When it comes to technology, online grain marketing isn’t any different than anything else. You have more and more options as technology tackles our every-day problems and makes us more efficient.

With the growing number of online grain marketing tools, I thought it would be a good idea to walk through what’s out there and help you understand what works best for your operation. And to put it all into context, I’ll compare the online grain marketing tools to the online travel tools we’re all familiar with.

“Price Gathering” sites and apps

We’ve all seen the Trivago commercials and in the world of online grain marketing, these are the companies offering a similar kind of service. These sites and apps gather prices from buyers and consolidates your options into a dashboard of posted prices. Some let buyers proactively provide a list of their current basis and cash prices and others use tools to “scrape” the web for prices. You can’t typically sell anything on these sites as they usually redirect you to the buyer’s site.

“Price Listing” sites and apps

In the travel business Priceline offers this kind of service. They list a great price and give you an approximate location but don’t reveal the hotel or other details until you book. You can also compare “Price Listing” marketing tools to sites like Kijiji or other online classified sites. When it comes to marketing your grain with these services, they have offers available but with limited details. Once a deal is struck you get access to all the details. Like a classified listing service, you need to search or comb the listings to find the deal you’re looking for and then reach out. This involves more work and effort on your part than some of the other options.

“Company” sites and apps

You can compare this to having a frequent travel number with a specific hotel chain. You get inundated with communications about deals specific to that one company and only to travel to certain locations. This is the same for any grain company site or app. They will share offers and features with you that might take into consideration everything they know about your operations, but you’re limiting yourself to a single buyer.

“Membership” sites

It’s difficult to find a comparison in the travel business. The closest are sites like Expedia where you have a membership that offers you “member pricing” when you log in. In the online grain marketing world, the only membership site is CXN360 and it is much different. Here you are accessible to the licensed and insured CXN360 buyers who send targeted offers to buy your grain. The offers are “real” offers, not just a posted price, and come with the price, delivery window, and other details you need to decide. You can also reach out to the buyer if you need clarification or more information because you always know who they are.

Making a choice

While there are a lot of tools available, you need to decide what is easiest to manage and what fits with your operations.

“Company” sites and apps give you access into your entire account with that specific company, but it means logging into each site separately and keeping what you do with them independent of each other.

“Price Gathering” sites give you insight into market pricing but it’s up to you to initiate discussions with a buyer whose price may have piqued your interest. You’ll need to confirm if the opportunity is still available and then request the details on the price and terms.

“Price Listing” sites are not new and are essentially an online version to the classifieds. Remember the good old days scouring The Western Producer classifieds looking for a tractor, some common oats, and a companion!

“Membership” sites like CXN360 are new, and they give you access and transparency into the buyers, their prices, and their terms, all in one place. The offers come to you and you decide if you’re interested. Nowhere else will give you a single point of access to over 30% of the grain buyers to either receive offers or send targets.

Simple and efficient, CXN360 is where business gets done. If you don’t have a membership yet, sign up today.