4 Ways Freshpep Can Improve the Shopping Experience

Organic grocery delivery startup Freshpep features beautiful-looking produce and nicely highlights the savings its passing on to the customer, but there are several confusing points a first-time shopper will encounter.

Here are four ways Freshpep can improve the shopping experience for its customers:

  1. Remove menu overload confusion
  2. Remove unit/quantity confusion
  3. Remove savings confusion
  4. Remove checkout confusion

Let’s dive in a little more on each area.

#1 Remove menu overload confusion


The first thing you notice after getting past the home page (more on opportunities there another time, perhaps) is that you land on a page with multiple menus. Across the top it’s very clear you are in the vegetables category, but the left nav is less clear (broccoli is considered “Greens” but asparagus is buried in the “Vegetables” catch-all).


In fact, a lot of staples like tomatoes, avocados and brussels sprouts are grouped into the “Vegetables” catch-all, only to be found by super-scrollers or ones committed to using the search bar.

Suggestion: Add some sub-descriptor text to the left nav with additional keywords to help people find what they are looking for. Also, the entire experience can be overwhelming – you may want to consider offering an option for people to get a sample basket of some of your most popular items, kind of like what CSA services offer. Could also explore integration with recipe sites as their backend fulfillment – anything that makes it easier for customers to put together combinations of goods without having to search/click a million times.

#2 Remove unit/quantity confusion


When viewing the smaller listings, it’s often hard to tell what the unit of measurement is. And if you just click the “+” three times thinking you are adding 3 onions to your cart, you might be surprised by what you actually get.


For example, I thought the onion listing was $1 each, but in reality it’s by the pound. For items like onions and peppers, normally I would go to the the store intending to by three onions, 2 peppers, etc.

Suggestion: The smaller card listing view should include the unit of measurement; some items should be switched to be listed as “$x/each” rather than by the pound; for items sold by the pound, ideally there would be an indicator of how many that is (e.g. 1 lb is 2-3 peppers).

#3 Remove savings confusion

The savings for each item are clearly communicated, but there’s a volume savings message that’s getting lost.


Suggestion: A simple way to improve this (and also increase sales) would be to show the escalating percentage savings in the quantity drop-down menu.

#4 Remove checkout confusion


After adding some items to my basket, I went to see what the checkout experience was like. After reviewing the items in my basket and clicking “Checkout” I was asked to login or create an account. Ok, pretty standard so far.


But after creating an account I was taken to the “My Account” page. It didn’t remember at all that I was trying to checkout. Frustrating to have to work harder to give you my money.

Suggestion: Never get in the way of someone trying to give you their money! The system needs to recognize when someone creating an account is in the checkout stream and take them to the next step in that process.


This is part of an ongoing series where I explore marketing ideas and web usability improvements and/or trends for companies in the Food Tech space. My full Food Tech Landscape deck is posted on Google Drive if you are interested.

5 Marketing Ideas for Zesty

As I try to make the move to an early-stage startup, one of the areas I am loving diving into is the Food Tech space. This is part of an ongoing series where I’ll explore marketing ideas and web usability improvements and/or trends. My full Food Tech Landscape deck is posted on Google Drive if you are interested.

Zesty is a company I’ve gotten to know a little more lately – awesome, down-to-earth people, and seems like they are really emphasizing culture as they grow. Here are 5 (mostly) quick wins that I think could help them grow.

  1. Test a shorter form asking for less information
  2. Build a Slack app to engage people where they work
  3. Feature top CTA in top nav and remove clutter
  4. Update main page text with How it Works copy/cues
  5. Give people outside of SF a way to get notified

Let’s dive in a bit more on each of these.

#1 Test a shorter form asking for less information

Ten fields (and having to scroll down to complete the form) may ensure you only get serious leads, but may also cause many to abandon the form (and it’s a missed opportunity to build pipeline and nurture companies that are somewhat-interested). Trim it back to just what you really need to get the conversation started.


[Update: Looks like they have done this since I originally put this together in January. Much better with only six fields!]

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.41.39 PM.png

#2 Build a Slack app to engage people where they work

As Slack continues to grow (especially among the startup community), it becomes a natural place to engage people where they work. But it doesn’t look like any competitors are there yet, my searches for “food” and “lunch” came up empty. I would need to know more about your operating model and order cutoff times to think more about how this slack bot would actually be used, but happy to brainstorm with you! It could also be used as feedback mechanism, or be connected with other healthy eating services/trackers in the digital health space.



#3 Feature top CTA in top nav and remove clutter

What’s the most important thing people are here to do? Let’s make it easier for them to do it.


#4 Update main page text with How it Works copy/cues

You lead with the benefits, which is great, but the details of how it works may be getting lost. Many food tech websites feature content like this as a How it Works blade, almost all the How it Works examples I’ve found (some below, more analysis to come on that later) include “1, 2, 3” visual cues to convey simplicity.


#5 Give people outside of SF a way to get notified

Your form makes it clear you are only in SF, but doesn’t invite people to be notified as you grow (maybe if they fill it out they are added to a list, but it’s not clear). It’s a missed opportunity to build email list, and could also act as an indicator of where to expand to next. Below is a nice example from Sprig of simple prompt for email address if outside of their service area.


That’s all for now, let me know what you think!

10 Marketing Ideas for Sprig

The startups I tend to get really excited about these days are solving one of two problems: “Making Life Easier” or “Making Life More Fun.”

Sprig is tackling both of those problems in the most delicious and delightful way possible. The food is great, but it’s the experience that sticks with you long after. Memorably easy. Faster and healthier than other delivery options. And at the core, both the food and the experience pay off the same need: Be good to yourself.

Huge potential, and just a fun business to think about. Here are ten ideas (based on no real data, because I don’t work there*):

New Customers

1. Revamp the Referral – Something about the code “MARTIN5507” just doesn’t feel natural on social media. Yes, I want to tell my friends about Sprig, but in an authentic way. Why can’t your referral code just be your Twitter handle? “Hey mention my name” feels a lot more natural than “Hey use this code.” Or what if we move the referral bonus to after the sale? Make it part of the feedback screen, where first-timers are asked after the order to thank a friend and treat them to a free meal.

2. Pinterest Buy Button – As Pinterest rolls out its new Buy button, why should Instacart have all the fun? Would need to think this one through in terms of how we align it to meal availability, but would be interesting to test the option to Order Now outside of the app.

Buy More, Buy More Often

3. Big Sprig – Essentially a family size option for certain fan favorites.

4. Alert when a Favorite is back on the menu – Pretty self explanatory, but could be made seamless for the customer if there’s a way to auto-create a Favorites list based on feedback ratings (or even Pins/Tweets/Likes somehow?).

5. Golden Spriget – A Golden Ticket—or Spriget—is inserted into a handful of orders, customers can cash it in for a month of free delivery.

6. Loyalty Program – Pretty straightforward but not currently in play, worth
considering, get a free meal after x number of meals ordered.

7. $10 Tuesday / Free Delivery Friday – Again pretty straightforward, and this one would be contingent on studying traffic patterns to see if there’s a low day/time to target to stimulate orders.

8. Tweet of the Day / Sprig Selfies – Give a free meal to one @Sprig/#Sprig tweet each day, hypothesis is that the ROI in repeat purchases and word of mouth will be worth it.

For the Love of Sprig

9. Donate your Cutlery – Similar to the Whole Foods option to donate the nickel when you bring your own bag, give customers the option to set “no cutlery” as their default for Home delivery and donate a small portion of each order to a food-oriented cause.

10. So Easy / So Good – Just a sprig of an idea at this point, but in thinking about the key value prop of Sprig, I can see some people falling on the side of simplicity, others falling on the side of good food. Potentially this era’s “Less Filling / Tastes Great.”



Persistent Brand Preferences: GSB Breakfast with JP Dube

On Monday I went to a Chicago GSB Booth (still adjusting to the change) breakfast with Professor JP Dube, for a discussion on his research on brand preferences.

It was a great discussion, hearing about the persistence in brand preference throughout a consumer’s lifetime.  The challenge of researching the premise was access to a lifetime of data, and as a solution Dube used Nielsen data for households who had moved – does where you live in the past influence what you buy where you live now?  Turns out yes–to an extent.

What was interesting was that immediately after a consumer moved, buying behavior changed 60%.  That to me is huge.  But then, it takes a while to close the other 40%, and never fully closes–that represents the persistent brand preference.

Anyway, the overall talk was about persistent brand preferences, but I kept being drawn back to where the data came from–the impact of a move on people, and at a macro level, on society.  The research showed geographically different brand preferences, distinct buckets of goods.  As more people buy online–I mean you can pretty much get anything from Amazon, and if it’s hard to find, all the more reason to go straight there–what does that mean for geographically different brand preferences over time?  When you remove the geographic barrier of availability, shelf space, etc, then what?