Even if you’re not a farm fan (shame on you!) there’s a new app coming out that will take your next visit to the farmers’ market to another level. It’s called FarmFan and it uses loyalty programs and text messaging to amp up the connection between farmers and customers.
I recently interviewed Simon Huntley from Small Farms Central to learn all about this new app and you can listen to the call below. Simon has used his extensive experience with CSA management software to make the FarmFan App an easy-to-use tool. He also hopes that FarmFan will bring some of the loyalty of CSA programs to farmers’ markets.
An App for Loyalty & Reward Programs
Sales at some farmers’ markets have been on the decline a bit. The idea behind FarmFan is to reinvigorate those sales, boost up attendance and give farmers some new tools for their marketing toolbox. Farmfan achieves by this by connecting mobile phones to loyalty programs. Through the program the rewards that farmers can offer customers are, much like crowd-funding, only limited by their imagination. Farmers can:
- offer a discount when points are reached,
- giveaway a free item, like a t-shirt, hat or tote bag,
- or even host a special event as a reward at season’s end.
An App to Get Texts From Your Farmer
Customers can opt-in to receive text messages at any time. They’ll receive a text from their farmer prior to the market letting them know what’s in store for the day including specials. Simon believes this kind of info will provide incentives and really help drive traffic to farmers’ markets.
Using text messaging for communication is really smart as well. The open rate on a text message is near 100% whereas the open rate on a email is at best only about 20-25%. Once at the market, any purchases made can be tracked in the app as points and any rewards earned can be distributed as well.
Here’s the interview:
FarmFan wants your feedback!
A beta testing program is already underway in Pittsburgh area Winter farmers’ markets, so data is being collected to enhance the app and work out any bugs. Simon is also running a public survey to collect feedback from farmers of all sorts to improve the app and overall usability. If you’re interested at all in helping out or in taking advantage of the service when it launches, please provide your ideas here. Your feedback will be much appreciated!
The launch date is Spring 2014 and you can sign up now to receive information as soon as it becomes available.
A text msg to your customers as their farmers market starts with availability and specials is a powerful tool! http://t.co/AqoMPsxwsb
— Small Farm Central (@smfarmcentral) February 4, 2014
Other links to check out:
- FarmFan App Sign-up
- Small Farms Central – Farm Websites & CSA Management Software