Getting Started in Your Online Store
Selling your farm products online through Tend enables you to integrate your production and sales activities in one central platform. This article walks you through Tend’s sales workflow and directs you to detailed how-to information to help you get up and running in your new Online Store as quickly as possible.
Covered in this article:
- Step 1: Start With the Crop Plan
- Step 2: Set Up Your Farm Listing
- Step 3: Create Your Catalog
- Step 4: Prepare Your Online Store for Sales
- Step 5: Share Your Store URL with Customers
- Step 6: Prepare Your Orders for Pickup/Delivery
Step 1: Start With the Crop Plan
Before you get started in your Online Store, make sure that you’ve completed the following 2 steps for each crop you plan to sell in your Online Store:
1. Add the crop to your list of My Crops
This will help you to rapidly create the Catalog items for these crops, so you can offer them for sale in your Store. Note that you’ll add items that aren’t a part of your Crop Plan (eggs, meat, etc.) directly into your Catalog as part of the next steps.
Step 2: Set Up Your Farm Listing
The Farm Listing is where you manage your Online Store behind the scenes by customizing the display and other settings that will guide your customers through their shopping experience.
Important store elements you’ll set up in your Farm Listing include:
- Branding: Enter your farm name and logo, and prepare a Story to share in your store’s “About Us” section.
- Online Store URL: Set the customizable URL that you will share with customers, so they can access your Online Store and make their purchases.
- Farm Contacts: Let your customers know how they can reach you by entering the contact information that will be posted to your store and shared in order confirmation emails.
- Tax Rate: If you plan to sell taxable goods, you’ll set the tax rate in your Farm Listing settings.
- Pickup and Delivery Options: When customers check out from your store, they'll select how they want to receive their order from a drop down menu of options that you create here in the Farm Listing settings.
- Collect Delivery Addresses: If you offer home delivery, you can select a “Delivery Address” option to collect delivery information from customers at checkout.
- Share Instructions: Let customers know the details for collecting their order through their selected pickup/delivery option. These instructions will be displayed for the customer at checkout and will be included in the customer's order confirmation email.
- Keep up with incoming orders: Receive mobile notifications as new orders come in.
Organize your store display: Create and manage product categories to help your customers browse and quickly find exactly what they're looking for in your store.
Step 3: Create Your Catalog
To save time in data entry, you can automatically create Catalog items for the crops in your Crop Plan. Once your crops are included in the Catalog list, they will function independently from those same crops in your Crop Plan. The Catalog is designed to store information for how you sell your crops and varieties, not how you grow them. This means you can edit Catalog items without affecting those items in your Crop Plan.
For example, you can create pick and pack units and prices that are specific to how you sell the Catalog item. These are not linked to the harvest units and revenue rates that you input when adding a planting of a crop to your Crop Plan in order to generate estimated yields and revenues and your “Planned vs. Actual” Reports in Tend.
Once your Crop Plan items have been added, you can also create Catalog items for other products such as eggs, meat, honey, preserves, farm merch, etc.
Catalog items won’t show up in your store automatically. In the Online Store feature, you’ll indicate which products (and which units of that product) will be available to purchase in your Store during a particular order window. This ensures your Online Store will be up to date and accurate as your offerings change over the season.
Learn more about setting up and managing your Store’s Catalog here.
Step 4: Prepare Your Online Store for Sales
Set Up Weekly Order Windows
In your Online Store, you’ll set specific order windows during which any customers visiting your Store’s URL will be able to purchase your products. Each order window is associated with a specific delivery day, so you’ll create an order window for each day that you’ll be delivering products to customers or making them available for pickup on the farm or at a drop point.
The delivery day for a particular order window will be posted to the Store during that window for customers to reference as they shop. You can also indicate which pickup/delivery option(s) are available for each delivery day, and your customers will select their preferred option at checkout.
If your delivery schedule is the same each week, you only need to set up your order windows and delivery days once. The delivery dates posted to your Store will update automatically week after week, so you only need to check in to your Store to update product availability and/or prices for each order window as needed.
Select the Products You’re Offering for Sale
Before each order window, you’ll indicate which of your products will be available for sale during the upcoming window and set item total limits to ensure none of your products are oversold. When an item limit is reached, the Online Store will automatically display that item as “Sold Out.”
Share News and Information with Customers in Your Store
Finally, create a message to share with customers shopping during a specific order window.
This message will be posted to your Store, so it’s a great place to include news from the farm and other information you'd like to share with customers to make the sales process smooth and successful.
This message will also be included with the customer’s order confirmation email as an automatic reminder.
Step 5: Share Your Store URL with Customers
It's import to keep your customers informed about how to access your Online Store and when your order windows are scheduled for each delivery day. Share your Store’s URL over email, social media, and on your farm’s website, so your customers know where and when to buy your farm fresh goods.
You can quickly copy your Store URL by viewing your Store from the Online Store feature and copying the web address from your browser.
Or use the "Copy URL" option in your Farm Listing settings.
Step 6: Prepare Your Orders for Pickup and Delivery
Whenever a customer makes a purchase in your store, both you and the customer will receive a confirmation email. An order item will also be added to the Orders Feature in your Tend account, including all the order details and any message your customer might have left you at check out.
Use the Download option in the Online Store feature to import a CSV file of your orders, pick and pack lists, delivery information, and a PDF containing all of your order packing slips.