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Food ecommerce websites now dominate the food and beverage industry. When you want food, do you browse menus online? Do you order online? Do you look up recipes online? You can see where this is going. The entire food industry has made a shift to online in the past year, and for any business to compete, they need to invest in food ecommerce.
This manifests in many ways. Ecommerce impacts food businesses of every type. Every single restaurant has a website where you can look at the menu. You can usually place orders or reserve tables, and it’s all automated.
Ecommerce impacts food delivery, food manufacturers, food trucks, home cooking and so much more. The ecommerce sites are driving all of it. Anyone can build such a site, and when they do, they create their own tools that help them reach followers, community members and customers.
Even if you want to sell homemade food online, you need an ecommerce website. It’s the best way to reach people and get your business noticed. No matter what you’re doing with food, it likely runs online, and you can either keep up or be left in the dust.
As you explore what it really means to engage with food ecommerce, it helps to learn about a few specific things. Ecommerce food website templates are one of the best resources for getting started. You can look at food ecommerce companies to see how they are innovating and what they gain from their efforts. From there, it’s an easy step to understand what ecommerce is doing in the food industry at large. Going through all of that will help you think about what food products are the best to sell online and how you can approach the market.
Keep reading because we are going to cover all of that below.
These days, if you want to leave your mark in any industry, you have to have a good website. That’s true for food and beverages. If you’re looking into this type of business, you’ll want to find a good food ecommerce website template.
A good template, whether for a food manufacturing website or ecommerce food business, will empower you to create a good website. You can get functionality, expressiveness and style without having to spend years mastering web development. The template holds the key to your success.
What do you need out of your food website templates? Well, it’s nice if they are free. Regardless of cost, visual presentation is uniquely important for a food website. The best way to engage visitors to the site is to tantalize them with pictures and/or videos of amazing food. That’s always vital, so you need robust visual integration in your template. If you can pull food/video directly from Instagram or other resources, that is invaluable.
It also helps to have easy, secure payment resources in the template. You want people to be able to make purchases directly from the website, and a good template will enable that. Security is obviously vital if you are going to process payments, and you need to be able to rely on your template to provide adequate security resources.
Most important to any website template is ease of use. If you can’t navigate and use the template, it has no value. Its job is to make web development easier for you. Be a stickler and don’t settle for clunky or ineffective templates. Castiron is the simplest, easiest to use website builder for independent food artisans.
When looking for great examples of food ecommerce companies, there are plenty to study. Some of the biggest names in the tech world right now are all over food ecommerce, and they’re already disrupting the industry.
The easiest, most obvious example is Amazon. It’s already the biggest game in ecommerce, and they have not been shy about getting into food. Their Prime Pantry has helped focus food efforts, and it allows shoppers to order food straight to their door with Amazon precision and ease. Snacks, cereals and all kinds of other foods are available for order, and people are loving it.
One of the top ecommerce food delivery resources is HelloFresh. They are rising to the top of a very competitive niche market that sends prepped meals to customers’ doors. The food is uncooked, so HelloFresh is in the business of teaching cooking while also delivering tasty, healthy meals. If you’re thinking about how to deliver food to customers, HelloFresh has a lot to teach.
A completely different take on food ecommerce websites can be found through Tasty. This is basically social media for food, and it’s owned by Buzzfeed. Tasty primarily markets through Instagram, and it shares recipes and cooking videos that provide endless ideas for what to eat and how to make it. It’s one of the largest food brands on social media, and Tasty is a masterclass in viral marketing.
When it comes to innovating food itself for the sake of ecommerce food delivery, Bakerdays deserves a mention. The idea of ordering cake directly to your home is enticing, but how do you ensure that it stays fresh and safe? If you work all day, you don’t really want a cake sitting on your front porch all day. Bakerdays solved this issue by designing cakes and packaging that can fit through letter slots. The packaging keeps the cake fresh since it will sit in the climate-controlled interior of your home until you get back from work or whatever you are doing.
Thinking about ecommerce food companies can help you think more about ecommerce in the food industry at large. What is ecommerce doing to food, how we eat and how we think about food?
Uber Eats, Doordash and other competitors come to mind. They have shown that there is a huge market for home food delivery, and they have shaken up food and beverage ecommerce. It is now common for restaurants in any given city or town to have a partnership with at least one delivery service. How many places do you go now that have signs specifically for directing food delivery couriers?
Business opportunities in the food and beverage industry extend far beyond courier services. Untappd is a leading app that helps people explore different beers and drinks and share what they like with friends. You can map out your drinks, keep a list and otherwise explore adult beverages like never before. This is an app that thrives in the beverage market without producing or selling a single drink. It’s all about innovation.
The massive food truck market is another example of opportunity. Food trucks have been around for a long time, but social media revolutionized the business. Trucks can easily advertise their location, menu and hours. They can generate buzz and market in a way that was never possible before, and in many places, the most popular, exciting foods will be found in trucks rather than brick-and-mortar restaurants.
By that same token, ecommerce in food service is transforming in a new way. Home kitchens are rising in popularity. With the help of apps for homemade food, like Castiron, anyone can start cooking food in their own home and selling it to customers in the area. It’s more accessible than ever and extremely disruptive to the food and beverage industry.
Now that you have thought about ecommerce food businesses and the industry as a whole, it’s time to consider the best food products to sell online. What do people really want, and how can you know what they want?
The best products to sell online to make money will always be the ones you can produce simply that will remain in demand. There are usually two ways to approach this. You can try to fill voids in the local food market, or you can try to outperform everyone else by such a margin that everyone wants your food the most.
The latter strategy is tough. Even if you do create an amazing recipe that generates buzz, it’s only a matter of time before someone finds a way to copy you and possibly even improve on your recipe. The only way to win this war is by constantly innovating. If that’s your commitment, go for it, but you’re in for a lot of long days and sleepless nights.
It’s much easier to try to corner high-demand products by filling market voids. If your area lacks good pho, for example, you can corner that market pretty easily. It’s a simple example, but the goal is to really think about what food you would like to eat but can never find. Or, maybe you can find it but it’s not satisfying. It takes some creative thinking, but this is a good way to think about products to sell online from home.
There’s another important consideration, and it can make or break your home food business. What regulations are in place on the foods you might want to sell? Generally speaking, foods that don’t require refrigeration are much less regulated. If you’re looking to minimize legal burdens and the overhead tied to food inspections, avoid refrigerators. More importantly, look at your state and local regulations to find the path of least resistance.
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