4 Internet Use Trends Shaping Ag Retail

A decade is a long time in anyone’s life, but it’s an eternity on the Web. Just consider these statistics on Internet use: In 2002, the Internet had 569 million users – about 9% of the global population – who averaged about 46 minutes a day online. In 2012, Internet users reached 2.27 billion – or one in every third person worldwide – who spent an average of four hours a day online.

Needless to say, our Internet habits have changed significantly over the last decade. The same holds true for ag retailers. The CropLife Media Group (CLMG) surveyed this segment of agriculture on their Internet use three times over a five-year period (2008, 2010 and 2012). After conducting our most recent survey in October 2012, we found four major Internet use trends among ag retailers:

1. Growing number of ag retail Websites. Service-oriented ag retailers go to great lengths to ensure they keep current grower-customers and find new ones. They’ll help customers mitigate their risk and execute their cropping plans, which are more complex than ever due to an increasing number of business and agronomic challenges. So when I find an ag retail business that doesn’t have a Website, it is mind-boggling to me. In a business where service is king, a company Website should be a no-brainer. Yet in 2008, about one in four retailers didn’t have an online presence.

Fortunately, the number of businesses with a Website has steadily increased, jumping to 79% in 2010 and 87% in 2012. And while this means 13% of ag retailers still don’t have a Website, at least it’s a step in the right direction. Any Website is better than none at all, and hopefully by the time we conduct the next Internet use survey the number of companies with a site will be closer to 100%.

For a list of the best industry Websites, be sure to check out “Top 10 Ag Retail Websites You Have To Visit.”

2. Retailers spending more time online. Just like the general public, ag retailers are spending significantly more time online than they were just several years ago. According to our survey, 70% of ag retailers said they spend one or more hours on the Internet for work-related purposes, up 30% from 2008. The mobile revolution has certainly contributed to this trend. Consider nearly 75% of ag retailers used a smartphone or tablet in 2012, up 27% from 2010 and an incredible 52% from 2008.

More smartphone use means more use of mobile apps, many of which are Web-based. In fact, one in four retailers said they use an ag-related app “several times a week,” according to CLMG’s “2012 Ag Retailer Mobile Usage Survey.” Increased social media activity has also impacted ag retailers’ time spent online. More than half of ag retailers (54%) said they participated in social media in 2012, compared to 36% in 2010 and 12% in 2008.

3. Multiple devices becoming the norm. How ag retailers are connecting to the Web is also evolving. In 2008, the PC was their main source of Internet access. In 2012, while 99% still used a desktop/laptop computer to go online for business purposes, another 74% also used a smartphone (up 27% from 2010, and 52% from 2008) and 38% used a tablet.

The frequency of using these devices still favors the desktop/laptop computer. Nearly half of respondents (44%) said they used their PC more than their mobile device(s) for work, while one in four retailers said they used them about the same amount. Not surprisingly, ag retailers mostly used their tablets in the cab and/or field (23%), compared to just 7% who used them mostly in the office.

For more information, you can read “5 Mobile Use Trends Shaping Ag Retailers.”

4. Interactive technology adoption rising. When asked what Internet technologies they have ever used, 79% of ag retailers said they have attended a Webinar, up 12% from 2010 and 47% from 2008. This upward trend was reconfirmed in January when more than 450 people — a record attendance — viewed CLMG’s Webinar, “Mini Bulk/IBC Container Compliance and Recycling: Best Practices from TPSA.”

In 2012, retailers also used mobile apps (64%), video (60%), social media (54%), blogs (38%), and podcasts (27%). All of these technology uses have increased among ag retailers over the past two years. Finally, more than one-third of respondents (35%) said they have shared online content (e.g., articles, video) with others on a weekly basis, including by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

If you wish to receive an Executive Summary of the “2012 Ag Retailer Internet Use Survey,” please e-mail me at [email protected].

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Twitter
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Farmers on Tablet
Matt Hopkins6 Mobile App Trends Worth Watching In Agriculture
May 9, 2016
The agricultural industry is being transformed by the use of data. It is everywhere, and over the next several years, Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Latest News
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More