Before I became a vendor of the Vancouver Farmers Market, I was a customer. One of the things that used bother me, as I would walk through the market on the weekends, was how difficult it was to shop the agriculture vendors. I was there weekend after weekend to get my vegetables and flowers and maybe shop the the Art/Craft vendors and food occasionally. But my dedicated weekend trips were for the veggies and flowers. It didn’t occur to me at the time to give it much attention, as my desire to have the veggies and flowers outweighed my desire give any time to the frustration.
Sometimes my mission at the market was to do some gardening, getting new plants and cute garden accents. Sometimes I would bring guests visiting from out of town, as the weekend market offers so much more than just farmers!
So it occurred to me now as a vendor at this same market, that we have lost our focus. We have become so self indulged in our placement at the market that we have forgotten the customer’s experience!
So here is my idea, it will sound radical to some and so simple to others.
When you go to the grocery store to buy produce, do you find your lettuce in the soap aisle and your tomatoes in the floral department, of course not; it would be to difficult for people to find what they are looking for. So why do we put our customers through this every weekend at our market?
We should be putting agriculture, nursery and florist on the main line, then prepared food as these are truly farmers market vendor’s and shopping this area of the market should be easy for our clients who come down every weekend.
After this area is taken care of, then you have the Art and Craft Vendors, with music and food court vendors bridging the two areas together.
I believe it should be taken even one step further and similar Art and Craft vendors should be placed relatively close to each other. This will breed competition and differentiation amongst the vendors and there products. Vendors will be forced to step up their game to stay competitive, they will care about how there booth looks compared to the competition and product pricing, packaging, process and display will all have to be addressed to keep up with the competitors in your segment. Your product will have to reflect you as an artist to stay competitive in your craft.
Love my idea or hate it, i only care to share and inspire conversation about this topic. If you have an idea that you want to share please comment to this posting and share your radical thoughts on change. Bookmark or subscribe to this page for updates and to learn what others have to say on this topic!