Barcelona’s markets run various initiatives to help their fresh local produce reach city residents. The Mercat del Ninot has started a pilot scheme for online sales, offering the ease of ordering from home and enabling stallholders to broaden their customer base.
Since December, people who use the Mercat del Ninot have been able to shop online for fresh local produce offered by the various stalls, just as they would in person. The first month of the scheme saw over three thousands orders, with 30% of virtual customers also shopping in person at the market’s various stalls.
Once the order is placed, users receive it in 24 hours and can choose time slots for delivery between 7 am and 11 pm. The pick-up and delivery of orders is possible thanks to an alliance with Ulabox, an emerging company set up by Barcelona entrepreneurs.
The Councillor for Tourism, Commerce and Markets, Agustí Colom, noted: “The goal is to put markets at the forefront of technological innovation and add to what they offer local people without losing the idea of going to the square, choosing the best produce and stallholders being able to offer the products on their stalls”.
After the six-month pilot scheme, the plan is to extend the online sales service to the rest of the city’s markets.
Other city markets have also started initiatives to sell their products online: via websites, mobile apps and the Whatsapp instant messaging service.