Online ordering is an increasingly popular and convenient purchasing method for consumers. Just this past week, Amazon launched its Prime Now, which offers 1- and 2-hour home delivery of among other things, household items or groceries.
So could the same speedy delivery trend one day be adopted by farm equipment dealers? In some respects, it already is, with growing online availability of parts, precision farming components and even wholegoods that can be quickly stocked and shipped to customers.
But developing a broad scale online business presents some global challenges for dealers, according to Howard Pullen, a longtime independent European distributer of farm equipment.
Talking with Pullen at this year’s SIMA Agribusiness Show in Paris, he suggests retailers looking to develop or expand their online equipment business be protective of their property. Fraud and online scams are growing concerns among overseas distributers and Pullen shared his own cautionary tale.
“There are some dangers with the internet and I’ve experienced the possible fraud of someone trying to sell one of my tractors online to a third party by taking information and the transaction nearly happened. So it’s really quite a risk, and you have to be careful about the machine and putting serial numbers and too much information on internet sites is very dangerous.”
Still, with the proper safeguards in place, Pullen sees growth potential in online sales of farm equipment, to the point where dealers may end up partnering with third-party internet resellers to complement machinery sales at brick and mortar stores.