Proagrica, the largest tech and data business serving the global agricultural market, has launched an Omnichannel Platform for agricultural retailers looking to unify their customer experience. The new offer strengthens customer relationships by integrating retailers’ existing systems and sales channels into a single online portal for customers to easily place orders themselves.
Graeme McCracken, CEO at Proagrica, says: “Best practice from market leaders in the B2C space means ag retailers are now being judged by the standards set by the likes of Amazon and Apple that are differentiating through data-led experiences. Consequently, growers increasingly expect the same types of slick and seamless customer experiences. If incumbents don’t act fast, they will see their market position chipped away by digital-first challenger brands.”
Research into US ag retailers Proagrica completed earlier this year revealed that over three-quarters of ag retailers still use legacy tools such as manual spreadsheets to manage relationships and only 16 percent employ CRM systems.
Mr McCracken comments: “Agriculture generates more data than any other industry and, historically, it’s been challenging for ag retailers to unlock the inherent value this presents. Consequently, key information gets missed or isn’t available at point-of-sale so conversion opportunities are lost. This has made ag retail experience frustrating for all parties.”
Proagrica’s Omnichannel Platform enhances existing channels to customers by eliminating interoperability barriers and securely connecting the retailer’s supply chain data from disparate systems and sales channels. This includes customer-specific pricing, and ties in interactions with agronomists and reps, whether these have been conducted in-field, in-store, over the phone or online. It overlays this information with customers’ own agronomic data and account information which they can add and update using a self-service interface.
Growers can also place, evaluate and track orders 24/7, view their account balance and review messages within a user-friendly interface that is branded to the retailer’s specifications. The integrated portal supports growers’ preferences, regardless of how they prefer to buy. Flexible payment options include pre-pay, pay by account and the option to pay by bank transfer.
Mr McCracken says: “Growers want expert guidance from trusted partners that builds on the smart use of their data, and they expect that support as and when they need it. Unifying ag retailers’ existing systems and sales channels can feel overwhelming in an ecosystem that’s as complex as agriculture. However, it’s not an insurmountable challenge thanks to the data and tech available to us today, as our new solution demonstrates.”
Proagrica’s Omnichannel Platform gives field and phone reps immediate access to information on all the applicable products and services their employer has to offer and automates processes such as notifications, quotes, claims and converting agronomist recommendations into orders.
Mr McCracken concludes: “Reducing the time wasted on administration offers retailers an opportunity to concentrate on adding value to their customers. Understanding their pain-points in granular detail helps agronomy and retail teams collaborate more effectively to promote the right products that will help the grower meet quotas and rebate targets.
“The immediate advantages to the ag retailer are improved customer engagement and loyalty. It breaks down the barriers between grower and retailer, building trust to elevate the supplier/client relationship to the status of valued partnership. However, Omnichannel can also open up new revenue streams in allowing reps to recommend products and services that will help customers future-proof their operations.”