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Multi-ethnic male and female farmers selling organic vegetables at market

Interest in using software platforms for sales increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as many food distribution channels faced challenges. Sales software can facilitate and support direct sales to consumers, allowing growers to try different marketing channels and experiment with how they reach their community.

Whether you want to start selling through an online storefront, manage a community-supported agriculture (CSA) operation, or manage sales and distribution from the farm or a farmer’s market, many options are available.

Farmer inspecting some bills and bank statements in a non-urban homePoint-of-sale systems handle customer payments, help manage sales, and track inventory. Block (formerly known as Square), Shopify, Clover, and QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale are just a few. These are all generic platforms that are not specific to farming.

Some sales platforms created for farms with direct sales are described in table 1. Each offers an e-commerce storefront, including credit card processing and offline payments, some accounting features/integrations, some marketing features/integrations, and distribution management features.

There are some up-front costs to implementing any of these platforms, including the introductory cost of the product as well as the initial time spent entering your farm’s information. Some platforms offer the option to input your information and perform most of the initial setup for an additional fee. When considering the costs associated with using these products, it is important to think about the potential value the product could add to your operation. There is certainly value to your time as a business owner, and these products can often help owners overcome hardships they face in scaling up their farm business.

Not every generic E-commerce product and farm- specific platform is included in table 1, as there are many. Farmers should research which platform may work best for their operation and use the information provided in this publication as an introduction to farm- specific sales platforms.


Table 1. Comparison of Sales Platforms for Farms with Direct Sales

PlatformPricing StyleCredit Card Transaction FeeCSA Management
Barn2DoorMonthly fee + setup feeYesNo
Farmigo% of sales with monthly minimumNot specifiedYes
Food4All% per order with maximum chargeYesYes, for additional fee
GrazeCartMonthly feeYesNo
Harvie% of sales + setup feeYesYes
Local Food MarketplaceSetup fee + monthly feeNot specifiedYes, an add-on module
Local LineMonthly feeNot specifiedYes
MarketGardenProFree basic plan or $10/monthNot specifiedNo
Open Food NetworkDonation-based pricingNot specified; limited payment methodsNo


Peer ReviewJessie Rowan, Regional Extension Agent, Farm and Agribusiness Management, Auburn University

New October 2022, Introduction to Farm-to-Customer Sales Software, ANR-2933

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