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商业 - 科技

这家生鲜电商能否干掉超市?

Beth Kowitt 2014年08月07日

客户在网上下单,在最短的时间内,农户直接将新鲜的农产品运送至指定取货点。主打生鲜牌的小型农场食品供应商Farmigo公司希望凭借这种已经获得初步成果的经营方式,把传统的大型连锁超市送进历史博物馆。

    Farmigo的订单均价从一年半前的15美元涨到了现在的38美元,很大原因是这家初创公司在不断增加新品(比如鱼类,很快还会有新鲜的意大利面条上市)。如今他们提供的种类已经足够多,人们单单靠Farmigo的供应就能满足日常需求。罗内恩的一名员工就这样做了几个月,平均一餐大约花费5美元。而罗内恩也开始加入这一行动,他们内部把这叫做“Farmigo挑战”。

    罗内恩承认,某些产品的价格仍然过高,比如,一个有机哈密瓜的售价高达6.5美元。不过,随着农民的生产效率因生意规模的扩大而不断改善,农产品售价将变得越来越实惠。

    创立伊始,Farmigo公司的主要业务是为一家电商编写软件,以帮助顾客寻找和参加CSA项目。但罗内恩表示,当时的购买体验让不少用户抓狂,因为各个农产品供应商采用完全不同的下单和支付系统。Farmigo随后演变成了一家网站,用户可以在上面订购任何农场的产品,农民则将货物寄到配送点。这种流程存在一些运营挑战,因为农民的物流有时候会出问题,导致货物丢失。罗内恩表示:“我们意识到我们真的需要自己亲自来运作。”

    这家公司仍然在销售CSA软件,同时也提供了免费服务,让农场知道什么时候需要雇佣更多人手,让仓库知道要打包什么货物,让司机知道要运送什么包裹。罗内恩表示,农民会获得销售额的60%至70%,社区取货点会获得销售额的10%,剩下的则由Farmigo收入囊中。一般来说,农民在卖给批发市场时,只能获得30%的销售额,而有50%的销售额会进入零售商的口袋。根据罗内恩的说法,Farmigo系统对农民还有另一个好处:他们能立刻收到顾客的付款,而在其他模式下,农民通常得等上30至60天才能拿到钱。

    Fresh Directs和亚马逊在人口密集的城市地区才能如鱼得水,但罗内恩相信他的模式在郊区也能运转良好,诸如教堂、学校、高尔夫俱乐部这样的取货点也很容易找到。Farmigo最近把业务范围扩张到了新泽西州北部和韦斯切斯特地区,并以每月30个的速度增加社区配送点。

    罗内恩将Farmigo视为虚拟化的食品合作社,对那些很难找到超市的地区来说,它会是一个很好的选择。他表示:“我们不是把食品送到那里,然后指望大家去购买。我们配送的是已经被预定和购买的产品。取货点也处于一个便利位置,因此送货非常方便,效率很高。”(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    Farmigo’s average order size is up to $38 from $15 a year and a half ago, in large part because the startup keeps adding new products (such as fish, and soon, fresh pasta). There’s now enough variety that one could live solely on Farmigo’s offerings. One of Ronen’s employees has been doing just that for months at a cost of about $5 a meal, and Ronen just signed on for what is internally called the “Farmigo Challenge.”

    Ronen acknowledges that the pricing is still prohibitive for some—an organic cantaloupe costs $6.50—but the more he can improve the efficiencies for the farmer by increasing their business, the better the price tag for the customer.

    Farmigo started out as the maker of software for an online marketplace where consumers could find and sign up for CSAs. But Ronen says it was a confusing user experience because the sign-up and payment system differed for each offering. Farmigo then evolved into a place where users could order online from any farm, and the farmer would deliver to a pick-up location. That had its challenges because sometimes farmers would run into logistical hiccups and miss the drop-off. “We realized we really needed to get into operational side,” Ronen says.

    While the company continues to sell its CSA software, it also now has free offerings that help its farms know when to hire, its warehouses know what to pack, and its drivers know what to deliver. Ronen says that its farmers walk away with 60-70% of the sale, the community organizer who runs the drop-off gets 10%, and Farmigo gets the rest. Normally a farmer gets about 30% of the sale when they sell to wholesale, with about 50% going to the retailer. Another advantage advantage for farmers in the Farmigo system, according to Ronen: They’re also paid immediately directly by the consumer, rather than the standard 30-60 days.

    The Fresh Directs and Amazons need the density of cities to function, but Ronen believes his model works well in the suburbs where pick-up locations–churches, schools, golf clubs–are easy to come by. Farmigo recently expanded into northern New Jersey and Westchester and is adding about 30 drop-off sites a month.

    He views Farmigo as the virtualization of a food cooperative and a good solution for locations where it might be hard to justify a supermarket. “We’re not just sending food out there and hoping people are going to buy it,” he says. “We’re sending out what was pre-ordered and pre-purchased. The pickup is at one location so it’s very portable and cost effective to do delivery.”

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