Alpaca Coloring Pages

Business Resources

 

 

Introducing two new Unicorn Yarn Colorways: Daffodil & Amethyst

04/08/2021
by NEAFP Co

The Daffodils have bloomed, serving as a friendly reminder gardening season is here!
 
Taking Spring as our muse, our newest Unicorn Yarn colorway celebrates these early bloomers popping up across New England.
 
Our Daffodil colorway is hand dyed over our Sportweight Alpaca Yarn and is available now as part of our Limited Small Batch offerings!
 
 
The Unicorns wanted to expand their horizons and turned to one of their favorite crystals for inspiration.
 
Amethyst is not only a beautiful crystal, it also is said to relieve stress, anxiety, and increase one's psychic abilities.
 
We hope this soothing colorway is able to impose some of Amethyst's properties on the handpainted yarn, and ultimately whatever is made with it!
 
This Amethyst colorway, hand-dyed on our Alpaca Sportweight Yarn, is available now as part of our Limited Small Batch offerings!

Introducing our latest Unicorn Yarn Colorway: Tulip Fields

04/02/2021
by NEAFP Co

Spring is here, or so they say.

The days are getting longer and although the nights are still feeling frigid the flowers are sticking to the schedule.

The Unicorns wanted to embrace the change of seasons and channeled their favorite flowers as inspiration for our newest colorway.

Introducing Tulip Fields, done over our all-natural Sportweight Alpaca Yarn.

Available now as part of our Limited Small Batch offerings!

Take our 2021 Alpaca Fiber Collection Survey!

03/26/2021
by NEAFP Co

If you are planning on submitting fiber to NEAFP

then this survey is for you!

By getting a better understanding of the demand for fiber collection around the country, we can focus our efforts where they are needed most and coordinate to offer more fiber collection options.  

With the cost of shipping increasing year after year, it's now more important than ever to work together to find cost-effective options for getting the alpaca fiber out of the field and into production.

This short fiber collection survey will only take a few quick minutes

so fill it out and please share it with your alpaca farmer friends!

Thank you very much!

 

February 2021 NEAFP Note: Strong Start to 2021

02/26/2021
by NEAFP Co

In February 2021's NEAFP Note, we cover:

Alpaca's Strong Start to 2021

What's back in stock?

Business Article: 2020 Trends Shaping 2021 and Beyond

Upcoming Fiber Collections

& current Fiber Sort Status!

Read it in full here: https://mailchi.mp/neafp/2021-feb-note-s1

Want to make sure you get all future NEAFP Notes emailed to your inbox?

Subscribe to our email newsletter here!

Article: 2020 Trends Shaping 2021 and Beyond

02/25/2021
by Michelle Just

Growing Trend in Shopping Small

One positive trend to emerge from the shutdown last spring was the growing trend of people looking to support local businesses. 

75% of people surveyed by Groupon last year stated they planned on supporting small businesses as much as possible once pandemic restrictions were lifted in their areas. 

After seeing so many small businesses struggle through 2020, it’s never been more important to support them, as they are the true backbone of our country and communities. 

Last year we witnessed farms having their best Q4 in the fiber pool’s 24-year history and many are continuing that trend into the new year. 

We believe these headwinds will continue through 2021 and beyond as more people understand the importance of robust and diversified economies as part of their community. 

Global Tourism Industry Grinds to a Halt - Agritourism on the Rise



 

With global tourism grinding to a halt during the pandemic, people shifted their travel plans to regional trips they could reach by car.

Rural, remote, and quiet destinations are taking the place of the usual city hot spots. 

AirBnB even created their own Farm Stay category last year, catering to the growing demand for rural and low-key countryside travel trends.

We believe this trend of regional leisure travel, primarily by car, will continue in the years to come. 

As working from home also becomes the new normal, more and more people are looking to explore the great outdoors and get out of the house each weekend.

Many states are also looking to expand the definition of agri-tourism and offer more resources to help support the growing industry. 

Alpaca Farms around the country will be able to capitalize on this trend, by having agri-tourism events on the farm and offering accommodations for guests to stay for a small taste of the alpaca life.

eCommerce experienced 5 Years worth of Growth in 2020

Chart via DigitalCommerce360

eCommerce has been steadily growing over the last 10 years and reached a fever pitch last year with the closing of many in-person options.

U.S. consumers spent a total of $861 billion dollars online in 2020, a 44% jump from 2019. 

We believe it’s now more important than ever to have diversified sales channels, with a focus on growing the eCommerce side of your business. 

The best time to focus on the eCommerce side of your business was 14 years ago when the first iPhone was released, the 2nd best time to focus on it is this year. 

Customers will be looking for you across many channels so be sure at the very least, to have your business’s digital presence up to date!

The essential online touchpoints for your audience are Website, Social Media, and Email. 

 

Curbside Pickup + Local Delivery Options are here to stay



Although farmer’s markets and pop-up vending event opportunities diminished in 2020, the rise of local delivery and curbside pickup helped farms continue to serve their local communities effectively. 

Before the pandemic, curbside pickup options were already on the rise, led by grocery and hardware stores, and have now become fully mainstream.

Offering contactless pickup options for faster delivery (no more shipping delays!) is convenient for your local customers and some would even pay a premium if it were bundled with time spent watching the alpacas graze. 

 

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful.
Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

New Product: Solid Alpaca Headbands

02/08/2021
by NEAFP Co

We are excited to announce new Alpaca Headbands in solid colors!

 

Since we released our Spindle City Collection Alpaca Headbands in 2015, we received many requests for solid color choices.

We are excited to officially release them. Currently available in Grey, more natural solid color choices will be available in the weeks to come.

 

 

Our Alpaca Headbands are the perfect mix of style and comfort.

The soft and naturally temperature regulating alpaca knit is lined with Polartec micro-fleece, protecting your ears and forehead from the elements while still allowing your head to breathe.

The lining also allows the headband to accommodate a wide range of adult head shapes and hairstyles while still staying in place all day long.

If you are looking for a stylish and naturally cozy option but don't need the extreme warmth of a full alpaca knit hat, then this is a great choice!

Dimensions: Approximately 9" by 3", sized to accommodate most Adults.

Content: 80% U.S. Alpaca, 20% Recycled Nylon

Inner Lining: 100% Polartec Micro-fleece

Care Instructions: Gentle Hand Wash in Cool Water with Mild Detergent, Lay Flat to Air Dry

 

Available now at Fiber and Wholesale Pricing!

Keep your eyes peeled for more solid colors to be added!

 

Article: 2020 Business Resources in Review

01/25/2021
by Michelle Just
2020 Business Resources in Review


 
The NEAFP blog is a space where we share news, launch products, post coloring pages, and provide valuable resources for your alpaca farm business. To begin the new year, we’re highlighting the Business Resources that we shared in 2020, so you can be best prepared as we journey into 2021 together!
 

1.  Harnessing Holiday Sales Momentum in the New Year (Article)

Posted 1/7/2020
Read the Full Article: Harnessing Holiday Sales Momentum into the New Year

Alpaca farm stores across the nation reported that 2019 was a record year for sales of alpaca goods. It was no surprise that the holidays were a huge sales driver, as they were again in 2020. Many business owners find that sales fall flat after the holiday season, but this article offers alpaca farmers advice on how to continue to capture sales into the New Year.
 

2.   Mike and Sean's Adventure in Retailing (Article)


Posted 2/20/2020
Read the Full Article: Mike and Sean's Adventure in Retailing

Mike and Sean reported on their weekend at the 2020 Carolina Alpaca Celebration. With an overwhelming amount of general public, they spent much more time than usual hanging out with end consumers on the retail level. This article details their main takeaways from working a more retail focused alpaca show, with observations and advice that directly transfers to the alpaca farm store.
 

3.  Alpaca Knitter's Yarn Guide (Graphic)


Posted 2/20/2020
Download the Graphics: Alpaca Knitter's Yarn Guide

The first of many graphics-based resources of 2020, our "Guide to Alpaca Knitter's Yarns and The Magic of Unicorn Yarn" highlight the benefits of using alpaca yarns and offers suggestions on which yarns can be used for different projects. This article includes a handy "Alpaca Knitter's Yarn Guide" with information on the yardage and suggested needle size for all of our yarns.
 

4.  Get the Most out of your Fiber Harvest (Graphic)


Posted 3/16/2020
Download the Graphics: Get the Most out of your Fiber Harvest

We condensed our Fiber Harvesting Guide into a single infographic, so you can avoid the most common mistakes in alpaca fiber harvesting to ensure you finish with the highest commercially usable clip! With shearing only a few months away, be sure you're prepared by checking out this useful graphic.
 

5.  Virtual Farm Tours: Bringing People & Alpacas Together in the Virtual World (Article)


Posted 3/19/2020
Read the Full Article: Virtual Farm Tours: Bringing People & Alpacas Together in the Virtual World

In Spring 2020, social distancing was adapted as a widespread precaution against COVID-19. Our article suggested that farms adapt Virtual Farm Tours to remain connected to customers. With restrictions still in place across the country, it's still a good time to consider offering a virtual farm tour. Beyond immediate concerns, a virtual tour is more feasible for someone unable to visit due to distance, finances, or physical ability.
 

6.  Use Gift Cards to Increase Sales (Article)


Posted 3/30/2020
Read the Full Article: Use Gift Cards to Increase Sales

Many farms have seen an immediate pop in sales simply by accepting additional payment methods other than cash. With the steadily growing use of card payments, small businesses are beginning to incorporate not only debit and credit cards, but gift cards as well, due to their convenience and flexibility for everybody involved- the buyer, the receiver and the merchant. This article explains why you should begin offering gift cards at your alpaca farm and ways to go about doing it.
 

7.  The New Normal and a Renewed Support for U.S. Alpaca (Article)


Posted 6/08/2020
Read the Full Article: The New Normal and a Renewed Support for U.S. Alpaca

In June 2020 we took a look at the state of the U.S. Alpaca industry, as communities across the country realized the importance of supporting small business, buying local, and shopping sustainably. U.S. Alpaca continues to be at the forefront of a renaissance in local agriculture, U.S. manufacturing, and a call for more sustainable fashion. Our resilient farmers proved they were able to survive and even thrive under new conditions.
 

8.  Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Promote your Alpaca Business (Article)


Posted 7/17/2020
Read the Full Article: Harnessing Storytelling to Market Your Business

As e-commerce became even more prevalent last year, the connection that people would normally make face-to-face at a market now occurs more frequently online. The conversations you've had in person, however, educating the public about alpacas and their fiber, can be translated into the digital world through storytelling. Using storytelling or emotional branding can be an extremely effective marketing tool, and we’re certain that alpaca farmers have many stories to tell!
 

9.  Customer Retention: Building Customer Loyalty for your Ecommerce Business (Article)


Posted 8/10/2020
Read the Full Article: Customer Retention: Building Customer Loyalty for your Ecommerce Business

Our August article highlighted the importance of customer retention for your business. The overall experience that you build for your customers throughout each interaction can instill a sense of loyalty to your brand, propelling them to return for future purchases. From your website, to the order process, to the delivery, and regular e-mail correspondence, you can use these tools to build customer loyalty for your ecommerce business.
 

10.  Alpaca Fiber Properties (Graphic)


Posted 8/21/2020
Download the Graphics: Alpaca Fiber Properties

Our Alpaca Fiber Properties Graphic is conveniently sized for 8.5 x 11" printer paper. It features alpaca's most commonly referenced characteristics - so print it out and bring it to your next market!
 

11.  How to Support Alpaca Farms (Graphic)


Posted 8/21/2020
Download the Graphics: How to Support Alpaca Farms

There are a lot of alpaca fans out there who would love to support your farm, even if they don't have the ability to purchase your products. We created this shareable graphic for social media, so you can show your followers that they can still support in other meaningful ways to get your business out there!
 

12.  A Change in the Seasons: Farms Continue to Adapt into the Busy Harvest Season (Article)


Posted 9/11/2020
Read the Full Article: A Change in the Seasons: Farms Continue to Adapt into the Busy Harvest Season

We followed up our June article in September by reviewing how farms were adapting to changes brought about by the pandemic. The harvest season is perhaps the busiest time of year for farms of all types, and the cooler weather typically coincides with the hustle and bustle of farmer's markets and craft fairs that extend into the winter months. Despite restrictions, farms continued to adapt and made the most of their circumstances.
 

13.  Sock and Handwear Comparisons (Graphic)


Posted 9/15/2020
Download the Graphics: Sock and Handwear Comparisons

In addition to September's article, we also created new, free sock and handwear comparison posters. These posters are sized at 8.5" x 11" for at-home printing, and can be posted at the farm or on your website! Perfect signage to help distinguish the difference between some of our most popular products!
 

14.  Form Follows Function: Dressing for Fall and Winter 2020 (Article)


Posted 11/13/2020
Read the Full Article: Form Follows Function: Dressing for Fall and Winter 2020

With cold weather approaching, we forecasted the upcoming trends in clothing and accessories for fall and winter 2020. Based on the rising popularity of outdoor alternatives to common leisure activities like dining and concert-going, we found that customers were searching for new ways to keep warm. As usual, alpaca farm stores were (and continue to be) poised to take advantage of these new trends!
 

15.  Shop Small this Holiday Season (Graphic)


Posted on 11/25/2020
​​​​​​Download the Graphics: Shop Small this Holiday Season

Small Business Saturday is always a big shopping day for Alpaca Farm Stores. We created a shareable graphic to encourage customers to shop small and local not just that Saturday, but all season long!

 

16.  Download Our Sock Photos for your Website (Download)



​​​​​​Download the Graphics: NEAFP Alpaca Sock Photo Resource Folder (Login to your Account to View)

We’re often asked whether alpaca farmers can use our photos and descriptions of NEAFP products on their personal pages. The answer is always a resounding YES! Part of our job is to make it easier for you, the alpaca farmer, to successfully run the fiber side of your business.



We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful.
Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: February Alpaca Coloring Page

01/24/2021
by Michelle Just

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!

This time of year is always a challenge in keeping the kids happy and entertained, especially with many still remote learning.

With the frigid cold weather in full swing, we are spending even more time than usual cooped up inside.

It's safe to say, the kids and adults alike, are all looking for something fun and lighthearted to do at home.

Our February Alpaca Coloring Page is a mini DIY project to create fun alpaca-fied Valentine's Day gift tags!

Share these coloring pages with your farm's biggest (and littlest!) fans so they can enjoy an alpaca filled calm coloring project at home!

 

 

 

Download the printer-friendly files here!

2021 February Coloring Page

PDF Download - February Alpaca Coloring Page

High-Resolution PNG Download - February Alpaca Coloring Page

P.S. 

Don't forget to download last year's Winter-themed coloring page!


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: January Coloring Sheet!

01/05/2021
by Michelle Just

Happy New Year!

Our Alpacas are enjoying the cold winter weather by hitting the slopes this January!

The more snow, the better!

 

Download the printer-friendly files here!

2021 January Coloring Page

PDF Download - January Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - January Alpaca Coloring Page

 

P.S. 

Don't forget to download last year's Winter-themed coloring page!


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: Christmas Coloring Page!

12/10/2020
by Michelle Just

The Holiday Season is here... and our Alpac-elves are busy at the North Pole getting ready!

Be sure to download and print this year's Christmas Coloring page to spread a little holiday cheer this month!

Don't forget to download last year's coloring page, too!

 

Download the printer-friendly files here!

2020 Christmas Coloring Page

PDF Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page

 

2019 Thanksgiving Coloring Page

PDF Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Shop Small this Holiday Season - Free Graphic

11/25/2020
by Michelle Just

Shop Small - Support your Local Alpaca Farm!


Small Business Saturday is just a few days away, but we hope that customers shop small and local all season long! Download our "Shop Small" graphic and share it on your website or social media pages, and be sure to check out last year's graphic on why shopping small matters!

Download the 2020 SHOP SMALL Alpaca Knit Graphic!
Click here to Download!

 



2019 Free Resources:

Be sure to download last year's graphics below!
 

 

Click Here --> Downloadable Shop Small Alpaca Infographic

Click Here --> Downloadable Shop Small Alpaca Logo

NEW Downloadable Content: Thanksgiving Coloring Page!

11/20/2020
by Michelle Just

Our Alpacas have gathered in the barnyard with their feathered friends for Thanksgiving to remind us that there is always something to be thankful for!

Be sure to download and print this year's Thanksgiving Coloring page in addition to last year's to keep little hands busy over the holiday weekend!

Don't forget to download last year's coloring page, too!

 

Download the printer-friendly files here!

2020 Thanksgiving Coloring Page

PDF Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page

 

2019 Thanksgiving Coloring Page

PDF Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Article: Form Follows Function: Dressing for Fall and Winter 2020

11/13/2020
by Michelle Just


Have you heard the news? The blanket is Fall 2020’s must have fashion accessory. Once the unsung hero of the sofa, blankets have become the trusty companion for all things 2020: from zoom chats, to outdoor dining, to drive-ins. As outdoor alternatives to common leisure activities like dining and concert-going have become extremely popular, venues and customers are finding ways to keep warm, and alpaca farm stores are poised to take advantage of these new trends.
 

A Barrage of Outdoor Alternatives

Outdoor dining has become hugely popular. With cold weather creeping in, restaurants are adapting by providing patio heaters and blankets to patrons. Cities like New York are considering extending provisions that would allow outdoor dining into the winter season. Drive-in theaters have also seen a resurgence in popularity since March, and new venues continue to pop up. Concerts have been sidelined in lieu of drive-in concerts, and drive-thru haunted houses popped up across the country for halloween. Cities are already planning similar events for later holidays, such as Dayton’s Holiday Drive-Thru Parade. It’s expected that winter recreational activities will be extremely popular this year. Just as consumers flocked to stores for swimming pools and bicycles this summer, Minnesota stores are already reporting a high demand for ski gear.

It seems easy to discount the wearable blanket as the newest fad, but our new leisure activities point to an actual need for comfortable, warm, and versatile goods. As an alpaca farmer, you have access to an abundant source of cozy, cold weather accessories available for fall and winter excursions! Here are some trends to look out for.
 

Blankets Galore



 

Consumers are looking for a comfy blanket that looks as good on the bed as it does draped around the shoulders on a cold night out. A Big Cable Alpaca Blanket is perfect for snuggling up under the stars at the next drive-in show, while the Cozy Baby Blanket’s size makes it easy to tuck away for outdoor adventures. While the Convertible Shawl (shown above) feels like you’re wearing a cozy blanket, it can also be worn as a scarf, shawl, poncho, or hood!
 

Toasty Toes


Cold feet can really ruin a good time. Warm, breathable, and odor resistant: Alpaca’s natural properties put it above others when it comes to the perfect footwear for fall and winter 2020. From the lightweight Backpaca, to the versatile Survival, to the full coverage High Calf, there’s a sock for every cold weather adventure. Alpaca Boot Inserts (below) add an additional layer of warmth between you and the cold, hard ground.


 

Stylish Utility



Without the need to dress up on a daily basis, consumers are reexamining their closets with a more critical eye, preferring sustainable pieces that are both better for the environment and their local communities. As cooler weather fast approaches, so does demand for high-quality, timeless knitwear. These consumers will appreciate premium alpaca products like Boucle Mittens (above), Cable Knit Beanies, and Classic Watch Caps. All of which combine the utility of a lining and classic styling, allowing them to be worn year after year.
 

Moving Forward


While 2020 has been unpredictable on the whole, we can predict that winter is fast approaching! As the past few months have illustrated, we often adapt to the cultural changes, and this year our fashion choices have changed along with our pandemic lifestyles. So, when you market your products over the next few months, be sure to keep in mind that your customers may be looking for something a little different this year!
 

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful.
Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: Halloween Coloring Page!

10/01/2020
by Michelle Just

Are you excited for the Spooky Season? Celebrate early with our newest coloring page!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page


 

Did you miss last year's Halloween Coloring Page? Be sure to download it below!

As the weather gets cooler, you're sure to be hosting open houses and participating in markets, fairs, and festivals. Hoping to entertain your youngest alpaca fans?

We've got you covered with a free downloadable coloring page!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - 2019 Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - 2019 Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Download Free Sock and Handwear Comparison Graphics!

09/15/2020
by Michelle Just

 


We’re often asked whether alpaca farmers can use our photos and descriptions of NEAFP products on their personal pages. The answer is always a resounding YES! Part of our job is to make it easier for you, the alpaca farmer, to successfully run the fiber side of your business.

We know you’re busy tending your herd, taking inventory of your products, and arranging your next market, so it might not always be easy to photograph products or create business collateral. in 2018 we debuted our Marketing & Collateral section of the website (which can be viewed when signed in to your shopping account) where you can purchase printed and downloadable posters for your favorite NEAFP products.

Our latest edition of free content are two product comparison graphics. Sized at 8.5" x 11" for at-home printing, our sock and handwear comparison graphics can be posted at the farm or on your website!
 


 

DOWNLOAD FREE GRAPHICS
Sock Comparison Graphic Handwear Comparison Graphic
Download Printable JPEG

Download Printable JPEG

Download Shareable JPEG
(web version)
Download Shareable JPEG
(web version)

Article: A Change in the Seasons: Farms Continue to Adapt into the Busy Harvest Season

09/11/2020
by Michelle Just

In June we put the spotlight on the way farms and small businesses were adapting to changes brought about by the pandemic. Alpaca farms got creative by offering drive-through tours, visiting quarantined nursing home residents, and “Zooming” into the homes of alpaca fans around the globe.

The harvest season is perhaps the busiest time of year for farms of all types, and the cooler weather typically coincides with the hustle and bustle of farmers markets and craft fairs that extend into the winter months. Despite restrictions, farms continue to adapt and make the most of their current circumstances.
 

Shared Resources

In the preceding months, organizations like the Cornell Small Farms Program have released resources to support farms as they navigate current challenges. For example, the Program’s “Best Management Practices for Agritourism Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic” offers guidance to a wide range of farm types based on NY state law. Their best practices are highly valuable to those in and out of NY state looking for alternatives to traditional farm visits or suggested safety precautions. Looking for more resources? Check out NAFDMA / International Agritourism Association’s industry resource page.

Shared Experiences

 


 

“It’s a different kind of year isn’t it? Our fall agritourism season provides the bulk of our annual income, so we are very anxious about how it will turn out...Unless there are new developments, we believe we will be opening with precautions such as more cleaning and sanitizing, more hand-wash and hand sanitizing stations, facemasks encouraged and so on... We are sure the field trips will be much fewer but we have hopes that families will be hungry for outdoor activities to participate in.”      -Wayne Bishop, Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm, Wheatland, Yuba County

With fall officially beginning in the next few weeks, farms are thinking about how to make the season work. In July, farmers throughout California came together to share their thoughts and for the Fall 2020 season. Though their reactions were varied, they all found ways to pivot their business strategies to the foreseen challenges, whether they plan to move some of their business online or change their site or ticketing to allow for proper distancing.
 

A Fruitful Harvest

 


So how are some of our favorite fall activities adapting? Leeds Farm, a popular spot for pumpkin picking in Ostrander, OH implemented ample sanitizing stations and offers advanced purchase tickets to allow for proper distancing. For those looking for fall blooms, Windmill Meadow Farm in Fredricksburg, CA offers a private tour of their flower farm by reservation, ensuring strict social distancing. Visitors get an in-depth look behind the scenes and go home with their own bouquet.  “U-Pick” orchards have also had to make changes, including limiting group sizes and assigning visitors to particular rows. Some farms have found surprising benefits to new restrictions  - one being that less product is eaten out in the field when masks are worn!
 

Moving Forward


 

It goes to show that farms, alpaca farmers included, have found numerous ways to persevere under our current challenges. As we approach our busy season, flexibility will continue to be key. You may decide to branch out and offer opportunities to virtual learners, like Good Karma Ranch Alpacas. Or perhaps like Chakana Sky Alpaca Farm, you’ll rely on appointments to bring visitors through the door. If one thing is for certain, however, even when the world is at a standstill, farm life carries on. 

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful.
Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: September Coloring Page!

08/27/2020
by Michelle Just

We're Ready for Cool Crisp Mornings and Some Apple Cider Donuts...

Our alpaca friends are enjoying all that fall has to offer at their local apple orchard in the latest coloring page!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - September Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - September Alpaca Coloring Page

Be sure to share your finished artwork on Social Media with us!



Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

New Shareable Graphic: How to Support Alpaca Farms

08/21/2020
by Michelle Just

There are a lot of alpaca fans out there who would love to support your farm, even if they don't have the ability to purchase your products. Share this graphic on social media to show them that they can still support in order meaningful ways to get your business out there!

View it on Facebook here and share it with your alpaca supporters!

Download the full-sized version here:

High Resolution JPG Download 

 

Download the Free Alpaca Fiber Properties Handout

08/21/2020
by Michelle Just

 

We’re often asked whether alpaca farmers can use our photos and descriptions of NEAFP products on their personal pages. The answer is always a resounding YES! Part of our job is to make it easier for you, the alpaca farmer, to successfully run the fiber side of your business.

We know you’re busy tending your herd, taking inventory of your products, and arranging your next market, so it might not always be easy to photograph products or create business collateral. in 2018 we debuted our Marketing & Collateral section of the website (which can be viewed when signed in to your shopping account) where you can purchase printed and downloadable posters for your favorite NEAFP products.

We're following up last week's post with some fresh downloadable content, this time on the amazing properties of alpaca fiber! This graphic is conveniently sized for 8.5 x 11" printer paper, so print it out and bring it to your next market!


DOWNLOAD HERE:

Download the Free Alpaca Fiber Properties Handout (JPEG)

Download the Free Alpaca Fiber Properties Handout (High Quality PDF)

 

Article: Customer Retention: Building Customer Loyalty for your Ecommerce Business

08/10/2020
by Michelle Just

Do you have customers who return to you, year after year, to purchase your alpaca products? You might be surprised to hear that these repeat customers could be the backbone of your alpaca business.

Many businesses focus their efforts on acquiring new customers, but from a financial standpoint, retaining past customers is a more cost effective strategy. Consider that repeat customers make up 65% of revenue for a typical online store. Satisfied customers are more likely to make larger purchases in the future, versus new customers who may make a smaller purchase to test out your product. Repeat customers are also more likely to recommend or review your business in a positive light. Remember, word of mouth is still the most powerful (and free!) form of marketing available to small businesses. 

The overall experience that you build for your customers throughout each interaction can instill a sense of loyalty to your brand, propelling them to return for future purchases. From your website, to the order process, to the delivery, and regular e-mail correspondence, you can use these tools to build customer loyalty for your ecommerce business.

 

Before the Sale

Businesses often utilize loyalty programs or subscription-based ordering to cultivate return customers, but gaining customer trust can be built into the experiences you already offer.

If you have a standalone ecommerce website, consider customer accessibility. Make sure that it’s easy to use and streamline your order process to make it as simple as possible to make a purchase. If possible, test out your website on a willing “outsider.” Ask a friend or family member to go over the website as if they were a customer. Does the information make sense? Do they have trouble ordering? Chances are that they will see things you don’t with fresh eyes!

If you are selling on a different platform like Etsy, your focus instead will be on making your brand stand out from your competitors through your copywriting and product photography. 

Regardless of the platform, customers are interested in more than just your products, they want to know the values behind your brand. 89% of customers are likely to be loyal to a brand if it’s values align with their own. Keep your customers coming back with interesting content like email newsletters with store updates, blogs that captivate their attention, and by engaging with them on social media. The content you create should be consistent with the feel of your brand and its values across all customer experience touchpoints, including your website, social media pages, product photography, blog, packaging, and emails. Need some hints on where to begin creating your brand story? Check out our previous article on Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Promote your Alpaca Business. 
 



After the Sale


A purchase isn’t necessarily complete after you receive payment. Customers continue to gauge their experience throughout the buying process. Something as simple as an order confirmation or shipping notification can instill a stronger sense of trust in your brand.

This order confirmation from Polaroid provides the necessary shipping information, in addition to pointing customers to their FAQ to get started learning about their products.
 

When making sales face-to-face, you may sell your products in branded gift bags, but what about orders going out by mail? Today, almost anything can be ordered online and shipped to your door, so it’s important that your delivery stands out when it arrives alongside other packages, especially as the unboxing experience has become just important as the product inside, for those individuals who savor the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift. Heighten the customer experience with a well-presented product in a unique, branded package. Something as simple as neatly wrapped tissue paper and a handwritten note goes a long way in making a good impression!

More and more, companies are opting to ship using bespoke packaging that is more inline with their brand's story. Think of ways to incorporate your brand's story clearly into your packing materials. Do you focus on alpaca's environmentally friendly characteristics? Opt for recycled packing materials! Do you want your customers to feel connected to your animals? Include a bio of one of your alpacas in every purchase!

Branded packaging, decorative tissue paper, and green shredded paper give this box its unique and memorable appeal.

 

Following Up


Once you’ve sent out an order, be sure to follow up with an email to keep your business fresh in the customer’s memory. The email can be a simple “thank you,” or perhaps an action-oriented email.

A follow up email is a great opportunity to get customer feedback on their shopping experience. It can also be a good time to recommend other products for future purchase. Be sure to ask customers to review or give feedback on your products. Positive customer testimonials can then be included in future marketing materials!


Your follow up can be a simple "thank you," or you can use it to keep your customers engaged. This email from Revolution Tea rewards customers for taking part in a survey after their previous purchase. As shown in the email, they received useful customer testimonials through offering the survey.

Regardless of how you are making sales (in person or online) it’s always smart to compile an email list of your past customers. If you plan to run any promotions, these are the individuals you want to target! Remember, email is your most powerful e-marketing tool, so make sure you use it! 

 

Focus on Acquisition AND Retention!


Take some time over the next few weeks to pay attention to who your customers are. Are they first timers or repeat customers? Do they frequently visit your website and make purchases? You can even use a formula to calculate your Customer Retention Rate. Survey or interview some of your most loyal customers to find out what resonates with them about your business. Take that information and utilize it when you are crafting your overall customer experience. While it's always important to attract new customers, don't forget the importance of retaining past customers!

 

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful.
Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com