Online opportunities: A quantitative content analysis benchmark study of online retail plant sales
Publication Date: August 14, 2018

Baker, L. M., Boyer, C. R., Peterson, H. H., & and King, A. E. H. 2018. Online opportunities: A quantitative content analysis benchmark study of online retail plant sales. HortTechnology 28, 516-523. doi:
https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH03901-17

Authors

Lauri M. Baker, University of Florida
Cheryl R. Boyer, Kansas State University
Hikaru H. Peterson, University of Minnesota
Audrey E.H. King, Oklahoma State University

Summary

Online, direct selling (ODS) has become the leading way that people acquire goods, with Amazon (Seattle, WA) being the largest online vendor in the United States. This study sought to determine if horticultural businesses were engaging in ODS with Amazon, ebay, and other websites. Researchers examined the ODS activity of 498 businesses using quantitative content analysis methods, and found that 93 horticultural industry businesses were conducting some form of ODS through their websites, but only four offered products on Amazon. Results indicate that ODS remains an untapped marketplace for the horticultural industry, particularly for small, rural businesses.