Monday, April 22, 2024

Fresh approach to social media

David Zahlan, Director of Alexanders Fruit Market at Oakleigh in Melbourne, explained in the March issue of Retail World that fruit and vegetable retailing has stayed relatively the same for decades.

“We’ve all seen them around the markets – the bloke in the leather apron and rolled up sleeves, standing up on his hustings,” he says.

“For hours on end, you’ll hear him shout out all the prices for his fruit and veg, usually as confused shoppers walk on. It’s a tried and true part of the food retail business, but a big booming voice can only carry you so far.”

Mr Zahlan and his team at Alexanders Fruit Market figured there had to be a better way.

Getting social

Mr Zahlan started taking some photos and videos around his shop and uploading them to Instagram.

“It was giving people a glimpse into what we get up to before opening the doors to the public,” he says. “We work hard, but we have a bit of fun while doing it.”

Mr Zahlan says his videos aren’t “slick, highly produced advertisements”. Instead, he adds, they are simply him, his brother Danny, and the rest of his staff captured with his iPhone camera at work.

“I take videos while we’re out and about at the big markets, driving the truck across town, or interacting with our suppliers and customers,” he says.

“They’re funny, off the cuff, and they’ve made a significant impact in the local industry. In a few months, I’ve been fielding dozens of calls from suppliers for features in my videos.

“It gives people a behind-the-scenes look at what we do, in a creative way.”

Advice for retailers

Mr Zahlan advises retailers to “feel things out” for themselves and to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

“Don’t force anything,” he says. “Getting it done is better than getting it right.

“Our content is authentic, is BS free, and customers love our content as much as we love making it.”

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