How can you sell quality olive oil online?

One of the things I deal with in my writings and courses is the relationship between small and medium-sized companies and new technologies, especially in these times of crisis.

This is why some time ago I commented on certain resistences to sell olive oil online. In response to that article, Paolo Amerio from oliving wrote me what you are about to read, which I am happy to publish precisely because, for the reasons just mentioned, I am very interested in stimulating discussion on these topics.

Mr. Amerio says: I step in because this topic touches me closely, being one of the professional oil tasters who long ago decided, together with a couple of friends, to open the first online oil shop, oliving.

First of all I would like to comment on what my friend “Marco V” wrote about your other article: I do not think that the problem of selling extra virgin olive oil online is due to the fact that it cannot be tasted before purchase. The same thing happens when we are in front of a supermarket shelf: they would hardly let us open the bottles just to taste the contents !! :-)

The philosophy of oliving is to select only high quality Italian oil and make it available on the Internet. Of course, the selection process is not easy because I can guarantee you that if on the one hand it is easy to point finger at multinationals and consider them the only ones responsible for so much “junk” that runs on the shelves of supermarkets, on the other there are incredible numbers of small / medium Italian farms that markets comparable filth!

And even when you find an award-winning company … well … it is always better to look close before buying, in this sector guys too smart for your own good are always around the corner.

In fact, we take a sample from each supply we buy a bottle and carry out a tasting to ensure that the quality is always constant.

But can the Internet help quality Italian extra virgin olive oil?

In the last ten years, the Italian olive oil sector has done great things: today there are small / medium-sized businesses that have made quality their corporate mission and are able to produce oils that can truly be considered among the best in the world.

Problem is, how to bring such oils to consumers? We are talking about small companies, often family-run, with little commercial capacity. Hence, their magnificent products fail to reach consumers' tables. Maybe, now, thanks to the Internet, things could change.

Equipping yourself with a small website to sell your products on the Internet is now an activity within everyone’s reach, of course when you have a modicum of initiative.

Consumers are becoming more aware of their choices, and when it comes to health and healthy food, they tend to spend a few more minutes before deciding what to buy.

Hence, as is already the case for a whole series of other food products such as wine, now even for high quality oil a window for online marketing is increasingly beginning to open up.

The Internet is ONE more marketing channel, it is not “The Channel”

What does this mean? It means that you shouldn’t expect, at least initially, to upset your sales the moment after the opening of your electronic store.

Sales will come slowly. If we want to accelerate them, then we must try to do it abroad, since other countries are increasingly interested in Italian oil (or more exactly: in high quality oil - and online the Spaniards are better than us!).

So, let’s translate our websites, and make them friendly for the various cultures (Germans, English, French, but also Indians, Americans …).

If they do that, small Italian producers and consumers will find an ally on the Internet, a tool to sell their products for some for the former, and one to buy healthy, genuine products, difficult to find in supermarkets, for the latter.

Thousands of years ago, olive oil was marketed by transporting it to the Mediterranean in terracotta amphorae. Today the Principe product of the Mediterranean Diet can continue its diffusion… digitally!

Marco’A final note

personally, I disagree on the fact that online sales are like that in the supermarket “only because even there” they would hardly let us open the bottles just to taste the contents “.

Because buying blindly in a supermarket is much cheaper than doing it online, since you only need to buy one bottle to try, with no shipping costs. And I can ask neighbors if that oil is good or not.

Buying online, instead, I must (in this moment, at least) trust reviews by unknown buyers, and in any case, almost always I should buy much more than one bottle, precisely to reduce the impact of shipping costs.

This said, the argument that the Internet is not “The Channel”, but ONE MORE channel that today a small Italian company cannot afford to ignore or misuse is flawless!