Ag Retailers Launch E-Commerce Platform
To serve farmers through local ag retail but with an online ecommerce platform, CommoditAg was started in 2017. This year, in addition to Illinois-based The Equity, Sunrise Cooperative in Ohio and other ag retailers have joined the network that supports the CommoditAg site.
CommoditAg.com features an online selection of crop protection, plant nutrition and adjuvants.
“It’s a matter of giving the customer choice,” says Tim Bence, chief operating officer for CommoditAg and manager at The Equity.
Bence explains The Equity’s involvement doesn’t change the business’ core mission.
“Some of our customers will continue to want and need our traditional services, but to stay relevant we need to offer choices,” he says. “And we have to deliver a good customer experience—online and in-person.”
He says what is driving that is experience is to continue to offer an easy and friendly way to place an order, product availability, timely delivery or pickup, product quality, and easy payment process.
“With the online experience, it’s not just necessarily cheap prices. It’s table stakes that prices are competitive. But we are charged to make sure they are quality products. And CommoditAg offers not just post-patent products; we have branded products and innovative products too. In the end our goal is to bring choice,” Bence says.
In addition to choice, Bence stresses that the local infrastructure offers value to the farmer.
“CommoditAg is formed by ag retailers that have the infrastructure to support the farmer,” he says. “And we’re in this for the long-haul.”
Current warehouse locations are in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. CommoditAg is offering free delivery for a limited time within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, and Wisconsin for orders over $5,000. Free shipping is also offered for orders over $10,000 in Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
After the initial launch period CommoditAg will offer free delivery within 50 miles of any participating warehouse location before March 15. Orders can be picked up at any one of the warehouse locations.
While the e-commerce business is targeting the Midwest, Bence says they are open to expanding beyond the current footprint.