18 days into running the new online farmers market, were New Zealander’s can shop online directly with hundreds of NZ’s best food, wine, beer and other grocery producers, and as you can see from the attached graphic from our Google Analytics, we have had 11,000 shoppers come through the online marketplace and they have had 15,000 unique sessions browsing and buying beautiful products like cheese, salami, muesli, bread, wine, bacon, soap and more online direct from the artisan maker.
We are so proud to be helping these amazing New Zealand food and wine entrepreneurs during this incredibly difficult time for small business with COVID-19 ravaging the economy. Not only has the new online farmers market proven to be a lifeline for these great regional manufacturers but it has also provided a more flexible and resilient online food shopping experience for thousands of Kiwi families in stage 4 lock down. Unlike the supermarket home delivery food shopping services which rely on pickers walking around inside the supermarket and then on a very small fleet of supermarket food delivery vans, Maker2u relies on potentially thousands of small food factories, outlets, farms and shops all around New Zealand’s regions and on the 10’s of thousands of courier vans operating in the country. This means that the food passes through fewer bottle necks in supermarkets through fewer peoples hands than in supermarket home shopping, were cross infection with COVID-19 could take place. And of course, there are no millionaire middlemen taking a cut of the makers hard work when they sell their products on Maker2u.
The online farmers market only charges 10% commission, and out of that our paid the credit card fees, banking costs, insurance costs, support costs, hosting costs and site development and maintenance. These are costs a maker would normally have to pay themselves if they were running an online food selling website. So we would argue that Maker2u is in fact giving them the most return on their product that they can get over the long term. Particularly as it is free for makers to set up their store. They do not pay any charges for having a store, Maker2u allows them to market directly to retail customers and wholesale customers like cafes, bars, restaurants. And Maker2u is building a system which will allow all of its makers to collaboratively use sea container freight to export their goods to target markets off shore in which the makers goods will travel free as the commission will pay the cost of the sea container shipment.
It has been a very busy 18 days for the team behind Maker2u. We have had a lot of sleepless nights pulling it all together, particularly as we have everyones children at home as well. Who have been getting a little bit frustrated with how much time Mummy’s and Daddy’s have been spending on Maker2u. Everyone is still working on Maker2u for free which we are really lucky to have, so many people have been inspired by the mission to help small businesses succeed and regional communities to stay strong through COVID-19. Together we will get through this and out the other end Maker2u will become a profitably little businesses that can pay the great team currently doing all the work on it for free! Amazing people. I will just list them by their first names here and say a big thank you from myself, Hamish and all of our community of makers. Thanks Chris, Krystal, John, Will, Star, Jess, Angela and Liz. You are incredible people.