For food retailers
With FoodCommerce you can offer a similar service to supermarket grocery shopping, or even surpass it. Most things are optional and customisable so you can pick and choose what you want to do.
Order values do change
With groceries the final value of an order often changes from the original value. It may be the weight of some products varies slightly, some products may be substituted or unavailable, or the customer requests something extra.
To give you this flexiblility payment is taken after the order has been prepared and the final amount known.
- FoodCommerce will take and verify the customer's card details when they place their order and securely store them with your payment gateway provider.
- You prepare the order and enter the results into FoodCommerce. This will cause the order amount to be recalculated.
- If you are happy with the new amount click on the 'take payment' button. This will instruct your payment gateway to take the payment from the customer's card.
Delivering to local customers
All supermarkets deliver using their own vehicles and staff and most operate out of their local stores. With FoodCommerce you can create delivery areas and therefore operate locally in a similar manner.
Additionally you can offer collections and national delivery by courier. Collection points can be anywhere and you can have as many as you like. For example your customers could collect their order from the post office in the next village or the local pub in the evenings. The most obvious collection point however is your own shop, which works really well for products that you need to order in. The best example being Christmas turkeys and we make it very easy for you to start selling them in October for a Christmas collection.
Supermarket shoppers choose when their order is delivered by selecting a delivery slot from a grid. Usually they are either one or two hours long and prices vary depending on the day and time.
FoodCommerce does exactly the same and we call it 'home' delivery. Slot lengths can be between one and eight hours long and overlap each other. Each slot can have a different delivery charge and maximum number of orders. Once you have set up your rules you can largely forget about it as new slots will be automatically created and old ones will disappear.
Home delivery doesn't suit every retailer so FoodCommerce also has a 'milk-round' delivery. Typically you will have a set route and the customer will get their order when you pass by. The delivery slots are displayed in a simple list as there are usually only one or two a day.
Collections and courier deliveries also display their delivery slots in a list similar to 'milk-rounds'.
Selling by weight
You can price products per gram, per 10 grams, per 100 grams or per kilogram. Then add one or more nominal guide weights for the shopper to choose from. Once you have prepared the order you enter the actual weights causing FoodCommerce to recalculate the order value and display it back to you. When you click on the 'take payment' button payment is taken from the customer's card.
In a similar way you can also price products per millilitre, per centilitre or per litre; and per millimetre, per centimetre or per metre.
You can substitute any product in the order with one or more products. If you don't have a suitable substitution then simply enter the quantity as zero. Both these actions will affect the final order value.
Shoppers change their minds
Until you need to start preparing an order it is left 'open' and the shopper can go back into it and make changes to the products they are buying, use a different payment card or even cancel it. Many shoppers regularly shop like this and will often change their order several times as they add things they hadn't previously thought of.
Shoppers cannot change their delivery slot, but we have made it so you can. You can also change their delivery address and customer comments. Unlike the shopper you can make these changes after the order has locked.
Additional 'unlisted' products
Occasionally a customer will request something they know you sell, but isn't in your online shop. When this happens you can add an 'unlisted' product to their order, type in a description, unit of measure, quantity and the price.
Keeping you organised
Delivery slots make this possible as we take the delivery date and work backwards to tell you which orders needs preparing when. Delivery slots also have lead times, which we use to calculate when to start preparing an order and the day it needs dispatching if it is going by courier. A lead time can be added to any product that needs more time making any order containing it 'lock' earlier.
You may be wondering how all this can be done for an independent food retailer when supermarkets have spent millions creating similar online shops. Well just like them we want many online shops to operate through our single web application and that gives us the economies of scale necessary to justify our investment in it.
We are also continuing to develop new features and improve on existing ones, most of which you will get for no additional charge. We already believe we have made it possible for you to offer a similar online food shopping service to the supermarkets for a reasonable charge and little risk. Add to that the prices and quality of your products and that people like to shop local if they can…
We have included as many technical things as we can into our monthly charge like hosting, SSL security certificates and 10 email accounts so it just leaves you to concentrate on selling and delivering.
There is no set up charge and instead we offer to help you get launched without additional charge. If it doesn't work out you can cancel by just clicking a button.
Can I use my local web developer?
Yes, we actively encourage other web developers to get involved and hope they will really help us push the boundaries. Typically they can help you set up your store and with ongoing marketing. Styling your online shop to your company brand and professional images of your products are very worthwhile. Ongoing you should be sending out regular marketing emails with associated updates to your home page.
Can I do this with conventional e-commerce?
Probably not. FoodCommerce takes local retailers well beyond the capabilities of conventional e-commerce platforms and in that we believe it is unique. Doing it right is important because shoppers will only use your online shopping service if they like it. When they do and you become busier the true value of FoodCommerce's features will become apparent, no more so than at Christmas. If you are selling widgets to the world conventional e-commerce may still be the right choice for you, but if you are selling food, especially to local customers, then FoodCommerce is the right tool for the job.
For more information see overview