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Abstract

E-commerce represents both threats to and opportunities for rural communities. This study addresses one element of the issue: farmers' willingness to substitute online merchants or national farm input stores for local businesses. Results of a conjoint analysis of contingent choice experiments suggest that farmers are willing to purchase from online or national stores outside their communities if compensated with lower prices or greater services. Results also demonstrate that the context of the input purchase, such as time constraints, was very important not only in valuing these services, but, more broadly, in terms of the farmer's loyalty to a local merchant.

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