04-07-2017 Devesh Rai, CEO & Founder, Wydr
First things first! The flourishing wholesale retail market in India is currently pegged at USD300 billion and is expected to grow beyond USD700 billion soon. A major portion of this will move online and there lies the gigantic room for growth. Innovation is the backbone of the ecommerce industry – replacing every offline vertical with an online model. Online wholesale-retail is no exception. In the fast paced competitive business ecosystem of today, technology surely can give businesses the much needed competitive push.
Though there is no denying the fact that the B2B industry, compared to B2C industry in India, is not adequately tech-enabled. Internet enabled online wholesale buying is not a common or regular idea, as it is for B2C markets. There are plenty of B2C e-commerce sites and apps flooding the market. However, there are not many apps and websites for wholesale businesses. Wydr is the first app in India that is exclusively for wholesale buying and selling. It is a first of its kind mobile based wholesale B2B marketplace that is designed to make wholesale buying and selling more structured, organized and a hassle free process, with loads of innovative state-of-the-art features packed within.
The company brings in an innovation led approach to address the highly fragmented wholesale market and acts as an e-marketplace providing technology stack for real time cataloging, deal discovery, network building, order management and processing, search, cart, work flows, dispute resolution, customer care and logistics. The company changed the lives of half a million wholesalers and retailers by saving their time and effort in doing business. There are thousands of sellers, lakhs of buyers, millions of products on the platform, covering all parts of India.
Let us rewind the clocks back to the time when India was alien to smartphones, tabs and the internet. At that time, those who adopted technology first reaped the benefits. Technologies such as inventory management software helped retailers to scale their businesses, reduce shrinkages, enable fast closure of orders, lower incidences of cancellations etc. Happier customers translated into higher growth. They realized what technology can do.
Now, with the advent of the internet, things changed further for the better. The internet and smartphones have become an immensely fertile ground for SMEs and their growth. The early adopters have gained a lot from it. Thousands of wholesale players across the country, have enjoyed the online opportunity and reaped the benefits.
Let us examine the top 5 advantages of Online Platforms for retailers, especially in the wholesale segment. Much of the stated benefits are unique to a country like India, marked by poor infrastructure, fragmented and unstructured wholesale retail market, a diaspora of sub-markets, broken up distribution chains, low trust market, payment safety issues and logistics etc.
Discovery: Access to new buyers and sellers across geographies: Traditionally, the wholesale retail segment has been dependent on networking and reference based business expansion. A retailer in tier 2 or tier 3 town may not have access to top wholesalers, best product and best pricing - located elsewhere in the county. He is mostly dependent on middlemen who guard their sources for their own business interest. Similarly, a wholesaler sitting in a wholesale hub in a tier 1 city lacks the resources and the bandwidth to directly touch base with buyers.
Here comes the role of platforms such as Wydr which can bring the benefit of mutual discovery of buyers and sellers along with the benefit of end-to-end ecommerce. A wholesaler can now easily find buyers located anywhere in the country and sell his merchandise in a hassle free manner. Also, there are online directory listing websites which many wholesalers have used to their advantage for discovery of buyers. But, such marketplaces rarely provide any transaction support.
Payment and risk free transactions: Traditionally in wholesale business, collection of payments from buyers indistant geographies have always been a mounting challenge. Even today, it remains one of the biggest limitation to business expansion. Often a buyer is hesitant to do business with a new seller if he has to make upfront payment, thus limiting his sourcing options. Online wholesale B2B marketplaces removes the worry about payment collection. Neither does the buyer have to worry about making upfront payment and not receive his goods, nor has the seller to worry about getting payments for the goods that he is selling. The technology solution of payment collection and real time view of order movement removes buyer and seller anxiety.
Data analytics led decisions engineering: Traditionally, retailers needed to keep themselves abreast of latest trending products. Physical visits to a wholesale hub are a must if a retailer wants to be in the know. This means traveling great distances. Moreover, the decision to purchase largely remained a personal acumen led decision. Many retailers had the knack for it- thanks to experience but then again, there are many who didn’t have.
This is again a space where technology and online platforms can help retailers in a big way. By virtue of collecting real time information from thousands of buyers, such platforms can enable wholesalers with data on what actually is selling well in the market and what is not. Equipped with such data, shopkeepers can make better use of their capital by investing in the right products.
Complete technology stack: Online platforms such as Wydr can help wholesalers and retailers maximize their profits. Online platforms have the understanding about technology which can help wholesale retailers reap maximum benefits. Wydr, a mobile first wholesale B2B marketplace provides complete technology stack to sellers with modules like Catalog Management, Order Management, Fulfillment Management, Inventory Manager, Billing & Payment, User Roles management etc. All this at no upfront cost. Buyers gain from a unified technology view of product across the categories they deal in.
Technology led real time logistics: Logistics is one of the biggest limitations that traditional wholesale businesses face – there used to be no real time view of delivery status. There were absolutely no economies of scale and there were no performance measuring of logistics partners. Technology has changed all that and more. Logistics today is tech led and buyers and sellers have real time view of goods.
Wydr has done away with the limitations facing the B2B wholesale market in India, such as broken up distribution chains, low trust market, payment safety issues, logistics etc.