One of the country’s leading fresh food wholesalers, Franco Lagudi, has this week launched Australia’s first online shopping platform for retailers normally too time-poor and resource-poor to establish their own online presence: fresh food, grocery, bread, meat and liquor retailers.
SOC exchange Food and Wine Marketplace (SOCexchange.com.au) is a unique platform that allows retailers to establish an online shop, list specials and hot buys, connect with consumers locally by email alert, publish blogs and recipes, plus more, for $10 a month.
Franco says the fresh produce industry across Australia has long needed a shake-up. “We need to extend our proven centuries-old methods of a market community to the web. This is what we’ve aimed to do with SOC exchange (pronounced sock) Food and Wine Marketplace. We are bringing Australia’s fresh food and grocery retailers together on one sales platform, filling an important niche in the online retail space at the same time.”
Franco brings decades of industry experience to SOC exchange Food & Wine: he is one of the leading and most respected fresh food wholesalers, supplying in excess of 100,000 tonnes of produce to hundreds of fresh food grocery retailers, including the major national and State chains. With his family, he owns two fresh food retail stores: Harris Farm Markets in Sydney’s Edgecliff, and Mother Nature’s Top Fruit Market in Coffs Harbour.
Franco says: “About six years ago, I recognised a niche in the online space for a centralised fresh-food and grocery “shopping centre” where consumers can search for, or buy product on special in their local area, and where fresh food retailers can increase shopper traffic to their stores.”
Franco says: “Small retailers such as bakeries, fruit shops, butchers, delis, cafes and independent grocers are unlikely to set up their own websites. They are time-poor and hands-on in their stores, rely on local passing traffic, don’t have marketing resources or budgets, and often don’t have the time to learn the technical side required in operating a successful online shop.”
Franco says SOC exchange Food & Wine Marketplace is designed to remove all these challenges for merchants and maximise their sales from local shoppers. “The size of a retailer’s business will no longer affect his or her ability to connect with customers online. Providing customers with the online ability to see what their local food retailer is offering at any moment will give local businesses a significant opportunity for sales and growth. Setting up an online SOC Store is a four-step process that takes just 15 minutes, depending on inventory.
SOC exchange Food & Wine Marketplace has launched with selected merchants around Australia. It is forecasting a 500% growth in the next six months. “We are implementing a sales and marketing strategy throughout the next few months to increase merchant sign-ups and shopper traffic.”
The website is launching with The SOC exchange Fresh Food Report, Australia’s only regular report forecasting price hikes and drops, scarcity and quality, what to eat now, and what will be in season.
For more information, visit SOCexchange.com.au
Download the SOC Exchange Fresh Food Report here: socexchange.com.au/foodreport