AgVend is launching to provide an online platform for farmers to search for crop protection inputs and make purchases direct with ag retailers.
“The industry is ready to experiment and figure out how to evolve. We designed AgVend to increase convenience for farmers and for retailers,” says co-founder Alexander Reichert. “We talk about the ag economy causing farmers to be more price sensitive—but it’s making them time sensitive as well.”
The site’s marketplace directs users to give a product and zip code to begin the search. The results include products, bundled services (ex: application), price and delivery option (pickup or delivery). The location is known at this point in the search; however the exact retailer is unknown.
The order can be paid online via credit card or direct bank deposit. Reichert says they use a processing partner that directly connects to bank account—without a delay.
After check out, the retailer partner is revealed for pickup and delivery contact information.
“Our research showed that farmers truly value their relationships with their retailers, but they wanted to be selective in how they purchase products and then how services are bundled with those products,” Reichert says. “In these economic times, farmers are willing to drive to pick up product or pay for delivery if they are able to confirm they can save money and time. However, they aren’t willing to drive 30 miles to a retailer just to begin the negotiation.”
The site launched in December 2017. Currently, the company has independent retailers participating in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. And the company plans to be in the Midwest in the coming months—nationwide before harvest 2018. AgVend aims to add crop nutrition products by second quarter 2018.
Reichart says many of its retail partners are waiving delivery fees currently.