November 19, 2021
Ferry Facts: Shopping Season
Let the Holiday Shopping Begin!
Each year, it feels like the end-of-year holiday shopping season starts earlier than ever, and this year is no exception. Due to supply chain issues, retailers across the nation are encouraging shoppers to start early both online and in stores.
Ferry SWAG (stuff we all get) shopping has changed as both terminal-based gift shops are now run by our third party business partners; Grain in Lewes, and Exit Zero in Cape May. Ferry branded items can still be purchased on the boats through the CMLF Food & Retail operation, but what if someone wants Ferry SWAG and isn't on a boat?
Luckily, through a Shopify system set up in June of last year by Digital Communications & Content Manager Andrew Baird, people from anywhere in the U.S., (including local shoppers) who want Ferry merchandise have a way to get it! And, if they shop now, items will arrive in time for Christmas!
Ferry employees throughout the year have been serving as models (see above) to help create great visuals of selected apparel. When orders come in, the Retail team becomes the behind-the-scene elves, packaging and shipping the items in the warehouse in Cape May.
E-mails and Social Media Create Sales
The primary selling channel is outbound email to the Ferry house list built up over the years, which is then supplemented by social media posts. Orders come from as close by as Lewes and North Cape May, to as far away as Boca Raton, Florida and Brigham City, Utah. Due to shipping charges, international orders are not supported, although requests have come in from Europe.
If you're wondering how you can shop the Ferry Online Store -- use this link: cmlf.com/store. It will take you to the current landing page, with items updated periodically.
Data from the Shopify site shows that through last week, over 100 orders have been received this year, valued at more than $3,500 in sales. But, if last year is any indication, our prime selling season is just beginning.
In 2020, both November and December were the highest eCommerce sales months bringing in over $1,000 each. If that pattern replicates itself this year, we'll end the year with $5,000 in sales, or potentially $1,000 more than we sold in all of 2020. That's positive as our system costs are just $9 a month ($109 annually) for the Shopify Lite service.
The Ferry Rain Slicker continues to the be the most popular and most consistent item since we started tracking sales. It's also our highest price item at $59.99.
The online retail store also seems to be a haven for lower priced, seasonal and stocking stuffer items with Ferry-related ornaments coming in as the highest selling category. In general, three different ornaments are available on the site -- a local landmarks wooden ornament, a vintage Ferry image wooden ornament, and a Ferry replica ornament. Currently, the two wooden varieties are sold out.
Although some sales total well over $100 with multiple items ordered at once, the average order for both 2020 and 2021 is $40, showing an assortment of sales from our most expensive to the most economical.
And, of note, although branded items make our store unique, non-branded items also sell with stuffed animals of all varieties being ordered. It's as if someone either forgot to buy a favorite item while on board and wants to right a wrong, or while an order is being placed and shipping paid, why not save a trip to the toy store with an added plushie! Let's face it, even the North Pole can have supply chain issues and Santa can use all the help he can get this year!
Green Bean Casserole. Thanksgiving is all about gettting a much needed rest and taking some time for gratitude. To that end, this week we will thankfully take a break from eco-friendly news. But to stick with our green theme, here are some supposedly healthier versions of the ever-famous Green Bean Casserole. These have not been tested by the Ferry Food Kitchens so you are on your own to determine if they are worthwhile pursuits. The "Best" designations are not ours either, but from the hard-working marketing teams of various web sites, and in kindness to our fellow marketeers, we're allowing their title designations to stand as a way to help differentiate the recipes. With that, here are three for your holiday consideration: The Best Homemade Green Bean Casserole from Ambitious Kitchen
3. Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! And again, special thanks to our crews working the holiday to get others home to family and friends.