Global trends in the agriculture industry are on the verge of driving the fifth-gen digital revolution.
These trends are super-focused to solve current issues in agro markets.
At one end, the ever-growing world population senses an increase in demand for Agriculture products.
On the flip side, in 2018 farm profits are at a record of 12 years low by dropping down to 6.7% according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
And coming on the consumer trends, developing countries experience a rise in the generation of tech-savvy consumers who expect to get services as they get in other digital-first industries.
So here’s a lucrative warm up to all the industry innovators who are looking for innovative startup ideas!
Ever imagined a planet where consumers can buy freshly processed or farm-plucked agro products delivered at their doorsteps.
Or farmers can leverage a huge network of social communities to sell their products at prices they deserve.
And common people get an online source to earn extra income through their sales skills.
Check out an app concept of online marketplace for farmers that can make these fantasies a reality…
After our seCommerce concept, this is our yet another unique ‘Startup Idea’ where the purpose is to create a large community or network by leveraging smaller social network of common people.
The farmer will not be dependent on one distributor and a user will get an opportunity to earn some extra income by sharing the products in their social network.
It will introduce a new way of social distribution which can bring revolution in the field of eCommerce in agriculture.
About the app concept –
Social Distribution based online marketplace for farmers
A decentralized agro-products distribution app that will allow farmers to list their farm products and leverage the benefit of a large community of app users.
It’s an app idea where any person can be a distributor and start earning desired profits by selling listed agro products to their social network.
In addition to this, a trustworthy marketplace for consumers to purchase farm fresh products from the distributors known to them is also detailed in this innovative business idea.
The proposed social distribution technology will innovatively transform the agricultural marketing and distribution of agro goods into a good-shaped unbiased social commerce.
It’s a more efficient replica of the traditional distribution channel of agro products. The only difference is, it leverages the power of both internet and crowdsourced distribution network.
Creating Win-Win For All
How the app is beneficial to all it’s stakeholders
For Suppliers – (Farmers or Stockist)
- Eliminating many phases of income issues and exploitation.
- They can leverage the social networks of a large number of people using the app.
- It’s through this strong networking, the farmers will sell products at greater ease and receive fair wage they deserve.
For Distributors – (The App Users)
- Anyone can easily become an agro-products distributor and earn some extra money. Be it a housewife, aged retired gentlemen, ambitious adult teens who want to earn while studying, jobless people, and even research interns who research on the agricultural industry can be a distributor and practically experience the agro distribution ecosystem on the app.
- Which requires 0 investments 0 resources for distributors to simply start earning while enjoying full flexibility of working hours and full space to work on their own marketing style. This online marketplace for farmers will prove lucrative for distributors at large.
For The Customers/ End-Users
- Customers will have the self-confidence to trust the ones who share product links to them as they will be known people for them. Customer-Distributor relationships will definitely become stronger on the app.
For You As An App Owner
- A total lucrative app concept and a disruptive business idea for you to adopt a smart revenue model for all the three stakeholders on the app. (as described in the next part of the content)
- Automates marketing within the app by the users themselves. It is innovatively made collaborative in such a way that will attract the users to share product links and increase their social network on this app to earn more.
- Not just marketing but also maintaining the quality of the products listed on the app or shared on the app will consciously be taken care of by the users themselves to get more orders, earn more.
- A great level of competition will arise within the app to provide quality at a reasonable price to consumers. Because, an advanced scope of a social distribution of agro products is smartly infused in this online marketplace for farmers.
Suggested Revenue Models
This is how you as a startup owner generate revenues
Main Revenue Stream
Fixed Flat Service Charges
You can charge a flat service fee for each transaction, regardless of the amount of the transaction.
Fixed Percentage Commision on Sales
You can charge the distributors with a % of the total price after they add profits for every order on the app.
A small margin of additional charge can be added as a final shipping fee to be paid by the distributors. It can be a flat fee or based on location preference.
Additional Ideas For Generating Revenues
- Fixed Charges for sponsored listings if a supplier wants to advertise their products on top of search results.
- One time or monthly subscription for becoming a supplier on this online marketplace for farmers.
- You can charge the distributors with a fee to use premium services on the app. These premium services can include features like the custom landing page, custom links or options to provide customized offers & discounts.
- You can also charge the distributors with a fee to use value-added services like varied styles of ready-made design templates and logos to create a powerful landing page.
- You can provide packages to distributors to purchase the reports & analytics that can include visitors traffic on their landing page, number of clicks, top suppliers, and the average selling price of products based on current market trends. Other things that can be part of reports and analytics can be the keyword suggestions or demand forecast of products are some of the important parameters for distributors to increase sales within their social networks.
Features in this unique concept
The following features will make the concept of this online marketplace for farmers
Features for the suppliers (Farmers/Stockists)
Basic features for the suppliers
- Login A supplier should be able to login by filling up a detailed login form that consists of name, contact number, email id, and even card number from which they will transact on the app. It should be mandatory for suppliers to upload their documents of being a government approved registered farmer/stockist. The supplier’s login will only get activated when these login details will be fully approved by the admin after thorough verifications.
- Profile: A supplier should be able to create an attractive profile to list their farm produce on the app and sell it to the users (distributors).
- Product Listings module
- Product description– A supplier should be able to add a captivating description of their products in a detailed manner to ease out the distribution process for users (distributors). The drop-down options should make it easy for them to mention product price per kg/unit, nature of products (perishable/non-perishable), the validity of products, and other important aspects.
- Video/Photo Upload– This online marketplace for farmers app should have features for suppliers to speedily process images or videos and upload them on the app for distributors to have a look at the quality of cultivation and motivate them to purchase those products.
- Real-time product tracking– The supplier should be able to track their listed stock and stay updated on the total stock available, total stock sold to distributors, and total stock remaining to be sold.
- Minimum/ Maximum quantity to sell– Well! It should be made easy for the supplier to add minimum quantity to be purchased and even the maximum quantity to be purchased by distributors in a single order.
- Custom terms & conditions– A supplier should be able to customize the terms and conditions related to cancellations, refunds, and goods return as per the nature of products. Be it perishable or non-perishable agro products.
- Dynamic Pricing– For pricing the products on this latest online marketplace for farmers, the supplier should be able to mention dynamic prices based on bulk orders or small quantity orders.
- Link Expiry: It is one of the very crucial features in online agriculture marketplace as there are many product with a limited life. Hence, it will be mandatory for the supplier to mention the expiry date for the product. Once the date passes, all the links for that particular product will expire automatically.
- Location-based visibility: The supplier should be able to select product visibility options as per the location. Eg. For perishable products, the app should make product visibility to the nearby location of that farmer. While for non-perishable products, the app should make product visibility to any location or area circumference selected by that farmer as per the nature of products.
- Notifications: The supplier will get notifications for any order placed by customers. This will help them to make the parcels ready for a delivery man to pick and drop at the customer’s location. This feature of online marketplace for farmers will indirectly leverage the power of social distribution of agro products and new trends in eCommerce.
- Payments: As soon as the customer makes a payment for products purchased from the product link, that particular supplier (farmer) will receive their product payments on their bank account (card number) mentioned while registering on the app. And in case of good returns or refunds, the supplier will make payments to admin as per the policies set by admin.
Advanced features for the suppliers
- AI-based pricing module: This feature will help suppliers to know the price fluctuation as per the changes in product demand due to environmental changes, seasonal shift or other uncertain conditions.
- Discounts & Offers: Suppliers should be able to add discounts or offers along with the offer validity depending on the demand for offered seasonal products listed on this online marketplace for farmers.
- Sponsored listings: If the supplier wants to show their product listings at the top of search results on the app, they should be able to pay a fee and enjoy sponsored listings on the app to market their agro-products for distributors.
Features for the App Users (distributors)
Basic features for the distributors (app-users)
- Login: A user should be able to login by filling up a detailed login form that consists of name, contact number, email id, and even card number from which they will transact on this online marketplace for farmers app.
- Product browsing
- Search– Users should be able to perform an advanced search that shows the exact results of agro products availability in their nearby possible locations or specific location selected by a user.
- Filters & Categories– Users should be provided with filters & product categories that can show them the exact search results at one go.
- Create a product link (landing page): After selecting the agro product to be sold to customers, users (distributors) should be able to create a landing page of that product which mentions all details including the available product quantity in kg/units, availability for bulk or small quantity limits or other valuable details.
- Add profit margin (flat charges/% of base price)– User should be able to smartly add their profit margin after carefully analyzing their target market. They should be provided with options to keep profit margin as flat charges on base price or % of the base price.
- Share product links- Users should be able to easily share the product link individually to the contacts or groups on their smartphone, share to friends or friends of friends on their social accounts, and even should be able to directly update a post on their social accounts on the app. This new app concept of online marketplace for farmers has all the riches of social commerce and social distribution channel of agro products.
- Rate supplier’s : Giving ratings to the supplier will help create a competition of quality products on the app. Even the suppliers (farmers) will try hard to get good ratings for their products which will attract other distributors to sell their farm products.
- Payments module: As soon as any customer purchases a product from the distributor’s shared product link and the moment a customer makes a payment through that link, the distributor will receive their profit margin on their account. And in case of good returns or refunds, the user will make payments to admin as per the policies set by admin.
- Receive notifications: Users should be able to get notifications of the orders placed successfully by the customers from the link they shared on their social network. Notifications will mention the customer’s name, address, and product quantity with any discounts or offers if applied by the customers.
- Deactivate product link: Users should be able to deactivate any product link that they have created and easily declare ‘time out’ for sales of that product to the customers if they feel to stop selling that product due to issues in product quality not as per mentioned by the supplier (farmer).
Advanced features for the app users (distributors)
- eWallet Interaction: User should be able to receive profit margins in their eWallet which they can also use to purchase agro-products they need from the product links shared by other users (distributors). Features to withdraw profit/balance should also be made available for the users if they want to transfer their profit margin to their bank account.
- Track orders: The status of all the orders made from the user’s product links should be updated to users in real-time.
- Run offers & discounts: Users should be able to run offers or discounts on the online marketplace for farmers app to smartly sell agro products to their social network.
- Create groups of available contacts: The users should be able to create varied groups of their social networks to make it easy for them to share product links to mass at a single click.
- Create a custom link: Users should be able to customize links as they wish. Be it including their name, agency name, location or anything of their choice that can ease out the sells to some extent.
- Custom landing page: Readymade design templates to customize the design of the product page should be featured for the users. These design templates should have varied styles depending on the components like CTA, banners, content readability, beautiful fonts and much more.
Features for customers/ end-users
Basic features for the customers/end-users
- Buy products: The customers should be able to buy products directly from the product links shared by distributors. Here, they should be provided with drop-down options to select product quantity, offers/discounts applied, and even add the exact location where they want to get the products delivered.
- Multiple payment options: After selecting product details, customers should be to make order payments through debit card, credit card, cash payments, Google Pay, Apple pay, Paypal or any other payments options the app owner wish to integrate on the app.
- Add/edit/delete product reviews: Customers should be able to easily add, edit or even delete their reviews for the products. This will indirectly help the distributors to analyze the quality of product offered by suppliers on the online marketplace for farmers app.
- Track orders: As soon as the customer makes a payment and confirms their order, they should be able to see the location and status of the products ordered by them through live-tracking their orders on the map.
- Complaints & queries: Consumers should be able to share their queries and complaints on the app related to the products, app services, payment hassles, compromised account security, product shipping queries, and much more.
Advanced features for the customers/end-users
- Multiple shipping options: Consumers should be able to select from multiple shipping options like same-day delivery, one-day delivery, or two-day delivery or as per the app owner wants to keep the customization on the app.
- Calendar Management: Consumers can also pre-order some specific type of agro products for which they make a payment but schedule the delivery for a later day or even select daily delivery option for routine products.
Features for the Admin/Management
- Manage all the user’s accounts: All the features should be made available for the admin to manage users accounts on the dashboard itself. From reports & analytics to approvals, payments , queries solving, and for other important aspects, it should be easy for admin to manage.
- Approve & manage suppliers account: It is very important for the admin to verify and then approve supplier accounts. Proper management features should be made available for the admin to control everything from the dashboard.
- Generate/manage invoice: Admin should be able to manage and keep a check on auto-generated invoices for customers as they successfully place an order through the product link.
- Returns & refunds management: This is a very sensitive module on the app to analyze the number of returns or refunds processed during a quarter or three months or for the time interval the admin wants to review returns and refunds analytics. They should also be provided with proper management features for returns & refunds on the app.
- Run the site-wide offers: If admin wants, he/she should be able to run site-wide offers like % of discount during happy hours, extra product offer on billing exceeding a specific amount, % of discount on the purchase of premium app services, offers on sponsored listings for a particular time or any such offers for all the app users.
- Suspend accounts: If the admin feels any breach of policies or conditions, it should be made easy for him to suspend those accounts at a single click ‘suspend confirmation’ process.
- Integration of shipping service: Automate shipping services by integrating API of on-demand delivery services on the online marketplace for farmers app. This automates live tracking orders on a map, delivery fulfillment speed, and everything related to on-demand delivery services on your app.
Product Life Cycle
of a unique app concept of online marketplace for farmers
App Introduction Stage (1 to 3 years)
During the launch of such type of an app, it will need a good amount of time and investment to create app awareness among the people. The app will gradually get discovered in the market in the first year of app launch.
Once the workflow in the app gets smooth, their might arise some bugs issues or missed functionalities that the app owner may realize after the actual launch of the app.
This makes it significant for the app owner to launch this app in beta form in a smaller market. After the app is tested in a smaller market, it is advisable to note down the feedback of users and make updates on the app accordingly.
Now the app will be finally ready to be launched in large targeted markets.
This new app concept would have not been or in a very rare case introduced in the market.
And once the app is introduced in the market, it will be popular among people as they discover the usefulness of the app.
Having something unique and useful will surely make people recommend it to their family, friends, co-workers, or other people they know. It might become difficult for people to hide your app awareness. This will be the estimated situations during the first three years of app launch.
App Growth stage (4 to 8 years)
The fourth-year will mark a good amount of user base which will help you to even penetrate new markets and geographies.
Being more popular in the market will make other businesses or competitors or even startups to launch a similar app like this or add new app functionalities that are similar to your launched app.
The best strategies in growth stage of this online marketplace for farmers app are
- Focus on maintaining the quality of your app services.
- Slowly and smartly penetrate into a new market and new geographies.
- Have a good budget to advertise your app and increase awareness.
- Run site-wide offers to lure customers to your site to sell, distribute or purchase agro products.
This will help to increase brand image in four to eight years of app launch.
Maturity Stage (after 8 years)
In current dreaded agricultural market, a business becomes one of the most important players in the market if it can survive for 8-10 years.
This will be the stage where most of the competitors or similar businesses would have failed.
Now you would have very few competitors and a large number of loyal customers.
Also, your ads & promotion budget will reduce to some extent as the app will greatly be discovered in the market due to your marketing spends in the growth stage.
Your business will sense the peak level of revenues and profits streams.
What should you do to increase the use of your app?
- Expand app services or offer similar service to a different niche.
- Try to enter a few markets where it is difficult to do business.
for this concept of online market for farmers
- Wide scope of implementing revenue model
- Suppliers can enjoy the free promotion of agro products
- Freedom of deciding selling price or profit margin to all the users (distributors)
- Elimination of large supply chain effectively divides benefits among the suppliers, distributors, and customers. This unique app concept uses a smart agriculture supply chain technology.
- Buying agro products from the known distributor’s product link gives a sense of trust and authenticity
- The success of the app depends on the adoption rate of suppliers and distributors.
- The concept has a high dependence on logistics and shipping service provider.
- The supplier has no control over the price of the final product. So in some cases where the brand name is associated, it might affect the brand image.
- An entrepreneur or the agriculture startup will get the first-mover advantage as there will be almost zero competition in the industry
- This social distribution of agro products concept has a wide scope of expansion & diversification in terms of product categories, geography, and also in introducing unique app features as per the ever-evolving trends in eCommerce & social commerce.
- The legal rules of agro products trading and farmers law of different countries might hinder the business entry in certain markets.
- The union of distributors and wholesalers might cause the hurdles
- A potential competition might come up in the future.