- by eSellerHub
We believe technology will make the life of people simpler though that is not always the case. At eSellerHub, we cater to online sellers of every size and shape and want to make a difference in their lives. A critical aspect of our software development philosophy is “people before software”. This philosophy brings a great part of our decision making process taken during the course of software design and development.
Evidently, we are a strong critic of off-the-shelf solutions that put “software before people” and always recommend eCommerce solutions custom built to your requirements in line with our philosophy. When you face problems with your eCommerce operations, we tend to address them with the right amount of solutions without adding unnecessary complications.
When I want my inventory management system to streamline operation at my warehouse, it should not ask me to add information about my supplier when I am the goddamn supplier and it has every piece of information. I want the system to keep a tab on my inventory as I move goods in and out of the warehouse and warn me when I am too low or high on it. That’s it! Nothing less or more. The rest is none of its business.
This is a big problem with off-the-shelf eCommerce solutions from online sellers.
- They try to fit in too many features in a single package. When you’re competing with 50 or so suppliers, you want the software solution that is designed around your business requirements not some Joe in midtown or Jack in Chicago. One solution doesn’t fit all here.
- Building universal solution for online sellers in multi-channel is another breed in itself. While many eCommerce solution providers claim to have created the most sophisticated solution while keeping in mind all sorts of online seller, those claims are all garbage, left, right and center.
- If you are cribbing your solutions doesn’t work the way it should and your employees hate it. That is because it is designed for everyone but no one. Nevertheless, you don’t make a good decision before making a few bad ones.
- So if I give you a moment of thought to figure out what type of online seller you’re, what would you come back with “I don’t know”. “I don’t know” is the reason online sellers fall for that garbage “universal solution” crap.
However, sometimes the answer is not as simple as you think. For example, a few of our clients are into direct selling as well as wholesaling and the reason they come to us is because the existing solution is causing havoc. God forbid! If any sensible seller ever ends up with one although they often do than not.
D2C with Wholesaling: Why it Makes Sense?
While D2C is the way to make a living in the world of eCommerce, online sellers often complaint about revenue fluctuation, month to month, season to season. If you’re a thermostat brand, you put all your sales forecast on stake during the peak winter season. Also, D2C is a lot of work. While D2C cuts intermediaries, it brings too much for seller to take care of from customer acquisition to product distribution to marketing. And from all I know, these activities are not exactly cost effective. D2C might give you total control of your brand over online and offline channels. However, with no intermediaries around: distributor, wholesaler, agents, etc. you will be the one losing all the money. You might pass those benefits to the customers and yet keep a healthy margin–not when you’re over investing in marketing to build a brand image worthy of that price.
Nevertheless, you build a direct relation with the customer leading to more brand loyalty and a higher customer lifetime value. Moreover, your inventory costs are much lower in case of D2C than wholesaling. Of course, we all know how inflexible wholesalers can be despite taking all your profits.
Balance Wholesale and D2C Channels with the Right Solution
In lieu of all those pros and cons associated with D2C and wholesaling, a greater solution would be to balance these two channels for common benefits. For example, sales fluctuations; which are a common concern among direct sellers don’t bother wholesalers who tend to have too many recurring and pending orders at any given time. Also, with intermediaries like distributors and stockists, you always have someone to share losses and expenses with. These arbitrators also take a part of your marketing and customer acquisition efforts off your shoulders.
As I mentioned above, finding a software package that gives equal weightage to wholesale channel and direct channel is hard to come by. If we go by of-the-shelf eCommerce solutions; while a wholesaler solution tends to be cluttered and off-putting; direct selling software solutions tend to be complicated with too many features than most direct sellers’ needs. The lack of compelling software solutions to bring wholesale and direct selling channels in the same window make many online sellers to bring-in two different solutions and integrate them by improvising; which leads to problems for everybody operating and trying to bring those two pieces of software together.
All that Matters
If I ever give you a choice to choose between a ready-to-go solutions or a solution that may take weeks to develop, which one will you choose? Any inexperienced seller will choose the former. Instant gratification is the way of life now. The problem begins when the sellers turn a blind eye towards the consequences even when they foresee the repercussions and ignore their intuition. Things that are too good to be true seldom are. Every software solution is developed in one and the same way. When you invest you money in an eCommerce solution targeting the mass of the sellers as customer you often end up in a pit and jeopardize your business.
Another way to look at the problem is sellers are not educated enough to make an informed decision often fall for ‘all that shining’ stuff. All that glitters is not gold particularly when you’re in the market of direct selling as well as wholesaling.