At OFN-CAN we have onboarded a lot of farmers’ markets. These markets are small and very informal. They do not set up on OFN as ‘hubs’ because they don’t have the capacity to manage orders and take payments. So, we set up the market vendors as independent farm shops, and then we link the vendors all together in an OFN group page for each market. Some markets go even further, and set up a multi-vendor ‘store’ (hub) that is display-only. So a shopper can visit that store weekly, see what is available at the market - but not purchase. They see what they want to buy, and then visit the individual vendor store to make their purchase.
It works pretty good!
But some markets are more ‘upscale’ (maybe I should say ‘trendy’) and they are looking for a more attractive on-line market presence, and they want more ways to connect between the buyers and the vendors — like in a face-to-face market.
We are wondering about a pilot study, where we (OFN-Canada) sets up some ‘special’ markets using virtual event software that will enable more virtual interaction between shoppers and vendors.
I was just a visitor at an on-line craft market that uses Hopin as their event platform. I was very impressed. The individual vendors all had videos about them and their products, I could immedately chat with any vendor I wanted. Everything was fully integrated with social media. I could attend events/talks that the market had organized. I could listen to market performers. When I wanted to buy something, I was just taken to whatever URL the vendor was using - sometimes their etsy store, sometimes their e-commerce enabled website… and it could be — to their OFN store.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Does this seem like a good or bad idea?
This is the link to Craftadian -https://www.craftadian.ca/markets/ this is the craft markets enterprise that hosted the market I just visited. They host their markets using Hopin.
I’m posting this in integrations - but I’m not really even sure this would be an integration. This would be OFN-CAN subscribing to a good virtual event software, and offering (for a fee) to setup special markets on it.
Any thoughts on this? What would be some good virtual event software to check out.