A NEW online farm merchandise venture featuring a large catalogue of market-leading inputs widely-used across the livestock industries has been launched.
Farmshop Australia (www.farmshopaustralia.com) promises to deliver convenience and competitive pricing in merchandise requirements for beef and sheep producers across Australia.
The website will act as an online buying portal allowing convenient shopping 24/7, 365 days a year for a range of recognised, proven and trusted brands.
The site’s product catalogue covers a wide range of key inputs including animal health products, vaccines and parasite control lines; stock handling equipment; feed supplements; water infrastructure requirements; and general farm management tools and equipment.
Currently the site lists more than 7000 product lines, but this will continue to grow over the next two years, as well as introducing additional ranges like animal identification and electric fencing. The current range covers cattle, sheep, horses and goats.
Products ordered are in most cases consigned direct from the manufacturer to farm, removing the warehousing and inventory costs associated with conventional farm input merchandising.
An efficient and prompt freight delivery facility has been designed, with most items delivered direct to farm. Specialised items like temperature-sensitive vaccines will be distributed via secure cold-chains to a network of cooperating veterinary practises across eastern and northern Australia, for pick-up by the customer.
The sales transaction, completed through credit card or electronic funds transfer, uses latest industry standard security measures including proven encryption technology to protect customer security. No credit card details will be stored on farmshopaustralia.com
The payment system is user-friendly and can be done in a timely and efficient way with record of transactions that satisfies accounting and Business Activity Statement reporting.
A key feature of the Farmshop Australia model is technical support and broad product information and advice, provided through a number of channels.
The site has been created to connect livestock producers with experienced vets and others with specialist technical expertise through a library of helpful background articles containing topical information on animal husbandry and animal health issues; a question and answer platform; regular newsletters; and regular webinars on topical and timely livestock management issues.
Backing the Farmshop Australia business are well-known northern agribusiness identity Chris Evans and leading livestock veterinarian Dr Rod Stephenson, and their families, providing some of the necessary IT expertise.
“Online sales have been growing at 20 to 30 percent each year in Australia, so this is a logical progression for the livestock industry, and the channel is perfectly suited to beef and producers in rural and regional areas of Australia,” Mr Evans said.
“Farmshop Australia connects purchasers of farm and pastoral products and manufacturers via the web site. Purchasers can view a wide range of products for sale and select those of interest. The purchaser lodges the delivery point and farmshopaustralia.com immediately responds with a price including freight and the delivery arrangements,” he said.
“Our objective is to create an effective link between agricultural goods manufacturers and livestock producer buyers online. It allows buyers to peruse products via their home computer, select and price products without the hassle of needing to make an immediate buying decision. Once purchasing is completed on-line, the goods are dispatched.’’
“The model provided a value shopping experience where we can pass on our low overhead cost savings to the purchaser,” Mr Evans said.
A loyalty program will reward high-volume and value users of the buying service.
“In developing Farmshop Australia, we wanted to provide a value and learning experience for users,” he said.
“To achieve this, we’ve co-opted a number of service providers to contribute to regular webinars. For example we have seven veterinary practices spread across the northern beef cattle industry which will provide regular advice on improving northern beef industry productivity,” Mr Evans said.
The Farmshop Australia launch comes at a time when national rural service provider Elders has closed its own AgSure online merchandise portal (see this morning’s separate story).
AgSure was launched three years ago to considerable fanfare, but competed directly with Elders’ 220 branches across the country – many of which themselves stocked an extensive merchandise range.
- Click here to access the new Farmshop Australia website.
Good luck to you in your new venture, Rod and Chris. There is definitely an opportunity in this space for merchandise purchasing, and it looks like you have developed a model that will have wide appeal.