Ordering materials from their phone or tablet is often difficult for farmers. That is why suppliers are looking for ways to simplify things for them. MS Schippers has recently launched a new app with this in mind. In contrast to many other applications, this app is fully suited to work both in and outside of the barns.
In recent years, suppliers in agriculture and horticulture have seen a sharp increase in digital ordering. This is also the case in animal husbandry, but the conditions in the barn are often far from optimal. For example, bad or no Internet and lack of time. That is why farmer apps functionality is receiving more and more attention from suppliers.
A good example is the new MS Schippers app. “We wanted a user-friendly app that suits the way cattle farmers order materials”, said John van Beek, E-commerce manager at MS Schippers. The result is a seemingly simple but functional app that fits in seamlessly with the wishes of modern entrepreneurs in the livestock industry. After a year of development, together with IT company Incentro specialists, the app has been available to MS Schippers customers since the beginning of this year.
According to Van Beek, the key to developing a good app is actually quite simple: You have to know what your customer wants. That’s why the app development is based on a large number of conversations with users. “A number of users indicated that they have no or bad Internet, and therefore no possibility to order online. We also found out from these conversations and from an analysis of buying behaviour that the majority of customers always orders the same products. One customer indicated: “I always use some type of shopping list that I take with me throughout my barn. When a product is almost out, I add it to my list”. Finally, a general perceived annoyance is that customers often forget their password and have to request a new one.
To start with the password problem: Customers never have to log in the new app after the first time. Furthermore, when they open the app, they will see their recent order history. The entrepreneur clicks on the desired product, which is then directly added to the shopping cart. “It’s a fast way to order. The way it usually works is that you first get information about the product and then you can place an order. We do it the other way around.” As a result, a minimal number of finger movements is required and the risk of error is low.
To keep things clear, the app does not have a category classification. A search function allows entrepreneurs to quickly find a new product. To make it extra easy and to prevent confusion, an entrepreneur can scan the barcode of a product. “There are many different variants of some products such as needles,” says Van Beek. Thanks to the scanner in the barn, the customer doesn’t have to remember anything and is sure to order the right materials.
The app has been technically rebuilt from the start. In the background there is one single platform on which both the website and the app run. This makes it possible to switch easily between the app on the phone and the website on the laptop with the same account. Thanks to smart technology, the app can also be used offline in the barn. Big customers with multiple locations have one account but can place orders by location. Customers can pay on the app through their invoice or later at the office with iDeal. “In any case, they do not need to bring a debit card into the barn”.