Using the Internet as a direct sales channel

Remaining agile in a dynamic marketplace

The Internet offers fishermen and retail shops ways to sell their catches that were unheard of a decade ago. Young (and older) consumers have quickly understood the benefits of online shopping, and vendors must keep pace with the latest, continually changing developments. 

Sellers enjoy superior visibility, allowing smaller concerns to compete with larger businesses, with 24/7 exposure to a wider national, even global, audience. They also benefit from enhanced business management. By tracking data about customer purchases, sellers learn their customers’ preferences and are able to target those groups with specific offers. An Internet presence allows businesses to remain agile in a dynamic marketplace.

Two businesses, while maintaining their physical stores in Vigo, Spain, have embraced the new technology. La Pescadería de mi Barrio (My Neighbourhood Fishmonger) is a business-to-business (B2B) concern. Delmaralplato is both B2B and business to customer, selling to restaurants and consumers.

 

La Pescaderia de mi Barria, founded in 2013, finds that consumers still prefer the physical shop, because 60% of its trade is done at the fish market, and 40% is online. Their online store covers all of Spain, but about 90% of all trade is done locally in Vigo. In the beginning, online sales grew slowly, because it was difficult to make their online presence known, but hard and persistent work, including personalised interaction with customers, paid off. They measure their growth by the number of followers, user interactions, reviews, ratings, and feedback. 

La Pescaderia de mi Barria offers free delivery within Vigo. Otherwise, shipping is based on the quantity and destination. They find that, although shipping costs increase the final price, targeted customer groups continue to demonstrate their preference for online shopping.

Since its founding in 2014, Delmaralplato has seen two-digit growth, measured by Google Analytics data. It characterises it customer base as male and female, aged 40 to 65, with middle to higher education, living mainly in urban areas. Delmaralplato delivers on the Spanish mainland and to the Balearic Islands. The minimum order is €60, and shipping costs €6.95, regardless of the package weight. Free shipping applies to orders of €120 or more. In Vigo and Nigrán, shipping is free for orders over €50. Customers can also collect their orders directly from the company. An order placed by 6:00 is delivered in a less than 24 hours, often by 14:00 on the day the order was placed.

Both companies use various social media to reach their customers with up-to-date information about what is on offer, prices, and other information about the latest catches. La Pescaderia de mi Barria has 1.600 Facebook followers, and Delmaralplato has about 500. Payment on both websites can be made using PayPal and other major credit cards.

While Delmaralplato has its own dedicated website (delmaralplato.es), La Pescaderia de mi Barria has chosen Facebook and WhatsApp Business as their main sales channels (facebook.com/lapescaderiademibarrio). These offer statistics about the number of messages that were sent successfully, delivered, and read, as well as messaging tools to respond quickly to customers. La Pescaderia de mi Barria takes particular advantage of the platforms’ blogging capabilities to offer videos, recipes, photos, posts, and customer comments and reviews.

La Pescaderia de mi Barria’s most traded products are Atlantic and Mediterranean species, including grouper, turbot, cod, hake, lobster, sardine, mackerel, octopus, horse mackerel, mussel, clams, oyster, spider crab, and Bluefin and albacore tuna. Fish is offered whole gutted and filleted with skin. The market sells from 50 to 200 kg of fish daily through online sales channels. The greatest online sales activities occur on Friday and Saturday, in line with Spaniards’ traditional eating habits.

Delmaralplato offers wild fish caught off the Galician coasts. Wild fishery products include pollock, bluefin tuna cut, fresh and salted cod, white seabream, Atlantic bonito, mackerel, scorpionfish, turbot, gilthead seabream, lemon sole, horse mackerel, common sole, European seabass, grouper, John Dory, monkfish, red mullet, and sardine. Aquaculture products include gilthead seabream, European seabass, turbot, Atlantic salmon (fillets and organic). Fisheries and aquaculture products are mostly fresh, but also include frozen products in fillets, slices, loins based on customer’s preference, and special requests.