Direct links to Products

This enhancement will enable people with shopfronts to create share direct links to products in their shopfronts. These links can be shared on social media to help drive traffic to shops. Note that the ideal solution to this problem is a very big piece of work. Here we are looking to provide a good value solution that addresses the most immediate needs.

What is the Problem?

For most e-commerce platforms out there in internet land it is standard practice to have Product Descriptions Pages (PDPs). These pages have direct links and include all the detailed information about a product. For historical reasons within the Open Food Network, we use a type of embedded window called a modal to display this information. Our modals do not have URLs and so it is impossible to link to them.

Direct links to products in the shops are very valuable for marketing reasons, allowing food enterprises to share pictures of specific products within social media feeds or newsletters to help attract people to the online shop. They are also very good for search engine optimisation (SEO), helping to boost the prevalence of the shop in search results when people are searching for food items using a search engine.

What are the benefits of solving this?

This feature would make it easier for people using the Open Food Network software platform to market products sold through the platform. It would mean that they could share direct links to products on their social media channels, as well as on their website, in email and SMS marketing and wherever else was relevant.

Potential benefits include:

  • Increasing the amount of interesting content enterprises can generate in their newsletters and social media, by enabling every product in the shop to be a new and interesting potential piece of content. 
  • Increasingly the network effect of this content as producers will likely also share links to their own produce. 
  • Improving search engine optimisation as each shop will have many more pages that can be scanned and indexed by search engine bots, meaning that shops will land higher in web searches (as will OFN overall). 
  • Easier to create campaigns that target specific groups of shoppers based on specific products or sets of products that might be of interest. A great way to target people that aren’t already engaged in your shop.

What will the solution look like?

See the image slideshow to gain an understanding of how the new feature will work.


The Open Food Network delivery team has scoped this piece of work to address an immediate need – giving producers and food hubs a way to share direct links to products. We have creatively worked out a way to solve the worst parts of the problem in only a handful of developer days.

Changing from modals to full PDPs is a very large piece of work that would require extensive UI and UX design – this is not covered in this piece of development work. As such, certain information such as product images and descriptions will not necessarily pull through to social media previews.

Producers and Food Hubs will still be able to share direct links to products, but will likely need to make edits to them manually on social media channels. We can provide documentation on how to do this when the project is delivered for links shared on Facebook and Instagram.

No changes would be needed when linking to products directly from a website, email marketing platform or SMS marketing platform.

More information

This feature has been discussed on Discourse, here.


Help us build this feature!

Think this would be a great feature on the Open Food Network?

Great! Simply click below to pledge.

Note no money will be taken now. Instead your request will be passed to your local OFN instance partner to process your pledge. 

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