This feature is in beta. Please review this document, then use the support widget to request a consultation or schedule your migration.
This document assumes familiarity with the Centralized Inventory Delivery Builder.
This feature has been designed with the goal of creating an optimal grocery shopping experience for members, leading to increased member conversion, larger orders, and fewer skipped weeks. As such, it introduces a number of advantageous features for product transparency and promotions, and makes some assumptions about your business model that should be considered before making the switch.
View a walkthrough of the member experience here:
Permanent product catalog
With grocery shopping enabled, a "Products" link will become a permanent part of site navigation for members of your farm, so that even when they don't have a delivery to customize, they can browse your active products to get ideas for next week's shopping list, or find information about how to use or store something they already received. When you share recipes in your blog or happenings, include links to the product pages to make it easy for members to add them to their cart.
The "Products" link will also appear on your farm profile and signup pages. One of the most common feedback items we've received from prospective members who abandoned the signup process is that they would like to know what products will be available, and how they are grown or made, before committing to a subscription. The increased confidence of being able to browse your catalog helps to capture members sooner, and with fewer support tickets.
Unlike the "Customize" page, which has a different URL for every member and delivery, the links to the department and product pages never change, so members can create a shortcut that lets them start shopping with a single click, bookmark their favorites, and even share them with friends, helping to grow your customer base.
The menu allows members to jump directly to the department they wish to shop. This increases the efficiency for all users, leaving them with a positive impression that makes shopping each week feel less like a chore. But, it is particularly impactful for members with dietary restrictions, who have reported sufficient levels of frustration and fatigue with scrolling past foods that they cannot eat or find objectionable that they have considered canceling their membership.
Each product name and image in the catalog is a link to a page displaying the full details of that product, consistent with modern e-commerce sites. On the details page, an image carousel allows you to provide multiple photos of the product itself or the packaging, giving members access to the ingredient and nutritional information they want without you having to type it out. They can view a lengthy description more easily here, as well as a separate section dedicated to storage information, reducing your spoiled product complaints. For any product you've sourced from an outside producer, that producer's name, location, and description are shown, increasing member confidence in how their groceries are sourced.
"Feature" products to drive sales
You can now designate "featured" products to appear on the first page of the product catalog, independently of the "priority" allocation into boxes, because we've learned that the things you need to move quickly don't always make for the most captivating marketing material. This is a great place to show off staff favorites, or display all the essentials for a seasonal event in one place. Have lots of something you need to sell before it turns? Set it to priority, then feature some of your other products that can help turn it into a tasty meal.
Highlight "sale" and "new" products
If you're offering a temporary discount on a product, use the "sale" feature to make it stand out. A new field on the product management page lets you set the sale price and the date range in which it applies. Any delivery you launch within that date range will use the sale price. Members will see a red "Sale" badge on the product in the catalog pages, as well as the regular price in strikethrough font and the sale price next to it.
You can also offer special discounts when a member buys a larger quantity of an item, using the "bulk price" feature. Select a percentage to discount or a specific price and the quantity the member must purchase to earn the discount. Any delivery you launch while a bulk price is set will use that price. Members will see the deal advertised on the product catalog pages and in their cart.
Products that you've never used in a delivery before, or that are being used for the first time after at least 90 days of inactivity, are automatically displayed with a yellow "new" badge for their first 14 days on offer, to get members excited about the changing seasons and help drive sales of these products.
Products with the "new" and "sale" designations are also displayed on their own pages, immediately after the Featured page.
Breakdown of charges
One of the most common member complaints we had in mind while designing this page was confusion about what they are being charged, and why. Swap charges, extras, and differences between share price and goal value are the biggest contributors to the problem. To address this, we've made a number of changes to the charge summary section of the cart.
First, we've broken up the share delivery amount due into its component parts. Instead of one number, with a note stating that it includes the delivery charge, we now have separate line items for the value of the share itself, the delivery charge associated with the member's location, the net effect of any adjustments (this will be broken down further when the contributing factors can be stored in the database in greater detail), and if the delivery has been paid for in advance, the deduction of that payment.
Share price versus goal value
The share value line item has new functionality. For customizable shares, it displays the sum of the prices of all the products in the cart, so that members can view a running subtotal as they shop, saving them the hassle of adding everything up themselves. If the subtotal is less than the goal value of their share, an alert is displayed informing them of their "plan minimum" - the share price that they signed up for. This is designed to address confusion from members who expect to only be charged for the items in their cart, and to encourage everyone to treat the share price as a lower bound, rather than a cap on their spending. However, it has the side effect of exposing any difference between the price of your shares and the total value of product members can get for their money, so we strongly recommend setting your goal values equal to your share prices.
Extras are not supported
Displaying a running subtotal allowed us to eliminate one point of confusion, in that it is no longer necessary to display a line item for swap charges. Extras are the other major pain point for members. It is difficult to explain why some items are eligible to be included in their share price and others are not, especially when they can see, whether by doing the math themselves or using the new product subtotal line, that they have enough value remaining to cover at least some of the cost. For this reason, the new shopping experience does not support extras. With this feature enabled, the "extras" allocation type is no longer an option when building deliveries. Members can still add as many products as they wish to their cart, and the remainder once their goal value is exceeded will be processed as swap charges. It is important to note that the processing of the payment has not changed. Members will see one easy-to-read line stating the total cost of their products, but in admin, you will still see a separate "share amount" and "extra amount" for each payment, with the extra amounts over the life of the order summed in the "additional charges" field rather than affecting the "total paid."
Multiple boxes and active deliveries
The architecture that allows a single URL to serve members shopping in any delivery, or browsing the product catalog when they are not in an active delivery, comes with an important limitation, in that it relies on a member having at most one box eligible for customization at a time. There are three implications to consider.
First, you will need to offer only one "regular" (customizable) share per season. Addons which cannot be customized are still supported. The farm success team can advise you on transitioning from offering multiple shares, such as produce and meat, to one "grocery" share.
Second, members will no longer be able to set a quantity when signing up for a share. All orders will be processed with a quantity of one. This is already enforced at signup for shares with only one applicable frequency, because the step to select frequency and quantity is hidden.
Third, rescheduling a share delivery onto the same date as an existing share delivery (doubling up instead of placing a hold) must be disallowed. Keep in mind that this does not stop members from ordering additional product to stock up for a missed week, they will simply do it by adding more products to a single box. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to transition to a Pay X plan and weekly frequency only before enabling this feature, because of the policies regarding reschedules and holds on other frequencies, and the downpayment associated with the 25/25/50 plan.
This feature does NOT require you to change the number of deliveries you are building for a given share each week. For example, if you normally run a delivery for your vegetable share for each day of the week, you can continue to do that. The page logic works by querying for the delivery associated with the member's location day, so if you have multiple customization periods open at the same time, it will identify the correct one.
One of the factors that determines whether members see the new pages in a "shoppable" state or read-only is their order status. To enable shopping, the member's current box must belong to their most recent non-cancelled order (excluding Farm Stand orders). This means that auto-renewals/rollovers cannot be processed while your current season is still in progress. There are two alternatives:
1. If you still have a gap between your seasons, complete the renewals in this gap. The process can begin as soon as you've finalized your last delivery for the season, while members are still engaged and excited.
2. If you do not have a gap between your seasons, a "silent auto renew" may be your best option. This is an especially good fit if you are using a year-round "subscription" model, because it creates a seamless experience for the member, instead of requiring them to make a decision each year to continue their membership. In this model, you will schedule a date with the Harvie farm success and engineering teams on which a new batch of share deliveries is added on to your members' accounts for a date range that you select. No mass communication to members is required, and no advance payments are processed. The member's weekly routine continues uninterrupted.
How It Works
With the shopping feature enabled, you will continue to follow your normal process in the Product Management and Delivery Builder pages, but with a few more fields available to set the additional information displayed on the member pages. Most of these fields appear only on the Product Management page.
Featured: Select this checkbox to designate products to appear on the "Featured" page of the product catalog. This is the page that loads by default when a member clicks any of the "Shop Now" links throughout the Harvie software and emails. Compared to the Customize page, which used the "priority" allocation scheme to determine featured products, the shopping feature gives you more control. Selecting the "priority" allocation on a product in the delivery builder still causes the box building algorithm to distribute as much of that item as possible into boxes, but it has no effect on the "Featured" catalog page. So you can show off your new, high-value, or staff-favorite products without forcing them into boxes at high volume. In addition, you can change the "featured" setting at any time during or between deliveries, enabling you to react easily to changes in availability and draw attention to items that aren't selling as quickly as you'd like them to.
Image: The image selection and editing tools are the same whether you're using the new page or the old, and the image set to "default" (the first in the list of Active Images) is still displayed on the catalog page, as well as in the cart and first on the product details page. However, all active images will be displayed on the new product details pages, in the order that you set. To change the order, click and drag the icon in the top-right corner of the image thumbnail. Moving an image to the top of the order automatically makes it the default image. Images set to inactive will remain in the list in the editor, but will not be displayed to members.
Video ID: The product details page now has the ability to display a YouTube video! To include a video, first find or upload it on YouTube. Click the "Share" button below the player, then copy just the ID portion of the link displayed in the modal - everything to the right of the last "/" character - and paste it into the Video ID field in Harvie.
Producer: Similar to the images, the editing tool for your producers is the same regardless of which version of the member experience you have enabled, but the shopping feature takes full advantage of the data, displaying the name and location on the catalog pages, and the name, location, and description on the product details pages. See How Producers Work for more details.
Storage Information: Save your members the trouble of digging for these details at the bottom of their delivery emails, and yourself the time of answering support questions about them. Enter your tips for prolonging the life of your products and reducing food waste in this field, and they can always be accessed on the product details page.
Sale Price: Use this tool to highlight temporary price reductions. Clicking in this field opens a modal where you can enter the reduced price and the date range in which it should apply. Once a sale price has been set, the sale will be in effect for any delivery launched within the date range you selected.
A few key points to keep in mind:
- The date range cannot begin in the past.
- Even if the sale start date is today, the sale price will not apply to any deliveries for which customization is already active.
- Even if you clear the sale price during the customization window, it will continue to apply for the life of that delivery.
- If the cutoff date or delivery date is after the end date of the sale, but the delivery is launched during the sale date range, the sale price will apply to that delivery.
Price per Unit: Use this field to enter a price for a standard unit of your product, such as pound or ounce. This is displayed alongside the existing unit and price information in the member shopping pages, so that when products are sold by a unit such as "bag" or "each", members understand how much they will actually receive and the value of the product relative to the grocery store. There is no formatting enforced on this field; we recommend $XX.XX/unit.
Bulk Price: Use this tool to offer a discounted price to members purchasing in larger quantities. Clicking in this field opens a modal where you can select the type of deal you want to offer, then enter the discount and required quantity to purchase to get that price. The discount will be in effect for any delivery launched while it is set. Clear the bulk price when you no longer wish to offer it. You have two options for the type of deal: fixed price and percentage discount.
Use "Fixed Price" to specify the actual price per unit to charge when the member has the required quantity. This type only applies when the member buys a multiple of the required quantity. For example, the settings pictured here will be displayed to members as "Buy 4 for $6". If a member buys less than 4, they will pay $2 each. If they buy 4, they will pay $1.50 each for a total of $6. If they buy 5, they will pay $8: $6 for 4 per the offer, and regular price for the additional unit. If they buy 8, they will pay $12, or two times the 4 for $6 deal.
Use "Percentage Discount" to offer a percentage off when the member buys the required quantity or more. This type is not limited to multiples of the required quantity; as long as they have at least that quantity in their cart, all units of that product will be discounted. Members will see this as "Buy 4 or more, save 25%".
Be careful when setting up bulk prices on products that have a Share Qty greater than 1! If the quantity you enter for the discount is not a multiple of the share quantity, the system will round up to the nearest multiple when you launch your delivery. If the discount quantity is the same as the share quantity, members will see "Buy 1 for $6" or "Buy 1 or more, save 25%".
Members will always access your product catalog using the same URL. The page displays the product list for either the current active delivery, or the most recent delivery, depending on member and delivery status, with slight variations in the information available to them.
If the member is logged in, and has a box in an active delivery, the page matches the video overview linked at the top of this article. All product information is visible, and members can view and act on the contents of their cart.
If they are logged in, but the shopping window for their most recent delivery has ended, they can still see all of the product information from that delivery. However, a banner appears at the top of the page informing them that their shopping window has closed. Their cart is empty, and no actions are available. When you launch your next delivery, the product list will update to match it, but the page will still be in read-only mode if the member is not in that delivery.
An unauthenticated user, such as a prospective new member who accessed your product catalog while browsing your profile or signup page, sees the department and product details pages for the most recent delivery you launched. A banner appears at the bottom of every page, encouraging them to sign up for your farm.