Retailers and the e-com solutions
E-commerce has been increasingly becoming the must have, necessary arm of a branded retailer. Be it a tie up with the leading marketplaces or the standalone web-stores to do away with the commission that needs to be paid to another marketplace. Its undoubtedly catching up with one and all.
I recently came across one of the posts by a B2B player about the branding they did for a small town apparels company. The banner was supposed to be displayed on their B2B platform and am assuming they charge a premium (as is the revenue model across) to advertise these wannabe brands so that more retailers notice them and increase their sales.
What does a mom and pop store retailer want from a “smart” solution anyway?
Simple answer is business continuity, with a high ROI of the time and effort they invest in learning the functioning of that tab that a B2B player hands over to enable communication and updates on a regular basis.
Having seen the apprehension first hand, I believe the retailers will be willing try the product for few key reasons:
- Hope and the lure of the new: They are already facing challenges in business growth, so trying a new age tool cannot hurt more
- Competition: Their next door retailer has been boasting about the efficiency of operations (for one, managing their working capital) through the said app so it is only obvious to give it a try before its too late and every one else is ahead in the game
- Network effects: The wholesalers they are buying goods from is already sold out on using the new technology, so its apparent for the retailer to follow the cues and adopt the application sooner than later
- Brand value: The app has been promoting a lot about its user friendly features and has created a brand value to reckon with. It is the talking point during the smoke break discussions and not able to participate in the know-how will be unacceptable.
End of the day it is the business growth, and continuity in a more seamless form that can bring longevity of usage of an app. A traditional retailer is a no-nonsense business person who knows where to put the penny (and time) to create value.
I remember deliberating an investment in real estate and discussed the same with a relative who happens to be quite a prudent businessman. He told me why would I put money in the real estate when i could earn much more if the same is put into a business deal. That’s the difference in thinking of a salaried person and a smart businessman. Business professionals know they can create value in multiples, with the calculated risks.
I have seen the adoption by some forward looking businessmen, even those who have been in the game for a good few decades. They understand that managing inventory more smartly on a tab that enables a picture of how their working capital is getting affected, and indicates when to raise the next order. Such a visibility is definitely a big plus, something you don’t get on paperwork. The intelligent system gives you an edge to be ahead in the game, but so does it give to the other players. Then, it becomes a level playing field.
Its the level playing field after all that a B2B player should aim at to really enable sustenance of the retailers in the online ecosystem. Its the network effects which work and connect most dots in the existing retail system. Value of time, money and resources, everything is catered to and you have a client who connects you to 7 more, atleast!