Agriculture is one of the highest revenue-generating as well as employment-generating industries in numerous countries. Owing to its immense scope and business prospects, the world is looking for ways to get the most out of the agricultural sector and increase its overall efficiency and reach.
One of the most efficient ways to achieve this goal is to utilize the latest technology and implement digitalization in the agricultural sector, i.e., e-retail platform development. With an estimated market value of 5.2 trillion US dollars by the end of 2022, e-commerce platform development is a highly promising investment.
For this very reason, many entrepreneurs and farm owners are coming up with ideas for agro-eCommerce platform development. To successfully implement this idea, it is essential that we thoroughly understand what the market is looking for and curate a platform that is based on these demands.
Market Scenario of Agricultural E-commerce
Consumers always look for the freshest products and often struggle to find them because of the lengthy procurement process. Moreover, the presence of numerous intermediaries between the producer (i.e., farmer) and the consumer results in a high price gap.
Owing to these factors, many farm owners and businesses are looking for ways to directly connect the farmers and consumers. This market gap is an excellent business opportunity and a million-dollar idea.
E-commerce platform development for agriculture is a concept through which farmers and consumers can remain mutually benefitted and get the most out of online shopping. The farmers can connect with the end-buyers and sell products like vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meat.
However, to get the most out of this opportunity, we need to thoroughly understand the fundamentals of e-commerce, which are e-retail business models. The business models will largely determine the success of your agro-eCommerce platform.
Business Models for Agriculture E-commerce
Choosing a business model is the first step in developing an agro-eCommerce platform. Simply stated, business models are what determine the distribution medium of your products.
There are mainly two types of business models in e-commerce: inventory-led model and managed marketplace model. Each of these models has its own advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a deeper look into the different e-commerce business models, and understand the fundamentals of each of them.
In the inventory-led model, the e-retail platform is developed exclusively for a single vendor. As a result, the stock of products that are enlisted on the e-commerce platform is available with the platform owner. This type of business model is often used by brand owners who develop an online shopping platform for their business.
In the context of agriculture e-commerce, the vendors (i.e., farmers) can create a platform that is exclusive to their individual businesses. Simply stated, this is a type of B2C e-commerce that directly benefits the farmers and promotes their growth.
In the marketplace e-commerce model, various businesses can enlist themself and sell their goods on a single platform. The platform owner acts as a mediator between the businesses and end-users and promotes a marketplace-like structure in e-retail.
Here, the inventory of the goods can be either with the vendor (online marketplace) or with the platform owner (managed marketplace). This is a choice that is generally made by the platform owner.
Developing an agriculture e-commerce platform with the marketplace model is a highly profitable business idea but is rarely implemented. This platform can allow farmers to list their products on the platform and sell them to consumers. Online shoppers can compare the products on the go and buy the ones that are convenient to them.
Be it inventory-led model or marketplace model, the business prospects still remain high. However, it is still critical to know the ways in which one can benefit from investing in agriculture e-commerce platform development.
7 Benefits of Developing an Agriculture E-commerce Platform
One of the major benefits of developing an e-commerce platform for the agriculture sector is 24/7 online availability. Owing to this factor, the consumers can purchase agricultural goods at any time of the day with convenience.
In addition, the businesses can maximize their revenue and generate higher profits from this continuous online availability; therefore boosting their growth.
Wide Market Reach
One of the biggest concerns of farm owners is being able to reach a limited market on their own. More than often, this market is constrained to a certain geographical location.
However, with e-commerce platform development, farm owners and well as businesses can target a wider audience and sell their goods to them, therefore increasing their sales.
Elimination of Intermediaries
It is commonly known that the agriculture sector, just like many other sectors, includes various distribution channels to sell their goods. This often results in an increased price, as each distributor (intermediary) earns their share for their role.
On the other hand, one of the major advantages of developing an agriculture e-commerce platform is that businesses can adapt to the B2C model and directly sell their goods to the buyers, therefore reducing the cost of the end products and optimizing revenue.
Being creditable and having market trust are two factors that go hand in hand; and are essential for every business. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain your business’s creditability to generate customer loyalty.
One can utilize various features of an e-commerce platform to gain credibility in the market and gain customers’ trust. Features like testimonials, reviews, and complete seller information provide customers assurance about the seller’s genuineness.
Convenient for Customers
One of the major consumer-side benefits of an e-commerce platform is its convenient and easy-to-access nature. People can access the platform and make effortless purchases from anywhere. Astonishingly enough, 80% of the global population has shopped online at least once in 2020.
As a result, developing an agriculture e-commerce platform will largely bring your business closer to its target market. As more and more people are shifting to online shopping, the returns of investing in the e-retail platform will always be increasing.
Easier Customer Support
It is commonly known that getting in touch with the sellers and resolving queries is highly simple in the e-retail sector. Nowadays, most of the platforms are integrated with various features like AI chatbots, FAQs, and detailed seller contact information.
Owing to this factor, various farmers and businesses can provide support to their buyers and enhance their market’s customer satisfaction. This aspect is often missing in the traditional agriculture sector.
Marketing is highly essential for every business, regardless of the industry they are operating in. Agriculture sector is no expectation in this matter, as the better a business is marketed, the higher sales it will generate.
Having an online presence (with the e-retail platform) will enable agriculture businesses to efficiently and easily market themselves. With the use of SEO and ASO strategies, one can gain the attention of a large audience and effortlessly promote their business.
This was it for the benefits of developing an e-commerce platform for the agriculture sector. However, in order to actually gain these benefits, we need to create a platform that adds value to the business’s services. One way to do this is to add high-end features to the agriculture e-commerce platform.
Features of Agriculture E-commerce Platform
Features are what make a platform unique and help it to stand out amongst its competitors. Therefore, a business must choose features for its platforms with utmost care.
However, different modules of an e-commerce platform have different features. Generally speaking, these e-commerce modules are user module, seller module (only in the marketplace model), and admin module.
All the features in these three modules can be classified into highly essential (MVP features) and good to have(advanced features). Let’s find out what these features are for each of these modules.
E-commerce shoppers are the ultimate users of your platform. User features are what the shoppers will interact with while browsing through your platform. As a result, it is necessary to add highly functional features that add value to your platform and deliver a high-end UX.
B2C Agriculture App MVP Features
- Signup/ Login
- Search Bar
- Add To Cart
- Payment Options
- Order History
- Profile Management
- Customer Support
- Track Order
- Stock Refill Notification
- Compare Products
- Real-Time Order Tracking
- Artificial Intelligence
The seller’s features are used by e-retail platforms that operate with a marketplace model. This is because in the inventory-led model, the seller is also the admin and therefore has a common module.
- Register/ Login
- Manage Seller Profile
- Add/ Remove Products
- Order Management
- Seller Support
- Analytics & Report Generation
- Inventory Management
- Sales Forecasting
- Sponsored Marketing
Admin Panel Features
The admin panel is for the platform owner and helps in the absolute management of buyers, sellers, and the business. One can get highly-detailed information through the admin panel and also undertake various business operations. Unlike buyer and seller modules, there are no advanced features in the admin panel.
- Admin Management
- Buyer & Seller Management
- Report & Analytics
Whether you choose to add only the MVP features or go for complete development with advanced features, it is highly essential that you select the right platform to launch your e-agriculture business.
Websites and mobile applications are two of the most common platforms on which businesses launch their e-retail businesses. To find out which one will be the right choice for your business, let’s understand the fundamentals of each of these platforms.
Website Vs. Mobile App Development: Which One to Choose?
Before jumping into the website and app development section, it is essential to know that there are mainly two forms of online retail: e-commerce and m-commerce.
While e-commerce can be performed on any device, m-commerce is specific to mobile devices (and is, therefore, an app-based service).
Simply put, businesses that develop a website are known as e-commerce businesses, while the ones that go for app development fall under the category of e-commerce. This is a crucial aspect in determining whether a website or application is useful for your business.
Nevertheless, below are the concepts of each platform to help you understand the pros and cons of each of them.
Websites are one of the most commonly used types of e-commerce platforms and are highly popular. They are easy to use, have high functionality, and offer a seamless buying experience.
Moreover, one can use a website on any device, irrespective of the operating system. All it is needed to buy a product from an e-commerce website is an internet connection. However, creating a website with a responsive UI is necessary to ensure a consistently excellent user experience for online shoppers.
Owing to these factors, agriculture e-commerce websites are high in demand. One can easily target the market of their choice and sell agricultural goods to them through a website. As a consequence, many farmers and businesses are investing in developing a website for their agricultural e-retail business.
Mobile Application Development
E-retail mobile app development (m-commerce) is a tremendous business opportunity. The essence of e-commerce remains the same, but one can take their business to another level by using the high-tech features and seamless performance that an app offers.
When you decide to go for mobile app development, another choice that you have to make is whether to go for native development or choose cross-platform development. While native apps offer seamless performance and high-end UI, their cost and development timeline is higher. On the other hand, you can get an app for your agriculture e-retail business in less time and cost through cross-platform development. However, the performance and UI of your app will be compromised.
In terms of agriculture e-commerce, one can choose mobile app development and generate consistent ROI, as the demand for e-commerce apps is increasing. However, it is also necessary to choose the right development team to get a high-quality app for your agriculture e-commerce business.
Whether you go for app development or choose to build a website for taking your agriculture business online, you must take other business and customer factors into account. Simply stated, factors like consumer preferences, business needs, and time and budget allowance are a few things to consider while making a choice.
Summing It Up
Agro-eCommerce is a business idea with high revenue and success potential. However, to get the best of this idea, you need to make wise choices in terms of platform selection, features, and development approaches.
We hope that you are clear by now on the benefits of developing an e-commerce platform for the agriculture sector and how it can be an excellent business idea.
By choosing the right medium to build your agriculture e-commerce platform, you can generate excellent ROI in less time. Nevertheless, you can always add value to your platform by integrating advanced features and ensuring optimum performance. This will enable you to get the most out of e-commerce and take your business to newer heights of success.