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Reply To: Kia Ora. We own and operate a food trailer in Whangarei. We have so many questions as to what we should do next. We have finished setting up the website via WordPress and completed the on-line shop. (https://handsomefrogcafe.com). We have been selling via the shop, mainly our handmade sourdough bread and our handmade pies. We have just increased the items for sale. We do not sell cheap products as they of high quality and hand made. We are Vegetarian and Vegan specialists, but also serve meat and fish products. The website needs a bit more work on it to finish it off so it looks more professional. The tracking of the sales is a bit clumsy and lengthy  (Woocommerce and Stripe payments). We are not sure how to advance with our marketing, or how to increase our sales. Do we continue to aim for the higher end of the market? We had a very successful season at the local markets, just before the closure due to covid. We do not employ any staff now, as we create and manage everything ourselves. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Kia ora @handsomefrog,

Wow, you guys have certainly grabbed the bull by the horns!

I’ve taken a look at the website and it’s a wonderful starting point. From here I’d recommend:
1. Put in place the full funnel visibility you need so you can measure things like conversion (each step of the journey) and see where the “friction” is in the buying process.
2. Look at initiatives that can drive more visitors and purchases.
3. Iterate to improve through merchandising and tackling those points of friction

1. Building the full funnel visibility: Sounds like you’re enjoying doing this yourself so stick with it -or- look to get some help if you need it. I’d be looking at what’s already available via the Woocommerce plugin first. Also, get Google Analytics up and running if you haven’t already. Monster Insights seems like a popular plugin for this. Here’s a really simple primer article that explains what I mean by funnel analysis.

2.Initiatives to drive more visitors and purchases: You may already have a bit of a cult following around your cafe. The goal is to leverage it to get a snowball rolling on social. Instagram + Facebook are the staples here. Food can be challenging to photograph, but when done well it can be real eye candy. Here’s a great example from Betsy Cafe in Wellington:
https://www.instagram.com/betsy.nz/
https://www.facebook.com/betsy.nz/

Tools like Hootsuite could be valuable here both for publishing efficiency and generating insights.

Once up and running start throwing out some offers and see what’s effective. Make sure the visitors to your trailer know you’re on Insta/Facebook and think of reasons they should follow you (offers?recipes? etc.).

3. Merchandising: Remember MOST people are most likely using their phones. So start challenging yourself to look “mobile first” at this visitor experience.
– Definitely need some yummy food pictures on the homepage…
– In the shop: What about bigger brighter photos that really show off the food? And i’d suggest Fewer items on the page. No more than 8-12 to start with.
– Attention to the food photography/styling – super important. titles/descriptions that make your mouth water…
– Got popular items? Can you put them on the home page with 1-click to order?

Then, dig into that funnel analysis and work out how you can iterate / improve.

A bit of a brain dump. I hope it’s useful. Great work so far! Happy to chat if you want to reach me via LinkedIn.

-Peter