For over 30 years, Farmer Boy has been one of the leading companies in the agricultural industry, offering animal handling and housing, pest control, medications and protective equipment for bovine, swine, equine and poultry farms. Their customers range from large commercial operations and family-owned and operated mid-sized farmers to hobbyists who have a small homestead set up in their backyard.
However, Farmer Boy is not simply a transactional business. The company focuses on building long-term lasting relationships with their customers and within the communities where they operate.
While Farmer Boy had an online presence, it didn’t represent the sheer number of products for sale, nor did it truly convey the value-added services the company provides to their customer base. Most importantly, the website didn’t promote the resources and knowledge that a multi-generational family-run business brings to the community.
“Our previous platform was very rigid, and we couldn’t make many changes on our own,” said Brian Marquette, Digital Marketing Manager at Farmer Boy. “There were also significant limitations to the website on our end, ultimately making the owners feel it wasn’t the look they wanted to give customers. We were ready to take that next step for the growth of the company by creating a website that looks fresh and new.”
Additionally, the platform couldn’t facilitate the kind of complexity typically required for B2B ecommerce. The old process created barriers between B2B customers and the final purchase, such as a consultation with a sales professional and a 2-3 day turnaround for the estimation and quoting process.
Thus, Farmer Boy set out to find a solution that would support the advanced functionality and flexibility they needed to grow their business while enabling them to design an ecommerce website that reflects their commitment to their customers. With the help of ecommerce design and development agency Guidance, Farmer Boy was able to redesign and replatform its ecommerce website on BigCommerce.
“In order to provide a solid foundation for their newly redesigned website, Farmer Boy needed a cloud-based ecommerce platform capable of providing hybrid B2B and B2C functionality with full long-term scalability,” stated River Korn, Account Director at Guidance. “BigCommerce was the best choice for their regularly updated platform that provides full B2B and B2C capabilities and unlimited integration potential.”
BigCommerce’s seamless, out-of-the-box functionality and platform flexibility allows Farmer Boy to take more control of its brand and website. Marketing and product teams can quickly brainstorm and push out new products and promotions as they see fit, without waiting for the middle-man to make the changes.
“BigCommerce gives us control over creating the experience we want to give our B2B and B2C audiences, which is very important as we grow and start to compete with companies significantly larger than we are today. We can focus on both of these opportunities at the same time, with the same website, and we’re very quickly seeing the results of that investment in our website,” stated Marquette.
Farmer Boy’s new ecommerce site needed to support an online ordering workflow catered to a B2B audience while providing self-service capabilities for buyers with specific roles and permissions.
Using BigCommerce B2B Edition, Farmer Boy can easily manage its 2,300+ corporate accounts on the site and allow each company to set up multiple tiers of buyers within its organization with flexible roles and permissions, including company administrators, senior buyers and junior buyers.
For instance, company administrators manage all aspects of the company, addresses, and users, approve shopping lists, make purchases, and view company order history. Junior buyers, on the other hand, are only given permissions to create shopping lists and view company order history. Senior buyers have all the permissions of the junior buyer, in addition to approving shopping lists and making purchases.
Furthermore, sales representatives can log in on behalf of a company, access shopping lists created by buyers in the company, add products to the cart, and complete placement of the order.
Now, on Farmer Boy’s BigCommerce website, B2B buyers can find and research the products they’re looking for instead of relying on a salesperson. To facilitate this experience, Guidance created a navigation scheme that supports a newly created taxonomy and strongly advocated for an AI-powered search and recommendation solution.
So once the user has found a product and lands on the product description page (PDP), the newly created PDP serves as a true shopping experience with improved product descriptions and enhanced layout to truly inform the customer’s buying process. This eases the demand on sales and customer support teams, freeing them up for more strategic work.
Farmer Boy also has unprecedented access to B2C and B2B customers through Re:Amaze’s on-site chat solution, leading to helpful insights about customer behavior and increased sales opportunities. According to Marquette, “being able to chat with customers has opened up to more inquiries and sales, and we’re having conversations we weren’t able to have before.”
Additionally, B2B Ninja’s seamless integration with the BigCommerce platform allows B2B buyers to accurately estimate the cost of products based on their unique negotiated pricing, while sharing pricing and availability with the B2C audience. “Being able to fully transact and produce an automated quote based on pricing negotiated between the merchant and retailer completely changed the way Farmer Boy transacts with customers,” said Korn.
Overall, the move to BigCommerce has given Farmer Boy the flexibility to transact entirely online and has removed a barrier to entry into the online agricultural market. Since launching with BigCommerce, the brand has reported growth in sales, average order value (AOV), customer reach and more.
Farmer Boy opted to lean into its vision of the future and its desire to compete with significantly larger companies by expanding online. Competing with bigger retailers in the space, Farmer Boy is now equipped to scale its business from a firm foundation and pursue growth on its own terms.
“It’s a huge part of our goals to grow our parts and supplies business over the internet and expand our reach in the continental U.S.,” said Marquette. “Since releasing the new website, we’re reaching more customers than ever before and taking market share away from our competitors.”
Shelley is a Manager, Content Marketing at BigCommerce, where she specializes in content strategy, research and writing to educate brands on the ecommerce industry. Prior to joining BigCommerce, she worked on marketing teams spanning various industries from eLearning to millennial and Gen Z research. Outside of work, she loves exploring all things Texas BBQ and craft beer with her husband and two dogs.