RD1.COM Expands Access To Rural Portal
Innovative rural supplies provider RD1.COM has successfully completed the third phase of its development programme, including refinements to its rural portal and has opened the site to general registration.
Rural New Zealanders wanting to access the site can do so by emailing details to email@example.com or by calling 0800 RD1COM (0800 731266), and completing the registration process over the telephone. Online registration will become available during the next fortnight.
To purchase goods and services online, users require an account with RD1.COM or any AnchorMart store. New users can acquire an account when they register with RD1.COM, but must then complete the manual application that takes about one week.
RD1.COM chief executive Neal Murphy said the company was considering electronic account and payment options, but was happy with its account-based purchasing for the time being.
“We’re looking to build a community and serve its particular needs,” he said. “Our members prefer using an account-based payment system.
“Security is a major concern among our members,” said Mr Murphy. “Using our existing store account system means customers don’t have to send credit card numbers via the Internet. It’s also a low transaction cost.”
Site access has been restricted during RD1.COM’s trialing and development programme, begun in September, 2000. All New Zealand Dairy Group supplying shareholders have had access to the portal since December as the company has trialed and tested systems and services, tailoring them specifically to farmer needs.
Despite restricted access, RD1.COM has quickly become the country’s most sophisticated rural portal with more than 8,000 registered users. Its online store has an inventory of around 6,000 products, growing by around 150 items a week.
“We’ve had to get the systems right to deal with this kind of stock unit growth, and to support what is a full service store online,” said Mr Murphy. “Our site has not only got first rate farm management information and services, but has the farm supplies online to back it up.
Mr Murphy said that RD1.COM was pleased that it had adopted a phased trialing and development programme that enabled it to achieve sustainable growth in terms of the range and sophistication of its products and services.
“It’s taken a little longer, but in terms of quality and depth and a solid platform for ongoing development, it’s definitely the right approach.”
Mr Murphy said that during busy periods, a farmer no longer needed to leave the farm to get everything he or she needed. “We can provision the farm so the farmer can focus on getting on with the job.”
He said that RD1.COM’s Internet portal was not competing with its AnchorMart stores, but was driving additional national business.
“The effectiveness of our Internet strategy lies in its integration to our stores network,” he said. “We’re offering customers the choice to shop and do business in the way that suits them best. We’re happy to serve them any way we can.”
Mr Murphy said that the New Zealand rural supplies business was worth around $5 billion, including rural household spending.
“We expect considerable consolidation over the next few years, particular as e-commerce becomes more important.
“RD1.COM is well-positioned to build on the dairy co-operative’s long history in farm supplies to become a market leader in supplying vital services to all rural New Zealanders.”
For further information: Neal Murphy,
tel: 025 2807800