Strategies to Increase Per Person Sales

Dear farmers,

Thank-you so much for being such attentive listeners at Thaddeus’s specialty crops seminar last week.   It is good when we can learn together, as we are all seeking to grow delicate crops in this harsh northern climate, and we have a very small window of time in which to sell our produce.

One berry farmer who attended asked for more strategies to increase our dollars per transaction.  I looked back at my records, and here are our average dollars per transaction for a few of our harvest years:

2004: $21.56
2005: $26.67

2009: $26.38

2015: $32.35
2016: $35.05
2017: $32.67

Dan and I have tackled this problem in a variety of ways over the years.  Obviously, our prices have gone up, and as we’ve increased acreage we have also increased the number of transactions, which helps our bottom line.The other thing we have done is to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and imagine their pain points.  Then, we seek to mitigate that pain point in order to encourage them to purchase more.Payment Pain Point:

  • Taking credit cards – this really helps people relax about how much they are picking – I can actually see their faces ease and their shoulders untense when they find out we take credit cards, and they are more content to stay longer and pick more.
  • Adding animals and photo ops and consistently pushing the message that this is “fun”.  People are more relaxed about spending out of their entertainment budget than out of their food budget.
  • Handing out $5 gift certificates for free to lots of people – teachers, friends, random people in the produce aisle at grocery stores – it ensures they will take the time to come during the strawberry season and probably they will promote my stuff on social media.
  • I’m considering offering gift certificates for purchase before Mother’s Day.  I’ve read that people spend more when the pain of spending happens before they shop.

Field Work Pain Point:

  • They pick more when we do a good job weeding, watering and feeding the plants so that the picking is easier.
  • They will pick on wet days if there is enough straw to keep their feet and their berries clean.

Berry Transportati

on Pain Point:

  • Providing trays: if they have a bigger container to pick into, they pick more.
  • Having extra trays in the field so they don’t stop after filling their first tray.
  • Providing a wagon ride to and from the field so they don’t have to worry about how to carry their fruit.
  • Reserving parking spots near the front desk so people can drive up after picking to load up their fruit and not have to worry about carrying it all out to the parking lot.

Processing Pain Point:

  • Using emails, facebook, website and brochures at the point-of-sale to give recipes, instructions for freezing, and ideas for how to process frozen berries.
  • Providing the plants with a calcium foliar spray.  It helps the strawberries stay fresh longer in the fridge so people are willing to pick more.

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