In early 2020 as COVID-19 hit the United States, consumers quickly moved to purchasing food directly from farmers. Farmers responded by moving to online sales, contactless payments, and contactless deliveries. In order to assist farmers with choosing a software platform for their direct sales, the CSA Innovation Network and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension put together a survey of farmers using online sales platforms and created a report detailing farmer ratings of the most popular platforms.
The information in the Farmer to Farmer Exchange on eCommerce Platforms Report was compiled through a national survey from May 29 to June 30, 2020. There were a total of 170 anonymous responses, with 143 farmers contributing data on the 23 platforms included in the survey, and 59 of those farmers contributing data on multiple platforms. This report highlights the 9 platforms that received ratings from at least 10 farmers.
The report is layered allowing farmers to quickly access relevant information including:
- A chart showing overall farmer rating, pricing, and best uses for the top nine platforms
- A page for each platform with the full farmer ratings, selected farmer quotes, and notes about appropriate sales channels
- Additional links take farmers to deeper details on platforms they find most relevant:
- The full set of farmer pros/cons for the platform
- The full set of farmer comments on the platform
- A written farmer profile on why and how they use the platform and
- A farmer-guided video tour of the customer facing store and backend functions of the platform
- A list of additional resources on eCommerce sales and platforms
The Farmer to Farmer eCommerce Exchange Webinar orients farmers to the report, goes through some important questions to ask when choosing an eCommerce platform, and highlights some pros and cons of three popular platforms.