Early Shopping 'Hour' for Priority Groups

This functionality is best achieved using the Tags and Tag Rules feature of the platform.


The outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 saw a wave of panic buying by consumers prior to (or in the early days of) national 'lockdowns'. This left vulnerable groups and key workers short of food.

Below is a step-by-step guide to enable selected customers (you may choose as a business for this to just be people you know to be over 80 years or perhaps include key workers as well) to shop before others and hence get the first choice of products (should they run out later in your order cycle).

The process uses the Customer Management feature which is described in full here.

Your enterprise will need to be registered as a Hub on the OFN platform to add tags to Order Cycles, as described below.


The process is much the same as that you would use for opening your shop early on 'Preview' but only this time you make the shop visible to a different subset of customer.

  • Set up a policy as a business on which group(s) you would like to offer this service to.

  • Keep a record of the customer’s name and the email address linked to their OFN account.

  • Login to your business OFN account and visit Customers page.

  • Use the ‘Quick Search’ box to identify if the person has shopped with you before.

  • If their email address doesn’t appear then click + New Customer and add their address.

  • In the ‘tags’ column type in ‘priority’ for that customer.

Step One: Before the order cycle opens

  • Visit your Order Cycles page. Set up your next order cycle as you normally would, setting the opening time to be one hour (or more) before that you would like it to be open to all customers.

  • On page 3 of the order cycle add ‘priority’ into the tags section:

  • Visit your Enterprise -> Settings page and select ‘Tag Rules’ from the left hand menu. Set up the following Tag rules:

Default: Order Cycles tagged ‘priority’ are not visible. For Customers tagged ‘priority’, Order Cycles tagged ‘priority’ are visible.

Step Two: On the day of the order cycle

  • Set a reminder on your phone or in a calendar at the time of day which you wish your shop front to be visible to all your customers.

  • At this time, log into the OFN platform and edit the order cycle which is currently only open for priority customers.

  • Visit Page 3 'Outgoing Products' and remove the tag. Remember to save your changes.

Your shop front will now be visible for all your customers to view and purchase from.

You might also like to: Add a message to your customers on your shop Notice page.

Don’t forget to edit your ‘Shopfront Message’ (found from Enterprises -> Settings -> Shop Preferences) to invite new elderly/vulnerable/keyworker customers to contact you so they can be prioritised.

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