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Rise of B2B E-commerce: Opportunity For Small Businesses

The competition among B2B ecommerce portals has been heating up with the entry of several new players who are looking to expand their presence across products and geographies. These portals are wooing small businesses to transact on their platforms with offers to support them with marketing, logistics and even credit. The rise of B2B ecommerce presents an interesting opportunity to small businesses, who can leverage it to enter new markets and gain more insights on their customers.

Table 1: Leading Indian B2B e-commerce platformCapture

With the advent and increasing use of e commerce platforms, some of the issues faced by small businesses in selling online have eased, as these portals provide much needed marketing and logistics support. Small businesses can harness the power e-commerce opportunity through the following strategies.Small businesses find it difficult to sell online as the competitive landscape for selling goods online is very different from offline market place, where the sale is relationship based and competition is mostly local.  As such, to sell online, the product should be searchable, able to compete with local as well as national products and should be delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

 Key strategies for Small businesses

 Document the sale process

Since sale of industrial machinery part is a consultative process, a small business owner typically spends most of his/her time consulting with the clients to customise machinery to client’s requirements. For example, a ghee machine supplier needs to understand the manufacturing process (manual or automated), raw material (milk, cream or butter), and capacity and cold storage facilities of the client before designing the machine.

Small businesses need to document the sales consultation process in detail, which can then be used to design automated systems that can accommodate different buyer requirements and provide ballpark pricing.

Enable product comparison

In order to differentiate itself among a number of products available online, the small business needs to provide detailed information on the product quality, raw material, manufacturing process and testing infrastructure available with the company. For example, the quality of a plastic product would depend the manufacturing process (injection moulding machine, extrusion machine or a hand layup process), polymer used and quality control measures adopted by the manufacturer.  Precise product description and comparison would also reduce product return, a major pain point for small businesses.

Segment your market

Small businesses must ensure that ecommerce doesn’t cannibalise their sales from existing sales channels (sales representatives and distributor channels). Therefore it’s important to segment the products into different categories depending on the business size, complexity of the product, buying cycle, discounts offered, geography, demography etc.  Thereafter, the portfolio could be clearly demarcated into segments that would be sold through both the e-commerce and traditional platforms/channels.

There is no better time to start selling industrial goods online. Small businesses should have a strategy in place to select the products to be sold through e commerce route, build capacity to meet the requirements of new customers and to choose the right ecommerce platform.

How can we help you?

FineTrain is a consulting firm for entrepreneurs, we help our clients grow their businesses. We can assist you in getting your business ready for e commerce and in planning your ecommerce strategy.

Contact us

bchhatre@finetrain.com

800 888 4932

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Business Opportunity: Become a Channel Partner for Air Cooling Systems

ICEBERG’s O-Zone Air Cooling systems are an ecofriendly alternative to Air-Conditioning Systems, ideal for Hotels, offices, retail showrooms, function halls and large houses. These are wall mounted elegant looking cooling systems which provide homogeneous cooling with 100% fresh air and save 80 – 90% of your power.

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Company Profile:

ICEBERG cooling and Freezing systems private limited (ICEBERG), specializes in manufacturing technologically advanced cooling systems for Industrial and domestic use. Its clients include   large industries such as ONGC, SAINT-GOBAIN, TFL, and IVRCL, a number of residential houses, party halls and restaurants. ICEBERG is based in Hyderabad and has been in business for over a decade.

Product Attractions:

  • Elegant looking: O-Zone air cooling systems are Wall Mounted and looks like an AC.
  • Efficient cooling: Reduces the room  temperature  by 10-15 degrees as compared to the outside temperature
  • Automated water supply: The water supply comes from the tank and stops on its own when the cooler is full.
  • Less Noise Level: System is less noisy than other coolers
  • Less Power Bill: Brings down your power bills significantly as compared to AC
  • No Inside Space Taking: System is either mounted on the wall or ceiling.
  • After Sale Service: Comes with one year warranty

Opportunity for the Channel Partner:

The channel partner can be an entrepreneur looking to start a new business as well as an existing enterprise looking to diversify their operation for extra income.

Interested entrepreneurs can reach us at:

Contact Person: Revanth Duggana

Ph: 8886666567

Email: revanth.duggana@finetrain.com

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Wearables: How to start your start up

Wearables refer to devices equipped with advance sensors and internet/mobile connectivity that can be used to monitor & track a variety of information related to our health, habits and home security.  Popular categories of fitness wearable include smart wristbands, sports watches, heart rate monitor chest straps and smart garments.

Wearables can make an increasingly positive contribution to our lives as more data are collected and analysed. Cars will be unlocked when the smart watch is around, home security systems can be activated with the wearable and a lot more. Wearables are going to be one important link between us and our environment around in coming days.

Market prospects:

As per IDC (International data corporation), the wearable market – India grew at 41.9 per cent in Q2 of 2016 (567,000 units) over the first quarter of 2016. The top five players are depicted below.

Other than the top five players, there are lot of interesting start-ups that are targeting fitness, safety and health (see table 1) .

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Table 1: Interesting start-ups in the wearable market

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Technology

A wearable device has multiple sensors to detect an array of physical parameters, powerful SoCs(System on Chip) which act as the brain of the wearable, related circuit to power the wearable and some form of wireless connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC etc, so that it can talk to a mobile or can send data over cloud. Some wearable have an user interface as well for basic user interaction.

Components of a wearable device

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Basic Pre-requisites for starting-up

The time to develop and bring a wearable device to market could be up to three years. The process typically starts with a prototype development, which alone can take up to a year or more.  One needs a strong team of electronic engineers, software developers and subject matter experts.

The capital requirements can vary depending on the complexity and features of the product.  The cost would have three elements; human resources, manufacturing and marketing.  While it is difficult to estimate the budget as such, we could look at the funding raised by the start-ups in the wearable space as an indicative estimate. Funding raised by wearable start-ups in the first two-three years of their operations is more than Rs. 1 crore.

How can we help?

We can help you assess viability of your business idea through a number of services including market research, detailed viability assessment and technical consultation.

Reach Us:

bchhatre@finetrain.com

Call us- 800 888 4932

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