With the world population expected to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050, agribusinesses are facing enormous pressures to innovate. The growing demand for both products and services, combined with complicated and unpredictable environmental challenges, have created a driving need for new technology. Through the development of precision agriculture and the implementation of technology, such as robotics, sensors and automated hardware, farming practices are becoming more accurate. The adoption of high-speed internet, the improved connectivity through mobile devices are also supporting the need for more information, improved communication and increased access to data.
Advances in smart farming and precision ag, as well as the implications behind the Internet of Things (IoT) are now providing data at each stage in the value chain at a remarkable rate. This data can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies, reduce waste, lower costs, and improve the quality of products – as long as the owners of the data understand what data is necessary and how to use it.
Understanding an Agri Portals
In any industry, collecting the data is the first step to gaining value from data. To better gather and understand data, many industry leaders within agribusiness now leverage agri portals. The technology behind portals creates a unifying platform for agribusinesses and customers to communicate product information and manage purchasing operations. Agri portals make it easy for buyers to locate and purchase products, while giving agribusinesses access to a larger market and reducing operating costs. Ultimately, the goals behind the use of agri portals include:
- Improving production planning for farmers and growers
- Enhancing the use of e-commerce within agribusiness
- Growing market share
- Establishing a platform for information sharing and data management
Utilizing an Agri Portal to Improve Business Performance
Any agribusiness interested in increasing market share, connecting directly with buyers in new geographies and simplifying the movement of purchasing data must understand the potential business benefits of agri portals. This tool goes beyond a simple ecommerce strategy to standardize, operationalize and simplify the business experience for buyers and sellers. Reducing manual tracking errors for sellers also reduces the burden on operational teams to verify and correct misinformation. The customer experience is improved by enhanced communications and point-and-click transactions that make purchasing fast, efficient and easy. Because of this improved customer service model, brand loyalty increases, allowing the ordering process to become more streamlined and robust. Additionally, operational productivity will increase when an agribusiness is free to focus on innovation and growth while the agri portal handles labor-intensive data collection and communication tasks.
Recognizing Successful Agri Portals
When considering integrating an agri portal into an existing business strategy, or when evaluating an existing agri portal operation against established goals, it is important to understand the business benefits that should be seen utilizing a successful agri portal. These benefits include:
Enhanced visibility into business trends. Successful agri portals can provide agribusinesses with visibility to a larger user base. This means the business will understand where its new customers come from and be able to clearly see which existing customers are returning. This creates the opportunity to target potential customers in new geographies, as well as use targeted marketing for new products and services to existing customers based on buying patterns. Both of these benefits can lead to increasing sales, reducing the risk of seasonality and achieve customer loyalty.
Cost-effective marketing. Because agri portals are a cost-effective way to reach a large audience of potential customers, agribusinesses are able to reduce the stress of attempting to manage a large online strategy. Managing a website, search engine marketing (SEO), social media and mass marketing initiatives as a sole source of business growth is not only limiting, but it is time-consuming. Integrating these efforts through the use of an agri portal creates both operational efficiencies and cost savings in the short and long-term.
A community of support. Any type of trade portal brings the added advantage of creating a community between buyers and sellers. There are also opportunities for contributing to the thought leadership aspect of the industry. Participating in trade shows and seminars are an excellent way to establish the expertise of your agribusiness and to identify potential partners for new business growth or support.
Quality leads. Not only do agri portals allows businesses to reach an expanded audience, they also connect sellers with buyers who are actively in search of a product or service. These active, quality leads can reduce the length of the sales cycle and bolster revenue during traditionally slower sales seasons. Additionally, agri portals give the sellers the ability to segment and target a specific audience within their customer base. These targeted efforts also yield high quality leads by identifying customers with a precise need in real-time.
Insights into the industry and the competition. Not only do agri portals allow businesses to gain insight into their customers, they also create the opportunity to learn more about industry competitors. Learning new information regarding industry practices around pricing, branding strategies and product features can help redirect an agri business recognize when they need to realign business strategies and can keep them focused on how innovation is changing their industry.
To ensure your agribusiness strategies find success in the long-term, it is critical to have the right support. Implementing the right technology, utilizing successful strategies and leveraging data to drive decision-making are all important aspects of finding success. In addition, identifying partners throughout the ag supply chain who understand your vision, mission and goals adds to the value you can provide customers.