E-commerce can be a powerful tool for growing your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business, by enabling the ability to conduct and automate the sales process through an online platform, such as a website or a point of sale system (POS).
During the pandemic, E-commerce has demonstrated its full potential by empowering businesses of all kinds around the world to keep conducting sales without the direct face-to-face contact.
CSA is another kind of business that can get benefits from E-commerce these days.
But.. what is E-commerce?
We can define E-commerce as the processes and technologies involved in the sale of goods and services supported by internet.
How can E-commerce help in the development of my CSA business?
E-commerce can help in several ways; it can automate the process of signing up customers to your subscription base and allow them to pay online using their credit or debit card right from your website. Once your customers have placed their orders online, you can view who has paid for each delivery cycle and have absolute control over your deliveries. You can enable your customers to edit or cancel their subscriptions right from your website, saving you a lot of time and effort in customer service and giving you more time to focus on other areas of your farm.
You can save money as your website becomes your 24/7 storefront without the need of dedicated staff or overheads required to operate a brick and mortar sales location.
What do I need to set up my automated sales website?
We will give you some recommendations based on our own experience in running a CSA business.
Hosting service and domain name.
Website hosting refers to the service of buying a virtual space in a remote server. This virtual space is where your website is going to be saved. A domain name, is the name you will give to your website online, that will serve like an address for your customers to find you. This is the virtual equivalence of your physical location, but don’t worry, this virtual space is much cheaper. You can find more information about Website Hosting Prices for 2020 here.
Content Management System (CMS).
The CMS is the core of your website. It refers to the online system you will use to build and manage the content of your website. Nowadays, a website has to be seen as a dynamic tool of communication, and by dynamic we refer to the fact that it has to be constantly updated to keep customers in sync with your business.
But you might think, how will I be able to update my website if I don’t know how to code? The answer is, with a CMS.
There are several CMS available in the market, but 35% of websites use WordPress. According to wpbeginner, WordPress is a powerful website builder and robust content management system that is easy to use and flexible enough to make different types of websites. You can learn how to use WordPress here.
Online Store Platform.
Woocommerce is a robust, yet easily to use E-commerce system that runs on WordPress. This system is the one that will turn your WordPress website into an online store. It enables the sale of physical and virtual goods. We can even sell on a subscription base by adding the WooCommerce Subscriptions Add-on. Other popular platforms include Shopify, Wix, Square, Squarespace and BigCommerce.
Online Payment Gateway.
The online payment processing system will enable your online store to receive credit and debit card payments from your customers. WooCommerce is compatible with a myriad of online payment systems such as Paypal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Square, PayFast, Eway, and many more others. Each option has its own benefits and operate in different countries.
Unleash your creativity and express it on your website. Remember, this space represents your online presence and it is important that you tell your story to your audience. It will add credibility and trust to your CSA business and will contribute to enhance your member list.
Questions? Get In Touch!
We’re happy to provide answers to any questions you have, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or send a message through our Get In Touch form.
Address: 425F Fourth Street West | Cornwall, Ontario Canada
Email: [email protected]