A Sligo based company, Dmac Media has revealed that Irish farmers are choosing online shopping for Agri-suppliers over a visit to the nearest supply store. In a study, released today the digital company found that searches online for farm supplies are up 88 per cent on the same time period in 2019.
Year on year, online sessions for the farming sector have doubled, and while a portion of this growth can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, the evidence points to increasing technological-savvy and a willingness for farmers to buy online.
The most common device for accessing searches was a mobile phone with 71 per cent of all sessions from a mobile device, 21 per cent from desktops and just under 7 per cent from a tablet. Revenue generated through mobile devices accounted for 57 per cent in Q1 (up by 11 per cent on the same period last year).
The age profile of farmers searching online shows that young and middle-aged farmers (aged between 25-44) dominate the digital migration within the Agri sector with men accounting for 60 per cent of all purchases.
The data analysed the behaviour of over 350,000 Irish users of Agri-supply websites to provide exclusive insights into how the Agri-supply sector is performing online. The report examines traffic, demographics, technology, channels and conversions online within the Irish Agri-supply sector. (More below)
“We noted that Farmers have been early adopters to online shopping and we wanted to investigate this further.” explains Dave McEvoy Director of Dmac Media. “Even before the recent Pandemic many farmers had moved online when it came to farm supplies as it provides greater choice and value for money. This trend appears to have been accelerated in the recent past. This research affirms that those involved in the Agri-retail sector can expect more online business.”
He goes on to say,
“These findings demonstrate the importance of a responsive sales websites as most purchases are made on a mobile phones and Irish Farmers are extremely comfortable making purchasing decisions online.”
According to the latest figures*, Ireland’s Agri-Food Sector contributes over €13.9 billion to Ireland’s economy and 9.8% of Irish merchandise exports. It accounts for almost 10 per cent of employment in the State. The sector had been anticipating a robust, profitable year. This report suggests that online must be considered for future success in the Irish farming industry.
During Q1 2020, Agri website users grew by 56 per cent versus the previous period. The number of browsers grew by 88 per cent versus the same period last year.
Year on year website sessions more than doubled. The data collected shows that sessions also increased from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 by 63 per cent.
Whilst a portion of this growth can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and seasonality plays a significant role in the result, the high growth figure suggests that the farming community had already begun their migration to online shopping to a large extent.
Young Farmers and middle-aged farmers are dominating the digital migration within the Agri Sector. An evaluation of the age profile of website visitors uncovered a over 45 per cent of visitors were aged between 25 and 44 years. The lowest age demographic was that young or new entrant farmers (18 – 24 years) at just 8 per cent. Interestingly, retirees account for over 12 per cent of Agri website visitors during Q1 2020.
In terms of gender, there appears to be a 60/40 split in favour of men when it comes to Agri sector website visitors.
A staggering 71 per cent of all sessions were via a mobile device during Q1 2020, 21 per cent were via a desktop, while tablets accounted for less than 7 per cent. Revenue generated through mobile devices accounted for 57 per cent in Q1 (up by 11 per cent on the same period last year).
Revenue and Conversion Rate
Revenue generated via online farming stores has doubled on last year. A notable increase was also apparent in relation to the eCommerce Conversion rate which grew by 59 per cent year on year signifying farmers are becoming more adept and increasingly confident in shopping for their farm online.
Organic traffic accounts for 54 per cent of all traffic in the survey, paid channels such as Google Shopping accounted for 25 per cent and social media accounted for just 10 per cent.
Pay per click advertising plays a more pivotal role nowadays and accounts for over 33 per cent of all revenue generated, confirming that paid channels are more likely to convert. The report shows that social media whilst good for awareness it is not the best channel for conversions in the farming sector.