We're Back!

Stacey Guyah2 comments

And we're back!

...or at east we will be. Save the date: on Monday, January 16, 2017, Farmgate E-market will resume taking orders for your favourite market produce online for delivery to your home or office.

Whats new?

Well, our logo for one, but perhaps more importantly, we will now be fulfilling orders within a 3 hour window for most locations within Kingston and Portmore. Customers will continue to receive FREE delivery for all orders over $2,000.00 or pay a delivery fee of $200.00 for orders between $700.00 and $1,999.00.

We will also be extending the same delivery rates to customers in Portmore.

 

What should you do?

Be sure to sign-up for an account at the following link to receive instants points and discount codes for use during checkout. You will receive a 10% discount just for signing up when you use discount code: "welcome" at checkout when you make your first purchase.

https://farmgate-emarket.com/account/register

You may also browse the catalogue to see the items that are available. If you don't see an item that you would like to order, please tell us and we will be sure to add it to our inventory. Please note that you will not be able to checkout or sent through orders until January 16th.

 

Payment options

We continue to accept Cash on Delivery, Paypal and bank transfer to Scotiabank. 

Please feel free to also suggest other payment arrangements if these options do not work for you. We will be sure to take all suggestions into considerations.

 

If you've never ordered from us before, we hope you will take a chance on us as we aspire to make your hectic lifestyle a bit more convenient, while supporting our farmers and the local economy.

Happy New Year!

Farmgate Team

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Five Weeks In!

Stacey Guyah1 comment

 

Please forgive the long delay, but I wanted to actually have something to update you on. I have decided to share with your what the experience has been like, so far, and some things to be cognizant of if you're considering making a foray into ecommerce Jamaican style.

As I mentioned in my first blog entry, I had always wanted to do business online; yet, it took me a while to decide on, or rather, come up with a viable product. Of all the things that came to mind, market produce was not one of them. But judging from the enthusiastic feedback and support I have been receiving, I think I'm onto something.

True story....

About three weeks ago I received an order from a name that should have rung a bell; but I've been so consumed with pushing the business forward that very few things outside of my family are allowed to distract me or enjoy any of my coveted attention. When I arrived at the client’s residence to deliver the items, we immediately recognized each other as former work colleagues. He was rather impressed with the initiative, paid his bill and gave me a few tips he believed would aid in my success. This made me smile, as he's one of the many customers, so far, who has been rooting for my success! Thank you for your three orders in one week Mr. you-know-who-you-are!

I shared that story because I want to highlight that there are many people out there rooting for Jamaica’s success as well as that of local small businesses. So many other persons have expressed their support and eagerness to see me succeed, and have commended me on what they believe is a novel idea. But, if I’m being truly honest, my idea is not so novel, considering that at least one other company in Jamaica does something similar to what my business does―I did not know this until a few weeks ago. Truth is, outside of Jamaica, just about anything can be purchased online. Unfortunately, much of the infrastructure that has made ecommerce so successful in other jurisdiction is either limited or non-existent in Jamaica.

So, if you’re looking to start an online business in Jamaica, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Online payment options can be a drag. Credit card penetration/usage is not that high in Jamaica, even with at least two banks offering Visa Debit cards.
  2. People in Jamaica seem to be even more skeptical of making online payments to local businesses. There seems to be a major trust deficit that we must overcome if our business environment is to improve.
  3. Transportation/delivery is expensive!
  4. People can be very judgmental. I was disappointed at how many people were critical of others who have no problems with ordering market produce online. At least three of my Facebook commenters have suggested that patrons of my business are lazy or “wutless” for shopping online! Go figure :-/
  5. You must deliver…literally. People are skeptical about this whole online shopping thing. But they will “try you out,” just to see if you’re for real. Hence, It’s so important to make a good first impression!
  6. You can do this! Despite all the challenges I have experienced so far, the positives far exceed the negatives, and with creativity, you can find a way to get around the shortfalls in the supporting local ecommerce infrastructure.

I expect that as more people take the plunge into ecommerce, the supporting infrastructure will be put in place. I strongly believe that this platform has the potential to significantly change the local business landscape and has great potential for economic spinoffs. I am excited about this prospect and hope to be a part of it.

‘Til next time .

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Our first sale!

Stacey Guyah2 comments

Cue the cash register cha-ching! Apparently that’s the sound the store app makes when it receives an order. I didn’t know this, of course―I had never heard it before. It wasn’t until I saw the notification flash across my phone screen that I realized we had, in fac received our first order! Needless to say, I was excited, and I am not the most excitable person. But this order had confirmed that at least one person had a need for the convenience we offer. I immediately called my husband, and then my mom…and then the customer--my aunt (who’s really my older cousin, but she’s my mom’s generation so I call her aunty).

I was grateful, but I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed when I realized it was her. It kind of took a little wind out of my sails; Was she ordering just to show support for her little cousin― in the name of family―and does this mean that I would only receive orders from family members and people who know me? A business could run out of those quickly! So I thanked her for her support and told her that she was our first order. She was surprised, and agreed that the business was a good idea and a good service, and that she’d spread the word.

Cha-Ching! When I heard the second order come in, I grabbed the phone immediately. I had already spoken to the customer, a good friend, and he told me he would be ordering.  Again, I hoped that it was someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled for his support, especially as he had gotten his co-workers to place orders too; but I was hoping that my client base was not entirely made up of people who know me personally.

The following day, we dutifully delivered both orders. Despite my lingering concerns about our very familiar customer base, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and relief. It had also occurred to me how grateful I should be that the first two orders were from people who knew me and could vouch for my character. Nevertheless, I wanted to make a good first impression. The two locations were miles apart, and though we made it within the promised delivery slot, we realized just how much time it can take to complete one delivery. The experience was invaluable and will help us to be more efficient in our future deliveries.

So were not yet ecommerce gurus, but If I were to offer any advice to future entrepreneurs based upon my experience thus far, it would be this: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately get the flood of support you desire. Instead, use the one or two that you may get, so as to fine-tune your service. Also, the customers who know you may be the best to “practice” on. They may be a lot more forgiving than clients who will be taking a chance on you for the first time.

So, at one week in, I want to thank my cousin and my friend for their early patronage, and all the other customers who have ordered thus far. Thank you for taking a chance on us. We look forward to your continued support!

For those of you who have not checked us out as yet, visit www.farmgate-emarket.com and place your first order today.

Feel free to comment, like and share.

 

Until next week….

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Farmgate-How it all began

Stacey Guyah2 comments

So here I am, mother of two, unemployed and not too excited about leaving my three month old to go back to work. Plus, none of the applications that I've sent out has yielded anything promising. So what's a girl to do?

I have come to consider myself a serial entrepreneur. I have so many business ideas swirling around in my head that sometimes I don't even know where to begin. I have always wanted to do business online, that I know, but what kind of business? Then out of nowhere, literally, nowhere, it came to me, like an "aha" moment: why not sell farm produce online? Seems like such a stretch doesn't it? I mean think about it, one of the oldest occupations, farming, having any association with the internet, especially in Jamaica where most people only use the internet to "pop-style" via the various social media platforms. But people buy food and farm produce everyday, so why can't they do it online? I believe that they can, and they will!

I have launched Farmgate E-Market to prove that there is no reason why farm produce in Jamaica cannot be sold over the internet to Jamaicans, like its done in so many other places in the world.  And, well, to make some money. All I have to do is put myself in the shoe on my potential customers to know that there is a need for this service.

I remember being at work before and suddenly remembering that I have no thyme or scallion, or pumpkin-or anything for that matter, to add to the soup I've been craving for dinner. Has this ever happened to you? Sure, I could stop by  the local supermarket on my way home, but who really wants to do that, especially if you have to contend with rush hour traffic.

If this sounds like you, relax, that's where Farmgate E-Market comes in. All you have to do is log onto this website, browse our products and place your order. If its not too late in the day, you can have your items delivered to you at work before end of day, and you pay cash on delivery (COD) when you receive your items.

With Farmgate E-Market, you can go to the market from the convenience of you desktop, tablet, smartphone or any other internet enabled device. So skip the hassel, let us bring the market to you! 

Please join me in this venture by placing your orders online and allowing me and my team to serve you. I'll be blogging weekly about my experience along the way so that you can be a part of the journey. I am longing to see more Jamaican entrepreneurs engaged in ecommerce, so I hope that I can be an inspiration in some way.

One love!

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