Is E-Marketing Right for You? Linda B. Landrum Regional Specialized Agent UF/IFAS North Florida REC – Suwannee Valley Marketing is…. communication between company and customers that influences customers’ purchases. Computers on Farms • 55% of US farms own or lease computers • Only 31% of US farms use computers for their farming business (Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report,USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS); July, 2005) What savvy farmers have learned about web-based marketing • Can be an important part of doing business today • Can increase sales through increased visibility • Higher level of online services and quality, requires more investment and expertise • Be sure customers are willing to pay for level of service • Freshness and organic certification are important competitive advantages • Delivery areas may need to be limited • Use of delivery and sales at farmer’s markets or central pick-up point to reduce costs • Experiences in order fulfillment throughout farm catalogs is an advantage Attra-News Sep/Oct 2005 Internet Users • Globally, 934 million people have used the Internet as of Dec. 2004 • US = 185.5 million • Canada = 20 million Global Users of the Internet are predicted to increase to 1.2 billion by 2006 (Computer Industry Almanac) What is a “User”? The definition of “User” varies widely: • How often does the person log on to the internet? • How long is the person on the internet each time? Active User of Internet • Average time that active users spent on the internet in 2001 was 15 hours per week (Jupiter Media Matrix) • “Active User” is on the internet at least 1 hour per week excluding email and chat activity (Emarketer.com’s definition) Typical Usage of Internet • 55% used for communication rooms, text messaging) • 20% for playing games • 15% for surfing • 10% for shopping (SIQSS) (email, chat $87.5 billion spent online in 2004 (Customer Respect Group, Massachusetts) Top Rated Websites in 2004 Payless Shoe Source CVS L.L.Bean Customer Respect Group 2005 Age of Internet Users Age Group 18 – 24 Using the Internet 73% Bought Online Past 12 Months 25% 25 – 34 62% 39% 35 – 44 55% 34% 45 – 54 55% 43% 55 + 36% 29% (Bristol Group, 2000) Items Purchased Online Computer Software 15% Computer Hardware 12% Books 13% Music 11% Groceries – generic 0.6% Groceries – brand 0.3% Recreation 1.3% Travel 7.7% (GVU Center, 10/98) Incentives That Would Increase Buying Prices 74% Compare Prices 45% Security 38% Find Items 38% Customer Service 37% Easier Returns Policy 37 % Loyalty Rewards 22% (Jupiter Communications, 4/00) Shopper Orientation Recreational 16.89% Price Conscious 16.89% Community-Oriented 12.79% Involved 12.79% Convenience-Oriented 12.79% Apathetic, Convenience-Oriented 12.33% Personalizing 11.87% Percentage of type shopper in study entitled “Buying or Browsing”; an exploration of shopping orientations and online purchase intention. European Journal of Marketing, 2003 Factors Affecting Purchase Intention • Product type • Prior purchase experiences • Gender Internet shopping is not just for convenience-oriented shoppers, so use a more holistic approach to marketing. Reasons Why Not Likely to Shop Online • #1 = fear of credit card numbers being stolen • Personal information will be abused • Previous problem with online purchase such as misrepresented products/services, incorrect billed amount, and product never delivered • Does not have credit card Caravan® Survey 2001 Ways to Create Customer Loyalty • • • • • Deliver great service Gain the customer’s trust Understand your customers Communicate Customize and personalize Australasion Marketing Journal 10(1), 2002 Ways to Create Customer Loyalty • • • • • Be responsive Create a sense of community Integrate Create involvement Offer them an option Australasion Marketing Journal 10(1), 2002 Factors Affecting Online Marketing Success • Type of products sold • Having an up-to-date company web site • Time availability • Expertise • Regularly emailing customers Washington State University “E-Marketing appears to be complementary to conventional direct marketing methods adding on average, a 27% increase in total sales.” Internet Direct Marketing Success of Farm Business in the US: A Web-based Survey. Types of Web Pages Web Page as Billboards Web Page Billboard Plus Email http://www.lookoutfarm.com/ Web Page as Newsletter http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M3570 Web Page Directories http://www.fgga.org/upickdirectory.html Web Page Store http://www.beechhillfarm.com/bakery.htm Web Page Design • Own design • Design by Agricultural Association/ Organization • Commercial Webmaster • Compare prices and services available Need Help? Good places to learn about website options: • USDA’s How to Direct Market on Internet Publication http://www.ams.usda.gov/tmd/msb/pdfpublist/internet marketing.pdf • Small Business Development Center’s E-Commerce Guide http://sbdcnet.utsa.edu/sbic • Agricultural Marketing Resource Center http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/business/operatingbusine ss/emailmarketinglinks.htm • E-Commerce Digest http://www.ecommerce-digest.com • E-Commerce Product Review Guide http://products.ecommerce-guide.com Characteristics of a Good Web Page • Organized & Current • Quick to load, with working links • Easy to see all parts and find items • No more than 2 clicks to any part • Appealing to customers: – Eye-catching – Secure transactions – Personalized – Constantly changing Security Concerns SSL: Secret Socket Language • Software that scrambles data during transmission • Protects against non-authorized use of data Domain Name Registration • Brainstorm for a catchy, representative name • Have alternative names ready • Select company accredited as registrar by ICANN • Where to check if available: – www.internic.net Domain Name Examples • http://www.goatladydairy.com • http://www.king-ranch.com/ • http://www.flfarmandfeed.com/ • http://www.florida-farmers.com/ • http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/ Customers Sources for Websites • • • • • Search Engines Email Messages Websites Word of Mouth (off line) Media – Magazines – TV – Radio • Banner Ads (online) • Direct Mailings Packaging Considerations • Retail size • Maintain postharvest product quality in transit • Weight • Costs Shipping Issues • Costs per pound • Delay • Logistics – Drop off – Pick up Other Considerations • Technical Support • Web Page Maintenance – Monitoring Use (Email, Orders) – Errors and Accuracy (Product Availability) – Upgrades and changes Expected Trends “Being online…is becoming as important as being in the phone book. If you want people to contact you at all, you’d better be listed.” B. Smith & F. Catalone Marketing Online for Dummies Where Do You Go From Here? • Identify your internet goals • Web page or not? • If not, – use other places to advertise your farms such as these free sites • Pick Your Own www.PickYourOwn.org • Florida Market Bulletin http://www.florida-agriculture.com/fmb/place_ad.htm • Local Harvest http://www.localharvest.org/register.jsp • Farm Locator http://www.newfarm.org/farmlocator/ • Sunshine Farmers Market (Florida Farm Bureau members) www.sunshinefarmersmarket.com • If yes, – Develop a web page budget as part of your farm marketing plan – Network with your current customers, other businesses, etc. – Seek information and assistance needed – Set short term goals and re-evaluate periodically To succeed on the internet, your company must foster closer customer relationships in the face of technology! Thank You • For more information visit the Small Farms web at http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu • Take a virtual field day tour by visiting the Virtual Field Day web at http://vfd.ifas.ufl.edu This presentation brought to you by the Small Farms/Alternative Enterprises Focus Team.