E-COMMERCE FOR FARMERS—Yes, You Can!

Web Based Tools and Web Marketing Basics

When farmers hear the words “e-commerce” or “web marketing,” they usually think of big business, fancy websites, and online shopping. To many, email can be as exciting as paying bills or doing taxes, and managing a website seems as realistic as winning the lottery. However, farmers who dismiss e-commerce as an “impossible dream” are actually missing out on a tremendous business opportunity that can improve their bottom line. E-commerce is not for everyone, but farmers who already have a computer can save and earn more money by taking advantage of this existing resource (their computer) to harness technology for their marketing success.

MergoAgri offer help to farmers who want to explore and develop a web based marketing plan. The price of this help can range from almost free to thousands of rupees. The easiest route is paying someone else to develop your e-based services. A web designer, information technology professional, or a friend who is knowledgeable about computers can help you set up your mailing list and web site, or do all the work for you. Several web study farmers actually bartered their farm products for web design help from technically practicality and very helpful customers of theirs!

The downside of hiring someone and outsourcing your work is that you may become dependent on that person to execute any changes in your marketing plan, such as updating your website’s product list or adding a new photo to your site. In these cases, the turnaround time may not be as quick as you would like. You need to weigh the costs and benefits of outsourcing against the time you’d need to train yourself, considering the value of your time, the needs of your family and business, and your farm’s business plan.

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