The rapid rise of online shopping is a phenomenon that has garnered a lot of attention and made headlines over the past few years. In 2019 alone, it was estimated that consumers spent almost $2 trillion on e-commerce, accounting for more than 36% of all retail sales in the US.
Online shopping has become more popular than ever before with many people preferring to shop online instead of going to physical stores. The convenience and variety of products available online are two major reasons why people prefer it to traditional shopping methods. In addition, given that there are no overhead costs associated with running an online store (aside from hiring someone who can manage your inventory), selling items online has proven to be far more convenient and less expensive than from a brick-and-mortar store or even just having items shipped directly from manufacturers/distributors (which can cost thousands or tens of thousands depending on how much volume you’re purchasing).
While farmers’ markets are still popular places for consumers to buy local produce, there has been a rise in the number of sales of food and farm items through online platforms, and one of these platforms is the REKO ring.
What is a REKO Ring?
REKO ring is a platform connecting customers and farmers directly online. It is a network of farmers that collaborate to sell their produce directly to consumers.
The REKO ring system is based on the principles of collaboration, transparency, and service. The system is simple: it makes it easier for farmers to connect directly with customers and customers with local farmers and food producers. This allows them to sell their products at a fair price while maintaining full control of the state of these products.
In the REKO ring, the relationship between producers and consumers is peer-to-peer, providing a great way to get fresh products in front of consumers.
How REKO Rings Work
The REKO ring takes the classic model of a farmers’ market—where customers choose their products from a variety of stands and then buy directly from producers—and moves that experience to Facebook.
A REKO ring consists of a group of farmers and food producers who create a private Facebook group and post pictures of their different food items and their price for customers to buy. For example, each week, producers post their offerings: what they have available to sell and at what price “fresh tomatoes $10/g” with a picture and a text description included.
Customers order by commenting on the original post from the grower. For example, a customer who wanted to make this transaction would put a comment under the post that says “I’ll take 10g of fresh tomatoes.” Payment style is determined by the group, it’s either the customer pays online and picks the goods up at the predetermined time and place or the payment is made at the point of exchange of the goods.
All the growers in a given ring show up at the same predetermined time and place so that if customers have purchased from multiple growers in the ring, they can quickly get all their purchases from anyone in the ring at the same time.
Unlike the traditional farmers’ market where vendors wait to sell their goods and risk having too much or not enough produce for sale at any given time. But with the REKO ring model farmers only show up with presold goods; there’s no standing around hoping to sell what you’ve brought. And, because everything is presold, the pickup times are much shorter than a traditional farmers’ market.
In summary, a REKO ring allows you to sell products directly to consumers in an open marketplace while building relationships with your customers and increasing their loyalty through an online platform.
Brief History About REKO Ring
Reko Ring was created by a Finnish farmer named Thomas Snellman, who wanted to sell his produce directly to customers instead of through grocery stores.
He realized that the only way to do this was to create a system where customers could come directly to him for the products. In 2013, Snellman started the first REKO ring Facebook group from “REKO” a Swedish acronym meaning “real consumption,” “fair consumption” or “sincere consumption” and ring. The Facebook group got a strong following of customers who came back every week to purchase their produce. In less than 4 years, it expanded to over 170+ REKO rings with over 250,000 members.
The Rise of REKO Rings in the US
Like in Europe, REKO ring is rapidly becoming the number one marketplace for online farm sales in the US. It is becoming the go-to platform connecting customers and farmers directly, allowing them to buy and sell produce online, rather than through middlemen or at farmers’ markets.
REKO rings have increased in popularity in the US over the last three years. This is because these rings provide a platform for customers to access fresh delicious foods, and for farmers and producers to sell their items in their best possible states.
Start Your REKO Ring With Local Chow
As an online marketplace, Local Chow connects customers, farmers, and food vendors directly, and as a platform promoting the re-localization of food, our mobile app allows you to start your REKO ring together with local producers and food vendors within your community. This can be done by;
- Creating a free account
- Create your group page based on your area
- Inviting food producers to your group
- Create your listing and post items for sale
Benefits of REKO Ring
Reko Ring has been designed to benefit both farmers and customers.
- Farmers can sell their products at a fair price, while customers can buy directly from the farmer. This means that you, as a farmer, will be able to sell your product at the best possible price. Customers also benefit from this because they are guaranteed high-quality products at fair prices.
- It is inexpensive to begin a business and keep it operational.
- It connects both farmers and buyers in real time and strengthens their relationship.
- It promotes the production and consumption of locally produced food items.
- It is a profitable business that can be run on a part-time basis.
- It provides farmers with an opportunity to diversify their income streams and make more money.
- This enables them to invest in their farms and increase productivity.
- It creates jobs for the people in local communities. It promotes healthy eating habits.
This model helps farmers get more profit because they don’t have to deal with middlemen and retailers, which usually take up a big chunk of their profit. They also have more variety of products so that they can sell everything they grow.
The best part is that by being directly connected with your customer base, you’re able to provide them with more information about the products you grow such as how it was grown or what’s in them (if there are any ingredients). This helps build trust between you both!
REKO rings have a strong position in the marketplace, and they are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Key in now and broaden your business visibility and revenue.