Trends in e-commerce for the food marketing system

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9 Scopus citations


E-commerce has emerged as a viable option for connecting agribusinesses and consumers within the food marketing system. The purpose of this review is to assess the current status and impact of e-commerce in the food marketing system. The review comprises issues related to adoption and use of computers and the internet by agribusinesses and the economic impact of e-commerce for these businesses. The review also covers aspects related to the importance of consumers' e-commerce food purchases, the factors affecting its usage and some new developments in the use of e-commerce to market food products using social media and mobile marketing. Regarding the adoption and use of e-commerce by agribusinesses, we find heterogeneous rates of adoption, use and impact across sectors and countries. For example, in the USA even though 67% of farms had access to the internet in 2013, only 14% reported conducting marketing activities over the internet. On the other hand, US Census data show that in 2012 the e-commerce value of food product manufacturing shipments accounted for more than 50% of their total value. Data from the USA and UK, two of the most advanced e-commerce markets in the world, indicate that food internet sales account for less than 4% of total sales. We conclude that while e-commerce has influenced the food marketing system, its impact does not appear to have been as dramatic and swift as had been expected. More research is needed in order to better understand the ways in which e-commerce affects agribusinesses and consumers. The review also identifies a paucity of e-commerce related statistical data.


  • Agriculture
  • Food marketing
  • Internet marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Online food purchases
  • Social media


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