Five Tips for a Fruitful Farmers’ Market

How to launch and sell your products at B.C. Farmers Markets

The smell of spring/summer farmers’ market season and new products launching is in the air! Selling at farmers’ markets is an excellent way to launch and test your products in the seed and sprout stages of business development. It is a unique opportunity to build a customer base, connect with your community, and tell your brand story. 

Farmers’ markets are quintessentially grassroots–formed from the ground up as a collective of common interests, passions, and desire to enjoy locally sourced food. – BC Farmers’ Markets

Here are five (plus) tips to make the most of your experience as a vendor at farmers’ markets this year:

  • Plan an effective booth

    Your booth is effectively your retail storefront, so take time to make it eye-catching and engaging. Display strong branding, clear pricing, and show abundance in product. The retail marketing concept of abundance: creates positive emotion in shoppers, encouraging people to buy; elevates the product; gives shoppers a sense of the treasure hunt enjoyment of shopping.

    Is your product fresh/frozen and hard to display? You can use empty packaging or even a representation of the ingredients in the product–get creative!

  • Focus on exceptional customer service

    We’ll keep it simple here because we all know a good customer service experience from a bad. Stand up, sit less. Greet and welcome shoppers. Make eye contact and be aware of your body language. Tell your brand story and engage customers in your pitch, and definitely sample your product.

    Customer service and sales can feel awkward for many people. Keep practising to perfect your people skills because it will pay off.

  • Test and refine your product(s)

    Test out the market and take advantage of the opportunity to gather honest feedback. Encouraging feedback is a fun way to engage customers in the process and make them feel invested in your brand. Remember to track feedback to support further testing or refinement.

  • Create a digital marketing plan

    What is one of the first things you do after you find a product or brand you love? If you’re like us, you find and follow them on Instagram so you can be in the know of upcoming markets, sales, and product updates. Don’t let down your next customer who seeks you out online–it’s essential to create a digital marketing strategy with a website, social media, and email newsletter to make sales and connect with your customer base.

  • Build a customer base

    The combination of excellent customer service, quality products, and the right branding and marketing strategy will have you well on your way to a solid customer base. Happy shoppers who come back to find you at the market will start looking for you at retail stores, too. If you are already in retail, do not compete with retail on price at the market and let shoppers know where to buy outside of the market.

    Have fun and connect, share with, and learn from other vendors. They are also potential customers and an important part of your B.C. food and beverage processor community.

Have farmers’ market fomo but unsure if you’re ready to set your stand at the market yet? Are you leaving this blog post with questions like, “what is a customer pitch?” or “how do I measure product feedback?”

Join the waitlist for the next Hatch Your Farm & Food Business workshop presented by Good to Grow in collaboration with BC Farmers’ Market Association, and supported by Vancity Credit Union to bring your farmers’ market success to fruition. 

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