Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

COVID-19’s Lasting Effect on Ag Retail: Online Ordering

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way ag retailers are doing business in 2020. But what will be the lasting effects of virtual sales, no on-farm visits and less face-to-face interaction?
If you look to the consumer market, you may say there will be an uptick in e-commerce, as many more Americans are ordering necessities online.
So, is ag retail different? Yes and no.
Yes, ag retail has seen an increase in farmers buying inputs online. In 2018, Farm Journal conducted its first Crop Input Purchase Behavior Study, which found 8% of respondents currently bought some of their crop inputs online, and 13% planned on buying crop inputs online in the coming year. In mid-October 2019, the study was repeated, and results showed 11% of respondents had purchased crop inputs online, with 15% intending to do so in 2020.
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