Please read on to find out how FarmDrop works for you and your market hub. Once you’ve completed this section you can fill out the Get Started application at the end of this Course, to connect to your Market Hub location.
ONLINE MARKETING, SALES & DISTRIBUTION
FarmDrop makes sure local producers are not left out of the online food shopping trend with our easy to use one-stop-shop marketplace that drives collaboration among producers and brings choice and convenience to customers.
Customers browse products you make available each week in your online store, alongside products from multiple other farms. They select what they want during your market hub’s order window, or through same day pickup depending on the hub. With one payment at checkout, each producer receives direct payment for all the week’s orders through their FarmDrop + Stripe payment processing system. This is a game-changer for customers who can pre-order what they want, paying producers in advance of distribution. FarmDrop is the new local way!
Option 1 – ORDER CYCLE
Customers fill their online carts from your store only during your individual Market Hub’s order window (i.e open Friday to Monday and pickup is Wednesday). You then generate a FarmDrop report detailing what is needed from you for total order fulfillment at each location each week. This allows you to do a single weekly harvest, prep, and pack of product for which you have already been paid.
Option 2 – SAME DAY PICKUP
Customers order daily, and pickup at your market hub on days that are designated as open for pickup. Most of the product needs to be on hand for these types of operations, so instead of only harvesting what has been ordered and paid for, producers have to project what they might sell, and have back up plans for what they don’t. Or the market hub manager has to manage the inventory, and supply and demand projections. Usually this model works if the market hub is already a farm stand that is operating daily and using FarmDrop to move more product.
DROP OFF WEEKLY
If you are participating based on a weekly order cycle, after your weekly harvest or prep, you’ll download a sales and customer order fulfillment report from your online storefront, collect your items, label and package them, and get them ready for a bulk delivery, for which you have already received payment! You can manage your own refunds if there is an issue, but make this the exception not the rule. Each item needs to have clear labeling to assist with correct order fulfillment and, depending on the market’s order fulfillment process, will need to be personalized with order number and customer name. Your FarmDrop Market Hub Manager’s job is to support the building of each customer’s bag, assembling individual customer orders from everyone’s bulk deliveries, or overseeing the placement of product when producers arrive. Your containers, coolers and recyclables can be on a weekly cycle as well, so you drop off new and pick up the old, and keep them on a FarmDrop specific rotation if possible.
* Due to COVID-19 additional protocols for scheduling drop-off might apply to ensure safety.
CUSTOMER PICK-UP & DELIVERY
Customers pick up between a certain start and end time, set by the Market Hub Manager, either on a weekly basis or on certain days of the week if doing Same Day Pickup. It is possible to have multiple pick-up locations for customers in slightly different areas, but you will generally only be delivering to one central hub. If you want to have a pickup location at your farm, you will need to create an agreement with the market hub manager, and set that up. FarmDrop supports home delivery payment processing but it is up to your Market Hub Manager to establish that service, however you can be a pickup location and a delivery driver through our system.
We know that a big change is not having direct contact with your customers. You are welcome to add personalized notes, or contact your customers that purchase from your store anytime, however it is generally best to have most communication go through the Market Hub Manager to keep things streamlined. We are working on better direct online communication between customers and producers on your online store. More soon!