Growing crops, plants and profits: how Agriculture and Horticulture are leveraging eCommerce
eCommerce has permeated just about every wholesale industry. The same goes for Agriculture and Horticulture verticals, who face similar sales challenges as manufacturers and wholesalers, but on even more sensitive timeframes.
It’s nearly impossible to name an industry that hasn’t been impacted by digital transformation. Agriculture and horticulture are no exception. While agriculture industries have long used technology to maximize crop yields and manage operations, they are now applying eCommerce to their sales processes in order to accommodate customer preferences for digital purchasing.
Just like manufacturers, farmers and growers must address increasing competition and shrinking profit margins. After all, you are producers too! So, whether you grow corn or flowers, your business has a lot to gain by expanding your sales channels and better engaging your buyers with eCommerce for agriculture organizations.
Benefits of eCommerce for Agriculture and Horticulture
At DynamicWeb, we know the key to growing profits and your business is the ability to make data-driven decisions across operations. Let’s look at how eCommerce helps you capture and consolidate meaningful data to help you better understand your customers, increase order volumes, and maximize dollars per yield.
Stop profit margin shrinkage
Connected data enables you to identify inefficiencies, automate processes, and maximize operational effectiveness. Ultimately, you need all kinds of data to know how to improve your profit margins. With integrated eCommerce, you can analyze data at every level including your website, sales, marketing, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Expand your sales channels
eCommerce opens your business 24/7, allowing your customers to purchase at their convenience across channels such as your website, email, phone, fax, or any combination. They will no longer have to wait on sales reps to place an order or engage with you during business hours, increasing sales and customer satisfaction.
Unlock new markets
With eCommerce, you are not only open 24/7 to your typical distributors or customers, you are open to the world. With an inviting, customizable storefront, you can sell directly to anyone who wants to buy, whether it’s a distributor, retailer, restaurant or end-consumer. Opening your doors to new markets can increase overall sales and even introduce you to new and higher profit markets.
Provide better visibility and planning
Your customers need to know exactly what they can buy, how much they can buy, and when. And they don’t want to wait for sales reps to get back to them with the answers. An eCommerce platform enables customers to view your product details, inventory, pricing, credit limits, and more. This real-time information removes any roadblocks from customers being able to place orders at their convenience.
How does DynamicWeb eCommerce empower agriculture and horticulture industries?
When evaluating eCommerce for agriculture or horticulture operations, you’ll want to be sure to choose a system that is designed for your specific business needs and model. Here are some of the key features we built into the DynamicWeb eCommerce platform that are critical for your industry.
1. Better planning and ordering processes for customers and sales reps
Provide your customers with the ability to order online, entirely at their convenience, with a 24/7 storefront. Tailor your shopping, checkout, and payment experiences for your customer's purchasing requirements. For example, customer pricing and units for wholesale vs. consumer customers. You can also have unique payment options like ACH or digital invoicing.
2. Shipping date filters
Growers and distributors in the agriculture industry often have to make time-sensitive purchases. DynamicWeb allows customers to browse your products by shipping date availability, a critical purchasing requirement for perishable inventory.
3. Expanded product details
Many plants and crops are subject to certain requirements, such as Phyto certification and geographic restrictions. Now you can enrich your products with details such as the best growing conditions, methods, and use cases. Through your product pages and links to associated documentation and web pages, you can educate customers and help them quickly search and find the products they need.
4. Find a retailer / vendor
Guide your end customers to the closest retail location to purchase your products by offering a “find a vendor” function that not only serves the customer but also supports your distribution and retail networks.
5. Real-time transparency
Customers want real-time visibility into inventory, pricing, and shipping availability. With eCommerce, you can provide the 24/7 transparency they need to make accurate decisions.
6. Personalized product recommendations
eCommerce stores customer preferences and behaviors behind the scenes so you can easily and automatically provide every customer with complementary product recommendations. You can also proactively help them plan better with timely reminders about potential orders that may need to be placed based on their purchase history.
7. Tailored promotions
Particularly valuable to agriculture and horticulture organizations is the ability to customize promotions and move products quickly within expiration timeframes. You can also create promotions for specific customers based on their purchase history.
8. Seamless integration with ERP and CRM
As your industry evolves, there is a greater need to integrate your website and eCommerce data with your ERP and CRM. This allows you to connect with financials, operations, and customer data to automate sales from your website, gain deeper insights, and make data-driven decisions.
Ready to start growing with eCommerce?
We are here to help you learn how an integrated eCommerce solution and digital experience platform can enable growth. For more information, download the DynamicWeb factsheet today and contact our experts to start the conversation.