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Website Helps Small Farmers Sell
Selling pasture-raised meat and other farm produce online is a whole lot easier with GrazeCart, an e-commerce platform developed by farmers to help manage marketing, customer relations, order taking, inventory and fulfillment on their own farm.
“We were trying to keep track of several thousand customers and 50 drop off locations for weekly deliveries, all on different schedules,” recalls Blaine Hitzfield, Seven Sons Farms. “That led to developing GrazeCart. We went through 4 different iterations, but after about 2 years, we resolved the most frustrating pain points.”
The Hitzfields shared what they were doing with others. “We had a waiting list of people who said, ‘If you develop it, we will buy it,’” says Hitzfield. “At the beginning of 2020, we had 200 licensed users in the U.S. and Canada. During the pandemic, we grew to 450 licensed users. Most are small producers like we were 10 years ago.”
GrazeCart addresses a wide variety of needs, from developing a branded website to setting up and operating an online store to fulfillment and inventory management. Each area focuses on problems Seven Sons Farms faced, such as ensuring your website is compatible with all mobile platforms.
In addition to the software, GrazeCart offers support and counseling. Online classes cover shipping, internet marketing and developing a marketing strategy that works for an individual farm. In-depth courses are available for a lifetime fee of $1,500.
Whether looking for assistance with an existing farm-to-market business or considering starting one, the Learn section on the GrazeCart website is worth a visit. It is filled with blog posts, podcasts, tutorials and more. While some are geared toward using the software, others simply offer good business advice. Much of the information offered is free, as is a weekly newsletter.
Prospective GrazeCart users can sign up for a free 14-day trial. After that, the price is based on the number of orders (in increments of 200) received at the user’s online store each month. As a result, the cost per order goes down as business increases within each bracket of 200. The starting price is $124 per month and stays the same for up to 200 orders. At 401 orders, the price is $274 and stays at that level through 600 orders.
The Hitzfields have grown their operation from selling excess eggs at the farm door to an 8-figure business. Unlike other service providers, they actually use GrazeCart in their own business daily.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, GrazeCart, 15718 Aboite Rd, Roanoke, Ind. 46783 (ph 877 620-1977; www.grazecart.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5