How to Bring Your Food and Beverage Business to the E-commerce World

Back in the 90s, the Internet opened its doors to online retail. Back then, clothing, electronics, and entertainment were front-and-center in e-commerce.


Until recently, we are seeing the food and beverage industry starting to catch up. So much so that long-standing brands like PepsiCo are spending billions of dollars on building e-commerce channels.

Why F&B Business Should Go Online

As someone who owns a food and beverage business, your job does not end when you start generating sales. In fact, you should find new ground to cover so you can face unique challenges head-on.


As such, it would be an excellent idea if you could bring your F&B business to e-commerce. Here's why:


Target Your Customers Better

What's great about online selling is that you get to leverage digital marketing. And what's great about it is that you can target the right customers.


If you sell freezer food for families, you can run online ads that target moms and dads looking for such products. That's because they are the people who are likely to buy your products.


Operate 24/7

No, this does not mean that your food business should be open all day, every day. But e-commerce allows you to receive orders and drives sales even while you sleep.


Thus, what you can do is allow customers to schedule their delivery based on your operating hours.


Harness the Power of Content

In addition to online ads, you can also make the most out of content marketing. This can be a blog post, a YouTube vlog, or an Instagram update. Even customer feedback can come in handy!


And often, this does not have to cost a penny. All it needs is time and creativity to craft and publish your content.


Cater Big Orders

The benefit of having an online food business is that customers can take their time to order. Plus, they can buy your products using their laptops or through their tablet and smartphone while on the go.


And because of the convenience that e-commerce provides, it is easier for you to highlight promotions. This can influence their purchasing decision. As such, you can increase your business' average order value (AOV).


Expand Your Market Reach

With a brick-and-mortar restaurant, your business is limited to the customers who visit and can dine in your place. But when you pivot your business online, you can cater to as many customers as you can.


Your only limitation would be how far your delivery partner can reach. Plus, you need to ensure that your product is still in excellent condition once it gets to the customer.


Online Food Business: 5 Steps to Follow

Now that you know the importance of shifting your F&B business to e-commerce, it is time to know how to bring your venture online.


Assuming you already know what products to sell, how much they will cost, and how you will package them, here are the x steps you need to follow:


Step 1: Learn the Regulations by Heart

Every country has their law and regulations regarding food businesses. In the United States, there are what we call the Cottage Food Laws.


Regardless of where you are in the world, starting an online food business means that it has to be duly registered. Another thing to bear in mind is your country's health and sanitation regulations.


Step 2: Find Your Niche

We are not talking about the food you are selling. Because you obviously have that ticked off your to-do list.


Instead, you should identify who your target market is.


Selling freezer meals are ideal for busy parents who have no time to think and cook a healthy meal for their kids. On the other hand, meal kits (i.e., Blue Apron and Hello Fresh) are ideal for those who have specific dietary needs.


The purpose of identifying your niche is to know to whom you should promote your online food business.


Step 3: Build Your Website

Of course, you cannot make the e-commerce shift if you do not have a website. Luckily, various e-commerce platforms can help to build your online store a breeze.


But regardless of which platform you will use, make sure that consider the following:

●  Hosting and domain cost
●  Security
●  Up-time rate
●  Customer support
●  Available functionalities


Step 4: Find a Delivery Partner

Here's the thing: Customers prefer to buy their goods online because it is convenient. This includes not needing to go out so they can have a decent meal.


As such, you must have a delivery partner.


Sure, you can have your employees deliver the food to your customers. But what if there is a surge in demand? This is where ride-hailing apps can come in handy.


When your delivery riders are out and about, you can use such apps to deliver your food to your customers. Meanwhile, partnering with such service providers also gives your customers the option to have someone pick up their food.


Step 5: Promote Your Business

Sure, you may have customers who are dining in your restaurant. But do they know that you accept orders online?


This explains why you should promote your business. And there are various digital marketing tactics that you can implement:

●  Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the tactics you can implement to make your online restaurant rank for the right keywords.

●  Influencer Marketing. It is when you seek the help of internet-famous people to promote your business.

●  Social Media Marketing. This includes the use of various social media channels to engage with your customers and promote your business.

●  Pay-per-click Ads. If you have the budget, PPC ads are excellent for targeting your customers.

●  Email Marketing. This is ideal if you already have a list of subscribers. You can use it to nurture your existing customers and foster retention.

●  Content Marketing. This is where guest posting, link building, and online PR comes in. You leverage various digital content to spread the word about your business.

Thanks to online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms, you can now sell your food products online. And with proper planning, your online food business can complement your existing brick-and-mortar venture.


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