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Master of Agribusiness

A Framework to Develop an E-Commerce Strategy Selling Products Online for Agriculture Manufacturers

Brett Goodman, Collierville, Tenn., defended his thesis, “A Framework to Develop an E-Commerce Strategy Selling Products Online for Agriculture Manufacturers” on May 14, 2015. Goodman is an August graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

Online shopping has made purchasing more convenient for buyers around the world. E-commerce sales at the retail level have increased due to technology advancements that have improved access to the Internet, but opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce have not been fully explored  in the agricultural industry. The potential for agricultural input manufacturers to develop an online B2B model may provide a new source of revenue by reaching an underserved market. 

Goodman conducted research for a client to determine the feasibility of increasing one point of market share in corn seed through an online and phone-based sales model.  

“Three factors that have impacted previous agricultural companies conducting online business are industry structure, product complexity and the high-touch nature of transactions in agriculture,” Goodman said. “Before entering into e-commerce, agricultural input companies need to identify the market segment, identify key issues, specify ways to improve efficiencies in the supply chain management and outline resources needed.”

The steps used to evaluate feasibility were to identify the target market and market opportunities and, then, address those opportunities and challenges a company could face developing such a business.

Dr. Arlo Biere, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Goodman’s thesis advisor, said, “Using survey data on customer traits and attitudes, Mr. Goodman skillfully designed a new marketing channel that could meet the need of both buyers and sellers.”