There is an emerging trend amongst some niche wholesalers who are looking to capture a share of the profitable retail sector by selling their product ranges directly to consumers.
Executed carefully, accessing retail channels can enable a wholesaler to build their brand presence online, growing awareness of their brand directly with consumers, which in turn can help create in-store demand for their retail trade customers. However, there are a few rules wholesalers must consider ensuring they do not alienate their important trade customers.
Leko London, the London handbag designer and importer of original handbags at accessible price points have embraced this opportunity to grow their brand online to a retail audience, but have approached their retail strategy with much consideration. The wCommerce hybrid website model was a solution that allows the importer to service two markets with a retail and trade pricing strategy. The trade website is accessed via approved registered trade customers, who have the ability to log in via a password protected gateway and access their own specific trade pricing. Further efficiency was created for the Leko business with full integration of the website to Sage 50, which created a seamless product, customer and order management. Other benefits of the hybrid ecommerce model include;
- Impactful design grounded in usability and search engine optimisation.
- Easy ordering for both consumer and trade customers. Fast and efficient checkout.
- Repeat order, quick order and specific trade pricing functionality for trade customers.
- Category page bulk ordering for trade customers.
- Individual customer pricing for retail and trade customers.
- Multiple payment options.
- Full integration options with a range of systems such as Sage, Dynamics, GP, NAV, AX, Pegasus, Exchequer.
Seeking new revenue streams is becoming increasingly important, as economic conditions continue to be challenging. Whilst accessing retail channels is most certainly not an option for many wholesalers, the hybrid website model offers a unique opportunity for those niche wholesalers who are able to compete in the retail space to gain new higher margin business, whilst supporting their trade customers through a fast, efficient new sales channel. The wCommerce hybrid model can be a cost-effective option for many wholesalers who are looking to expand their business into new sectors.