Week 1 report (emailed 3pm 29 March)
Save our local small businesses
Thanks for being part of SOS cafe. This week has been amazing - we only launched 5 days ago and have thousands of dollars in orders - see below. Keep telling your customers and colleagues about this; let's try to help as many as we can!
We'll send out a weekly summary like this to keep all the vendors informed. Please let me know if you'd like any more information.
In this issue we will cover:
* Key statistics
* Common questions
* How to get more people to buy vouchers
* The platform and the team behind this
As at 3pm on 29 March:
Cafes / bars / restaurants etc joined: 120
Total order value: $7,743
Average order size - $48!
(Some customers have bought 20 x $5, so they are 'pre-paying' for their month's coffees)
Top cafes far:
- Rosetta Cafe - 30 orders
- Moxi Cafe - 28 orders
- Good Karma - 20 orders
There are some ideas below on how to increase your orders.
The key objective of www.soscafe.nz is to get cash into your hands to help you survive the Covid-19 shutdown period. The first wave of payouts will go out tonight (Sunday 29th March) to your nominated bank account.
If you haven't yet told me your bank account number please email it to me asap.
We will email a reconciliation through to you weekly which breaks down the payment amount, and the credit card fees charged. There is no other charge apart from that.
Payments will come from 'Mr & Mrs Downs Ltd'. Note that the payment you get will include GST so you will need to account for that.
You may have noticed our website looks a bit different now (more info below). We have streamlined some back end processes including creating a vendor portal for you to keep track of orders when you login. You will receive a vendor set up email in the next few days. The set up is easy and fast and you will be able to access a reporting dashboard to see how many vouchers have been purchased.
We keep a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section on the website - one for Customers, and another for you as Vendors.
We will continue to update that page with any questions that you might have.
The most common question is 'how will I know what vouchers I have to redeem?', so we will answer that here. Basically, when a customer buys a voucher, they get sent an email with a voucher and a unique code, like this:
In a few weeks, we will send you a list of all the orders you've had, plus the codes, so you can reconcile them when people come in to claim their voucher.
How to get more people to buy vouchers
The success of this depends on getting your customers to buy vouchers from you.
We're trying to get as much media and public interest as we can for the site and the idea, including working with Google, Facebook directly to get some advertising in place.
However you will also need to promote this as much as you can. Update your Facebook page, Instagram etc with a link to www.soscafe.nz. Email or call your customers and ask them to consider buying a voucher. Find the local Facebook groups in your area, or the Neighbourly groups, and post about it, asking people to support you. Consider contacting your local media (radio, newspaper) and asking them to run a story. Here is one great example from one of our cafes in Kapiti Coast - this article went in last week and immediately a whole of people ordered vouchers. Don't be shy!
The Platform and the Team
Like everyone, we felt shocked and a bit helpless when it was announced that NZ would go into level 4 lockdown, and thought about the hundreds of cafés, small businesses etc who would suffer.
David initially set this site up using a free website builder, but then Joyce and Naadei who were launching their own Shopify site reached out to collaborate. Together we co-founded the SOS Cafe you see today. We've now migrated the site onto Shopify - so if you haven't looked in a few days, take a look, it has a lot more features, like search, filtering and an ability for us to scale it out much more. We can also now take payments via PayPal, as well as credit cards - and we are working to try to lower the credit card fees.
Over the next week, we'll keep adding features as we get time, including a way for you to log in and check the status of your orders as mentioned above. Stay tuned and rember to share this widely!