Price — and the buying experience — driving more online sales of crop inputs

(Source: Chafer Machinery, Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

Online shopping is no longer just for fulfilling Christmas wish lists, or ordering last minute meals. Farmers, too, are increasingly turning to the Internet, and not just for small-scale items like worn out jack-knives, but to order crop inputs.

AgPro Magazine recently released its 2019 e-commerce survey results, finding that although farm purchase intentions don’t seem to match actual behaviour, there is a gradual increase in the number of respondents reporting buying their inputs online.

The company’s 2018 survey found, according to editor Margy Eckelkamp, that 8 per cent of respondents were currently buying some of their crop inputs online, and 13 per cent said they would buy some of their crop inputs online in 2019. The mid-October 2019 survey results indicated that 11 per cent of respondents are buying some of their crop inputs online, and 15 per cent say they will for 2020.

Eckelkamp says farmers are reporting price and price discovery as important drivers of their online behaviour, with the buying experience – availability, ease of purchase, delivery process, availability of expertise – also “very important” or “important.”

Herbicides are the number one input respondents say they buy online.