Wholesale prices for potatoes this season are little encouraging for agricultural producers, forcing them to look for new, more profitable ways to sell their crops. One of the possible solutions to the problem for certain categories of farms may be cooperation with online stores. In recent years, such sites have opened in almost all major cities of Russia.
According to Nielsen (a global measuring company that provides data and analytics for the most comprehensive study of consumers and markets), when purchasing food, Russians try to make a choice in favor of regional products: for example, 81% of respondents prefer to buy locally produced meat, and 80% prefer milk. , vegetables - 75%, fruits - 67%. This decision is primarily due to the desire to obtain a natural product with a short shelf life.
Numerous researchers of the Russian e-commerce market are unanimous: it has great potential for growth. According to Robokassa (a service for organizing the acceptance of payments on the Internet), the monthly user audience of the Russian Internet is at least 90 million people a month, of which 65% make purchases in online stores. According to Data Insight (a research agency specializing in the e-commerce market), in Russia there are at least 300 thousand sites with the function of an online store.
At the same time, experts call the online trading in products the most promising area for investment, since this segment is only beginning to develop in our country. It is no coincidence that many international and federal retail chains actively launch their own Internet projects.
But in parallel with food giants, the market has many large and small platforms for the sale of farm products. Online stores of this orientation correspond to the most relevant modern trends: they help customers acquire healthy food without spending time and effort.
HOW IT WORKS?
An online store, as defined by Wikipedia, is a site that sells goods over the Internet. It allows users to online select a product, place an order, arrange delivery and pay for their purchase.
The online store of farm products most often offers its customers a wide assortment of various products, including dairy products, meat and semi-finished meat products, eggs, cheeses, homemade cakes, herbal teas, honey ... Vegetables and potatoes are usually not the first in this tasty range. position. And, nevertheless, they are in demand among buyers: when purchasing a piece of village bacon, few people will refuse to add a couple of kilograms of crumbly village potatoes to the order, especially since the purchase amount will change slightly, and the courier will deliver a heavy load right to the doorstep of the apartment.
Each name (or group of names) of a product is represented by a separate manufacturer. According to the contract with the Internet site, he must monitor the availability of his positions and in a timely manner - within one or two days - in accordance with the rules of transportation, deliver them to the picking point (or directly to the client) in case of order.
However, the site may contain several offers at once for potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. from different suppliers - so that a potential client has a choice.
The task of the online platform is to attract and retain buyers. Accordingly, the costs of the organizers of this business do not only consist of the costs of creating and maintaining the site and the costs of organizing courier delivery (if any). Work on the promotion and promotion of the store is of great importance.
A farm of any level can sell its products using Internet sites, there are no formal restrictions, but in reality this format is convenient for small enterprises that grow a limited amount of goods and are unable to organize mass deliveries to retail chains. Entering the Internet space, the farm gets the opportunity to sell at a favorable price a product with an initially higher cost (in comparison with the products of agricultural holdings) - under certain conditions, of course. Among them - the willingness to work with small orders and a well-thought-out delivery scheme.
“We are ready to provide a site for any enterprises,” says Marat Sungatullin, coordinator of the farm's grocery store “Korova Mu” (Kazan), “but in fact we are working with small family farms. Most often, our partners are farms located near the city and already having their own points of sale there, which means a developed logistics system.
Our platform helps them to increase their sales ”. Internet sites are an ideal place for the sale of eco- and bio-products. “Our farm is five years old, and practically from the first year we have been cooperating with online stores. This is the optimal option for us. - Explains Ekaterina Shagova, manager of the eco-farm "Vasilki" (Moscow region). - The fact is that we do not process potatoes and vegetables in any way before loading them into storage, we have a living, clean product, the life of which outside the storage is not too long. And here a targeted order comes in, which we quickly process, and the product within two or three days falls directly into the hands of the buyer. "
QUALITY OF GOODS OR WHEN IN ORDER OF CAT IN A BAG
One of the key problems in the operation of the online store: the customer’s distrust of the quality of the product, the properties of which the customer is forced to evaluate from the photograph. In fact, not all online sites verify what the farmer sends to the buyer. But this does not mean at all that the client risks getting a defective product, reputation risks are too high. One negative review on the network can drop sales to the entire store. Therefore, as a rule, any product that did not attract the customer without discussion is taken back. With suppliers offering poor-quality products (as well as forgetting about the order or late for delivery), the stores part without regrets.
But this is on condition that the store really works with farmers. It is not uncommon for the owners of virtual sites to deliberately deceive consumers. They buy trial batches of products from well-known farms in the region, draw up personal pages of farmers on their websites - with descriptions of varieties and photographs of fields, post certificates of conformity confirming the quality of potatoes, and ... this is where the cooperation ends. Further, the store quietly sells its goods, but under the guise of farm products. Ivan Pireyev, head of a farm from the Novgorod region, notes that today his photograph and information about the varieties of potatoes that are produced by his enterprise are posted on the pages of five or six St. Petersburg online stores, in some he is named the only supplier of potatoes, sales of goods are going very actively, but none of the representatives of the shops turns to the Novgorod farmer for products.
The range of prices for potatoes in online stores is huge. For a kilogram of tubers, different sites ask from 25 to 300 rubles. The most expensive product is offered to metropolitan customers and most often under the brand name "environmentally friendly products".
What is the price of the product made up of and what percentage of it remains with the farmer? Each store has its own terms of cooperation. The largest margins are for those who completely redeem the consignment of products and independently engage in their storage and targeted delivery. All costs, of course, are ultimately included in the final cost. But other sites highly value their services: to the price of the product (which the farmer himself announces), the untwisted metropolitan stores add from 70 to 100%. Although if the Internet platform is interested in increasing sales, the requests can be significantly lower.
The well-known Moscow store "Eat Derevenskoe", for example, takes a commission of 25-35% for its services, and the farm's grocery store "Korova Mu" generally works for free. “Until the site gains a good turnover, we will not add our percentage to the prices of farmers,” explains Marat Sungatullin, “most likely, we will work according to these rules until the end of 2019”.
A brief review of prices on sites often makes the manufacturer think: does he need an intermediary? A farm that has in its assortment several types of quality products, its own storage and vehicles for order delivery, is quite capable of opening its own online store.
There are examples of such sites on the network, but nevertheless, Internet commerce is a separate and not so simple type of business. Out of dozens of stores that appear on the market every year, only a few become really successful: those who managed to attract customers with interesting products, provide a high level of quality and service, and at the same time remained in profit. This is a challenge for professionals.
Euromonitor International experts predict that online food sales will triple in the coming years worldwide. Thus, by 2022, 3% of the total volume of food products will be sold via the Internet. Now in the world through the Internet only 1% of such products are sold.