Blog Hub

Cropster Hub turns 17!

created by Paul B.

Cropster Hub is now officially on release 17. It’s been an amazing journey so far and there is lots more to come. This latest release has two components, a set of features for buyers and a set for sellers.

This post focuses on features for buyers how they work and the advantages they bring. If you’re a seller take a look here.

The latest release of Hub is focused on bringing you the information you need from the minute you hit the site.

 

People are coming to Hub to look for the latest offerings of great green coffees first and foremost. To make this even easier Hub now takes you directly to ‘All Coffees’. Hub also lists a selection of the latest coffees right on the homepage. The result is quicker and easier access to the thing most people want - an update on the latest coffees. Search performance has been improved, so people can find specific coffees and sellers even faster.

It all starts with samples

The last year has seen Hub grow into the web’s best destination for businesses to get samples. Sample handling is built into Hub’s dna and that focus is increasing based on your feedback. The ‘Add to cart’ button has been replaced with ‘Order sample’. This makes sense as almost all interactions on Hub start this way. Ordering is of course still there. But it is presented at the coffee detail level which is where people actually are when they are ready to order.

Finally, navigation is now even easier with everything people look for right on the homepage. Hub’s landing page starts with "All coffees", "All shops" and "All auctions" right at the top of the page. This is a small but significant change based on user feedback.

Negotiation, pricing and the market

As it is one of the world’s most traded commodities coffee is subject to price fluctuations all day, everyday. At the specialty end of the market pricing becomes more difficult for a many reasons. Hub began with fixed retail prices. This gives an excellent overview of the specialty green coffee market, but fails to present true prices based on market conditions for a lot of sellers. The result, some sellers often listed only more popular coffees where they had strong stocks and other sellers did the opposite. Hub’s goal is to bring the world’s greatest green coffees to roasters everywhere and that can often mean rarer coffee that is more subject to pricing variations based on demand. To increase the number of high quality coffees on Hub and present an even more realistic pricing experience we have implemented a couple of significant updates.

Hub currently presents ‘retail’ pricing which has advantages and disadvantages to both buyers and sellers.

 

Currently registered Hub users can view all the prices on Hub. This gives buyers a great tool for a quick look at the pricing on an enormous variety of coffees. But, there are drawbacks. Some of them are significant: it can happen that people contact a seller only to discover a price has changed due to demand. Coffees can also disappear from Hub as sample requests increase. Even worse, larger batches don’t make it to Hub as sellers hold them back from the wider Hub market only offering them to existing partners. Bringing the world’s greatest specialty green coffees to everyone means presenting as many great green coffees as possible. Based on exhaustive feedback Hub now offers the following options designed to increase the number of new green coffees as well as worldwide sellers.

Instead of manually calculating and refreshing prices, sellers can now automatically link prices to the ICE C-market price daily. The result is better more accurate information and less surprises.

 

After extensive research and interviews with sellers worldwide we have introduced ‘C-market pricing’ for sellers. The result is that sellers can now tie their stock to commodity prices to present a constantly updated price based on market factors. This means more accurate prices and less surprises when people contact sellers and Hub can present an even more authoritative price.

Buyers and sellers have also asked about price presentation overall. Smaller buyers love the retail nature of Hub, but larger buyers and sellers are keen to get straight into negotiations. As a result, Hub now offers price requesting. Sellers can now decide whether or not they want to show prices on Cropster Hub on a per coffee basis. If they choose not to present a price, simply click the request price button to get one. All of Hub’s existing features will keep you up to date regarding the request just as it does with samples today.

The number of coffees available on Hub fluctuates with the market and the overall trend continues upwards. The same is true of the number of sellers. As Hub grows and the volume of transactions across it increases, we remain focused on making it the best tool available to green coffee buyers and sellers.

Partnership equals better tools for everyone

Hub is focused on making finding and buying coffee simpler, faster and more informative. Hub’s numerous advances, like shareable offer sheets and warehouse filtering, continue to gain traction across the web. Like the changes above, these innovations were based on feedback from businesses across the world and have been picked up by other businesses in new and interesting ways. These latest updates bring a number of key changes to Hub’s ease of use as well as deeper changes to the way things like pricing are handled and presented, how often pricing is updated and how buyers contact sellers to request samples and make purchases. There are benefits to these approaches for both buyers and sellers and as Hub continues to develop there will be many more. Hub is ultimately a community of individuals specializing in green coffee. If you have an idea, a suggestion or see something you believe could be improved please let us know! Based on the previous year you are not alone.