Joseph Lee of Freshline tells us about food suppliers.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Joseph Lee: We’re lucky to have been safe and relatively unaffected during the pandemic. Thank you for asking!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Freshline.
Joseph Lee: I’m the co-founder at Freshline. We’re building the commerce OS for food suppliers and wholesalers.
Prior to building Freshline, I co-founded Coastline Market, a successful, business-to-business seafood marketplace. We scaled this business to $4M in annualized revenues before pivoting to Freshline at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How does Freshline market its product/services online?
Joseph Lee: Our services are typically discovered through referrals. We’re lucky to have happy farmers, distributors, wholesalers, and butchers actively recommending and referring our product to their friends and family.
Otherwise, SEO is a key proponent of organic sign-ups on our platform.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Joseph Lee: The pandemic fundamentally altered our business model and how we operate as a team. We pivoted from a B2B Seafood Marketplace to an E-commerce and Operations platform for perishable food suppliers. I personally learned a tremendous amount of lessons – which I captured in a blog post here.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Joseph Lee: Seobility is a great tool to assess your website for key search terms, keywords, and search rankings. Otherwise, a lot of our tracking is captured through our sign-up process – through which we ask our customers how they found out about our services.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Joseph Lee: There are several competitors in adjacent spaces in our industry. Shopify Plus is an example of one. However, our team, expertise, and product are all specialized in the intricate ways perishable food suppliers operate – which puts us in a great position to best deliver value to our target customers.
We think specialization is key to increasing e-commerce adoption (across retail and wholesale) in the perishable food space. You can read more about the importance of unbundling and specialization here.
Your final thoughts?
Joseph Lee: At Freshline, we envision a world where suppliers of all sizes can compete in a digital world. By making commerce and operations better for all suppliers, we believe we can help them realize their biggest ambitions.
We’re always looking for talented, motivated individuals to join us on our journey. See our open roles at Freshline.