Fisherman’s market – a new reality due to the pandemic and how we changed everything
A visit to the fisherman’s market on the 13th of April 2020, made us realize that the affluence was small and that a lot of fish would end up not being sold due to lack of customers.
Customers, whether regulars or potential, for various reasons did not go to the usual fish auction: either because they did not intend to go to a place where the social distance imposed on us at this time might not be respected, or because they were unaware that the auction was actually still happening.
What is certain is that food is still a necessity and the fisherman’s market in Esposende can easily be a means to achieve this end where the risks can even be lower than those found in large supermarkets.
Project: Online auction for fresh fish
Increase online and offline demand
1 – Goal
Increase the demand for fresh fish during the pandemic.
Facilitate purchase by minimizing contact with the buyer and reducing the risks of infection due to the current pandemic reality.
Communicate and streamline HACCP (government health department) interaction with potential users and buyers.
Study the possibility of selling fish at a fixed price.
2 – Problem
Raise awareness for the current problem – the demand does not match the supply of fresh fish. Food is getting wasted. Income for the local fisherman is low compared to before the pandemic period.
Teach the audience :
- where and how to buy.
- Acknowledge that the market is still operating and open daily
- Show the audience that the market is complying with all the new covid restrictions
- Avoid clusters and direct costumers to buying safely.
- fish can be bought at a fixed price
3 – Five Keywords
Difficulty – The difficulty in selling and attracting customers to the market and selling fresh fish every morning.
Pandemic – These are strange times and society’s behavior has changed drastically. We are still adapting to a new norm.
Local community – The target audience – potential buyers of local fresh fish. Who can buy at the fish market and how?
Helping – We want the public to want to help by buying fresh fish directly from the market instead of buying on large surfaces like supermarkets.
Buy – We want the auctioneer to move or place the order online in order to sell all the available fish more quickly and effectively.
4 – Plan of action
The target audience was identified as being online mostly on Facebook.
As APPCE did not have any presence on this platform, we proposed the creation of this communication channel to reach the target audience and establish a connection.
For this digital action, we started from scratch. A new page with zero visits or followers. This campaign wasn’t only about advertising the fish auction but also about getting new audience for it.
The page will be used for the live fish auctions but also for communicating with those who like and follow the work of the local fishermen. Making them aware of the various campaigns that may be developed may be a key factor for the daily sales of fresh fish.
The same channel will give visibility to the current problem and hopefully be a channel that will raise awareness to the local population and the tough times that the fishermen are living with the covid pandemic.
A video was developed in Storytelling appealing to the audience to purchase the fresh fish and explaining how the online auction would be carried out. We also appealed to the general public to join the Facebook channel for any further communication.
5 – Production phase
We produced a video telling the story and appealing directly to the local community to buy the fish through this new sales channel. Online stock images and images produced by ourselves were used on this Facebook channel.
A trial campaign for online sales has been prepared.
The campaign was launched by “Inesposende” to capture followers on Facebook as this page is one of the most visited by the local community. The same video was published on several pages and groups in the region helping this channel grow fast.
6 – Implementing the concept
There was no access to Wifi network nor did we have the appropriate means at the fisherman’s market. However, we managed to go live through our phones, and in a few minutes there were more than 200 users buying online. Demand had largely exceeded supply on the first day.
The system was subsequently tested without any advertising and although the results were lower in the number of participants, the technical issues were overcome. Thus being possible to carry out the sale online.
The page was launched and had exponential growth in the first days. This had a direct impact with effective and fast sales of the available fresh fish.
7 – Monitoring and optimizing
Step 1 – Create the APPCE Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/APPCEsposende), with the goal of establishing communication between the fishermen and the local community.
Choosing Facebook proved to be the right call. We managed to reach our target audience, hitting the right demographic and profile of customers best suited to attend the auction and actually perform the purchase of the available fish.
The Facebook page was created on April 14 at around 20:00.
Step 2 – Produce a short video advertising this new channel of communication and the fisherman’s intention to now sell online and directly to their community. Within the first 24 hours of being posted, this video had reached 27.787 people, with 1671 reactions, 3762 clicks on the publication, 365 shares, and 103 comments which resulted in the involvement of 5433 people. Of these, 48% are men and 52% women. The age group most involved was 35 to 54 years of age, with 64% of the total belonging to the district of Braga. This publication has allowed the page to reach, so far, around 1100 followers who interact directly with the fishermen’s community.
Step number 3 was to go live: presenting the available fish with a simple description of size, weight, and price. The fish was actually pre-sold and reserved online and paid for upon arrival. We also were very cautious and made sure to inform on the specific safety procedures due to the current state of emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the first day of sales, FMDS (through InEsposende) was contacted by the “E online Newspaper”. They published an article about our project (reach: over 25.000 views) and gave the local fisherman extra visibility to help sell their fish.
Our advertising video has since reached over 6000 people with a direct engagement of 2310 actions. Feedback has so far been extremely positive and gives the fisherman hope for the future. To us, it means we have managed to create an appropriate means of communication between the fisherman and the community and most importantly, our goal was achieved – the daily sales of fish returned to normal, now through a new method.
On day 1, within 20mins, all the available fish was sold. The demand actually surpassed the supply.
The consequences of this project have surpassed the live stream of the first-day auction. During the following days, many more locals were buying fish than the days before this project. Costumers talked about the Facebook page reminding them that fresh fish was still available for sale on a daily basis and were happy to contribute.
It is clear that a big part of the community did not know how a fish auction works and that anyone can actually make direct purchases from the fisherman’s market. This Facebook page was the igniting factor that helped boost this new direct relationship between the fishermen and the community.
At FMDS, we say the numbers speak for themselves. It is clear that this project was a success and this page facilitates the buying process and establishes a connection between the fishermen and the local community.
This new process allowed for a safe interaction respecting the current pandemic situation and above all other benefits, it reached it’s purpose – increase the demand for daily fresh fish.
We hope this project can remain the bridge between supply and demand and keep generating genuine value for the fishermen of Esposende.