
Tigren is a highly recommended web provider among many web suppliers using Magento platform-the best solution for eCommerce.
If you’re interested in building your online shop on Magento, our e-commerce development services may be beneficial for you. Depending on your requirements for the new site, it’s possible to choose e-commerce packages or e-commerce development services.
Tigren e-commerce website development packages
In case you have a limited budget and don’t demand too much customization to your site, our e-commerce packages (Take-off and Fly packages) are the best suggestions. The price for the Take-off package is $2499, and it’s $5499 for the Fly package. Each of them offers unique functions and includes different services.
On the other hand, we also offer an e-commerce website development service. With this service, you can require more complex customization to best match your preference. Not only your website will have a stunning design, but it’ll also be integrated with the top features for optimized performance.
6. Promote your online food business
- Use social media: create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, and Instagram, and share relevant news and high-quality photos of your restaurant and behind-the-scenes processes on the day you prepare to open.
- Hold a soft opening: A soft opening also helps create some buzz for your shop. Encourage customers who buy your food during the soft opening to share their thoughts and feedback, what they like and don’t. It’s a clever strategy to expose your online food shop to potentials buyers as well as to listen and improve your service.
- Offer promotions: give new customers incentives to try your products. It can be a small discount, voucher for next buy or a gift with their purchase.
- Hire influencers: Currently, a few brands have taken advantage of influencers having a large number of followers, so advertising the store also helps attract many people.
1. How much does it cost to start an online store (E-commerce Website)?
It depends. It may vary from $500 to $100 000 depending on the niche and website development complexity. However, choose a good and safe solution suitable for your company’s financial situation and long-term future development.
2. How can I “protect” my brand’s name?
The name and logo of the company’s products are intellectual property rights, which are essential for the development of brand recognition. To protect your intellectual property rights, ensure that you register your name and logo as a trademark with the local authority.
The online food business market is up-and-coming. You can make profits from selling food online, even during the pandemic, as long as you offer something value that meets customer needs and current trends. Bear in mind the useful suggestions above to take a great fresh start in selling food online, and choose carefully, put your company’s interests and long-term development first.