Analysis of registration issues (no pack chosen / empty profiles / lots of inactive shops)

We have started to work on our commercial strategy in France. We are planning to :

  • Clarify/simplify the way we communicate on our offers, so if people search us it needs to be clear, before we start doing active prospection
    • Redo the website with creation of CoopCircuits cooperative (WIP, waiting for WP template but working on content meanwhile)
    • Implement a newsletter
  • Second step is to welcome properly those who come to us, again before searching for new users
    • We have done some analysis on users who register on the platform, will share below problems we have identified, object of this post.
    • We have a problem regarding how we follow / categorize our users and where BI could help us build a more relevant commercial strategy (which is one of our key factor of success, how we convert people who come to actual users us is KEY). We will share deeper analysis later on.
  • Then we can do prospection

Analysis of enterprise users registration

Twice this year (april and july) we analyzed among the new enterprises created on OFN :

  • How many were registered as producers / hubs
  • How many were visible / invisible
  • How many were selling unspecified / none / own / any
  • How many sell on OFN (own or any)
  • How many are visible AND selling own or any (so supposed to be active on the platform… as if invisible probably testing, even if not really true as we have actually lots of invisible active shops on OFFrance, they want to be only accessible for members but found the private shop to complex to manage so just hide themselves a bit…)
  • And among those, how many are ACTUALLY trading, really using the OFN shop

Results for the two periods are almost the same so I’ll just share those of July :

Learning 1:

Around 9% of the enterprise users who start to create an account don’t go till the choice of a pack (unspecified). There can be two reasons for that :

  • Either they don’t receive / receive as spam the email saying the enterprise has been created with the link to join the admin interface
  • Either they don’t click on the link / don’t understand they have to click on it / don’t understand they have to login to finish to setup their profile and imagine their profile is setup and that’s enough for them
  • Probably for those profile creations people wanted only profile.
  • Or they thought it was too complex and just stopped here even if wanted something else…

It shouldn’t be possible to have “unspecified” users… we should integrate that choice in the profile creation screens and wait for this choice to be made before saying “your enterprise has been created”. For this we could open a wishlist, I’m not doing it now as I know we have lots of other things more prioritary…

So the workaround we have found is France is to reword different screens and radically change the text :

  • After step 3 of registration modal, instead of saying “you’re done”, we say “almost there” and explain there is still one thing to do : check emails and choose a profile type.
  • Same in the email received, we don’t say “your enterprise is now on OFN”’ but “Last step to register [entreprise] on OFN” and inside the mail, explain that they now need to choose a profile type for their profile to be visible on the OFN, with link to admin panel, etc.

We will check in some months to see if that improve the “uinspecified” rate.

Learning 2:

Lots of enterprise who don’t sell through OFN choose a pack including a shop (selling own or any). I think there is a confusion when reading through the onboarding screens : when they have to choose a pack we ask them if they want

  • A profile, meaning they don’t manage a shop but can propose products to shops
  • A producer shop / producer hub / hub shop, meaning they do sell online. Maybe they understand that in they sell IN ABSOLUTE (maybe not or OFN) they should register as shops so they appear as shops, even if they don’t use the OFN shops !
  • Only around 20% of shops on OFFrance are actually using the shop, so we have a lot of pollution on our platform… 80% of the “shops” are actually not using the shop ! We will need to manage the existing and clean (process WIP) but would be great to avoid this confusion for the next enterprise registering on the platform…

So again, we have tried radical rewriting of the texts of the packages.

Difficulties we encounter in leads and users management

1- We need a regular manual check to know that new enterprise users have created an account

  • Some instances have integrated with Trello so it creates a card that someone can then follow up, which is the same as exporting the report every day or week and check new enterprises…*
  • We don’t want to use Zapier too much so we gonna manually export the report “entreprises and users” and treat them one by one.

2- We have no way to know that the new enterprise created is created and managed by a third party (ex: the hub manager creates the profile of the producer) : this can only be known by personal identification of the owner email, that we “recognize” is the same of a user we already know… Or sometimes by checking enterprise permissions and seeing to which enterprise the new one is link.

3- We have no way to know that the new enterprise is trading or not, we need to manually check if there has been orders on this shop or not.

4- We have no way to know that the new enterprise is just another distribution point of an existing user managing multiple hubs (one per delivery location, very frequent case in France). Again, we need to personally recognize the email. Or check permissions.

5- We are not notified if something changes in an enterprise (name has been changed, owner email has been changed, etc.) so we quickly have gaps between info in our CRM and info on the platforms and investigations are sometimes hard to understand the gaps…

… anyway, it means for each new enterprise, there are lots of manual investigations to get data that are not in the reports but that could be very useful, like if orders or not, which package chosen, if payment and delivery method are specified, etc.
And to send our newsletters, etc. As we base on our CRM we will quickly have gaps, new users will not be on the list, old ones will not have been removed, etc.

I’ll stop here as we are implementing a manual process to start with and then iterate, as I guess everyone else has done… but with the current data we have in reports all this commercial management seems to me pretty time consuming… might be a topic for a next global gathering :wink:

I didn’t respond to this back in September - sorry - was too busy with farming then. But I want to thank @MyriamBoure and @Rachel and others for doing this. I have not run these tests on OFN-CAN - but my gut feeling is that its the same here. I see lots of enterprises who have stopped after creating a profile - AND the leave their profile invisible. So this is strange - they don’t just want a profile on the map or they would be visible. So I’m infering that they must have stopped for some other reason. I have started to email these users who stalled - after a month - to offer help. Most do not respond. So - maybe this is just very casual ‘trying it out’ . I admit, that I do this with software platforms lots - I just start the process, but then decide its not for me. It would be nice if we had a way to automate this - after a month of inactivity a contact is made just to offer help and ask if they want their profile to remain or be removed - so we can reduce the ‘pollution’ as you call it, and know the users to focus on. Thanks again for starting this work!!!

Same issue here in NZ and we have only just launched. We offer a three month trial and charge a nominal amount after that. If they dont pay then its one reminder and they are removed, especially if they are inactive. We are keen to keep the system ffee of the clutter inactive shops cause.

One thing to think about though - is if those inactive (ie - not selling) enterprises have chosen to be visible - it might be that they wish to be ‘profile only’ users in order to show up on the map, and be found by a hub enterprise who might want to sell their products in the future. Re-sellers are interested in this feature on OFN - they can look in the producer list and the map and see what producers are in their area, and contact them. So - if you remove any enterprise that is not opening a shop - you could inadvertantly eliminate a connection made by a future hub. So - I generally leave these enterprises and set them to ‘profile only’ and ‘visible’. (I don’t think any instance is charging for profile only users)

Thanks for your comments. My assumption was that OFN was primarily to easily connect those wishing to buy local food with producers and that a map cluttered by tractors without shopfronts e.g. AUS, defeats that purpose. However I can see your point and when the time comes to remove an inactive producer I’ll reconsider this policy.

Many thanks

I know – its a tradeoff - it depends on whether or not your instance is using/promoting the groups feature. We are finding in OFN-CAN that it is a ‘gateway’ for users ---- I mean, part of their journey to sell on OFN. First they are a profile-only - then they get a bit used to it - then they see hubs around them (or the hub sees them) - then they think about selling through a hub - then, once they see their products are all entered - they say “I might as well have my own shop too.” I’m curious if others are observing this journey - because maybe there is something easy we can do to nudge it along.
But also fyi - even if a supplier is profile only and not selling - consumers can still connect with them - clicking on their map tractor shows who they sell through if they are supplying another enterprise (and a hot link to that enterprise). And even if they are not selling through anyone on OFN - they can put up their contact info and social media… to help consumers connect.

Food for thought - thanks. Our mission is to create a resilient community using permaculture principles and OFN with its ability to connect local growers with local eaters thus keeping money local is a good enabler. I’ll have a chat with the others and see if we shouldn’t allow inactives to stay listed. Only one thing whats your view on tyre kickers - those that partly signup and never complete their profile? For me thats litter and needs to be cleaned up.

You can’t fully delete enterprises anyway. To ‘clean up’ you would remove any permissions, fees… they’ve set up, and change their enterprise name and enterprise manager… So the creater — and no one else - will ever see it. So delete is not hard delete. On OFN-CAN we welcome experimenters. I don’t see a downside – other than it clutters my super-admin screen. With some enterprises that have ‘sat’ for a year with no action, I email them and ask if they want to remain as a profile only enterprise - or if they want to be deleted. its up to them.