In 2018, Proagrica surveyed the US ag retailer community, reaching out to over 5,000 businesses in the sector, to better understand key issues affecting profitability, growth, and the extent to which data and analytics are implemented into their current systems.
A common issue reported by many respondents was one of uncertainty. In a changing marketplace, how does an Ag Retailer position itself as dynamic and able to meet the evolving needs of its customer base?
Commodity prices – one of the leading causes of anxiety for Ag Retailers – are vulnerable to repercussions from shifts in the market or the implementation of government tariffs. For example, China accounts for almost 2/3 of the soybean export market, and the American Soybean Association has heard directly from China that “US soybeans are prime targets for retaliation” in light of recent US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. soybeans are currently shipped to China.
However, one issue ranks above all others when considering the implementation of new solutions: how best to future-proof a business rated as the most problematic concern for Ag Retailers. Although not the most pressing issue, it remains the most persistent across all businesses.
As tech-savvy growers seek suppliers in a changing market, Ag Retailers are aware of the need for adaptation. Despite this, many businesses are unsure about the best course for their future strategy, either having no access or awareness to the potential solutions available.
Ag Retailers that adapt to the changing data landscape place themselves at a huge competitive advantage over businesses who don’t, essential during especially turbulent economic periods. In practice, it is Ag Retailers that seize the opportunity for innovation which are positioning themselves as competitive leaders. The importance is choosing the right solution to fit the business – adaptable and convenient, that will drive efficiency and profitability while implementing seamlessly within an Ag Retailer’s existing business framework.