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Winning in the B2B eCommerce Space

B2B eCommerce in India is based on 3 fundamental value propositions:

1. Selection: Availability of a wider range of products, from across the country to the remotest buyer/retailer.

2. Price: Sourcing of the products at a price point that is agnostic to the distance from the supply centre.

3. Service: Both forward and reverse logistics at an SLA, which is close to what the buyer/retailer experiences while sourcing from its nearest supply point.

This primarily challenges the wholesale ecosystem.

A key to success for operators in this space will be to be consistent with their CVP’s, ensuring continuity of supply and reducing the lag between order and delivery. A path to this will be:

1. Identifying long-term partners on the supply side: Here, the core principle should be a symbiotic, long-term growth partnership with relatively small/unknown brands, helping them to scale and providing them with reach; at a guarantee of consistency in CVP and supply, also exclusivity with the buyer based acquired thru the platform.

2. Localised mini-warehousing / stock points: For a nation of India’s size and scale, it is imperative to identify and shape a distribution network that can mobilize inventory as effectively as a local supplier. This would require a spread of mini-warehouses and stock points that the suppliers can use to hold the fast-moving inventories. Building a hybrid model, which is efficient than the dropship model and resilient than the just-in-time framework, might be the solution.

3. Build a trust and continuity based relationship: Business in India is still largely dependent on relationships. Every brand has a face, it is represented by its distributor and field force. Thus, the platforms must ensure that there is a touch beyond technology and a face behind its platform that the buyers/retailers can associate with. It is equally important to provide solutions to service issues, minimizing the process lags. Empowering the local teams to own solutions on service recovery and retention, go a long way in building a “Channel of Choice” status for the platform.


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