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The Dealers’ Deal : Opportunities, challenges, Solutions and the Road ahead.
Build Avenue has always been in sync with the markets. We talk to people listen to players, at different points in the supply chain and reconfirm with their peers for validity of the information. This collection of rough inputs summarize into valid and relevant concepts that are then presented fro decision making to the real players in the industry.
Amongst the many opportunities, challenges and other aspects of the industry, we come up with new and fresh suggestions that are workable.
This month we take a fresh look at the Dealers’ aspects of business that impact their growth and sustainability. We have been gathering information and useful data since about six months to come up with concrete solutions and facts that impact the industry.
The dealers in India are today blessed with excellent opportunities to grow their business in their locality and also make inroads in the peripheral markets with the right strategy.
More Choice
Whether it is sanitary ware or Tiles, the dealers are spoilt for choice. The digital technology in wall tiles has already provided a limitless window for large variety of looks; there are also many sizes to be played with. The floor tiles segments have also got the support of variety in designs. Sanitary ware has experienced an inflow of fresh shapes and sizes, not to mention the surface treatments and colors that favor more options.
The segments serve as a great advantage, but pose a small decision lock as well. What Items to buy? What to store? What to display where? What are our fastest moving products? What is the next big thing?
We will be answering this shortly, in the Solutions Section.
The Small Making way for the Big
A challenge for some, a opportunity for others. The small shops and outlets are fast disappearing into oblivion and making way for players who are investing heavily for establishing huge stores and display centers backed with storage capacity and big investments in working capitals. This is converting smaller players into recommenders and reference agents who make use of their network only. It also wiping out certain players who do not wish to expand. The significance in quickly moving towards bigger players who have the funds as well as ability to hire professionals increasing their deliverables.
This economic movement is promoting big budget branding and hence supporting long term sustainability for bugger players.
The Thinking Customer
We are entering into an age of the thinking customer. The big investors with their professional set up can easily allure the thinking customer. The choices of thinking customers are more deeper and well customized. They demand the new and fresh and are ready to pay. The double income nuclear families are also pushing for more households, most of them upward mobile leading to quality spending. These customers have specific choice and are ready to listen to the professionals rather than mere traders. These customers propose great opportunities in conversion and long term word of mouth advertisers.
Rural Urbanization
India is fast moving into an era of rural urbanization where villages are now getting an upgrade. Sanitation is picking up in rural areas with the Swachch Bharat Drive. This is enhancing demand of economical products.
This demand is trickling to the bigger players who hold inventory. It is helping create a long term relation with a small village or a group of villages that have some or the other contact and information flow.
The Investment Challenge
Growing big is not an option anymore as we have mentioned. This proposes a big challenge to bring in funds. It forces the playesr to enter into partnerships and also borrow beyond means just to survive. The step can backfire if the management is not dynamic and customer focused.
It also requires more manpower and trained personnel which puts pressure on the bottom lines. Maintaining relations with many groups such as builders, architects and interior designers need soft skilled people who cost more and are scarce to find.
Local Branding
This calls for local branding and advertising. The advertising has to be well thought out because it is not a onetime activity but a long term impactful action that leads to better customer relations. It has to be planned and executed professionally to have a strong and lasting impact.
Technology Necessity
Technology now has become a back-bone of businesses, big or small. Bigger the business is becomes absolutely necessary to be technological updated. With social media, digital marketing and chat rooms taking over oral communications, it is must to have a set up or hire a set up to create online presence and brand.
Operations management can be expedited with the use of good and dependable software.
Solutions: The Road Ahead.
• Hire Smart People, pay them well. Whether permanently or as advisors, het people who help you make better decisions. They will make sure your money is utilized well. It has been noticed that big investors are afraid to hire better people. This leads to lack of fresh professional thoughts and hence lack of growth as well.
• Make Display centers attractive and enticing. This increases footfalls and engagements of the walk in customer. Keep these highly functional as well to display more in lesser space. The changing of display items should be easy and quick as the industry thrives in fresh designs.
• Work on improving customer experience rather than just appearance of the store. Better the experience, more word of mouth.
• Choose Inventory and display items wisely. This one decision can be taken by you only. It has to mean more orders and faster orders. If an item does not work, replace fast.
• Use Digital Displays. These days, manufacturers have excellent digital images and photographs for their advertising campaigns. Ask for the manufacturer to supply them to you. Put up an interactive kiosk to increase your display options.
• Keep in touch with influencers. They never know when they get and inquiry. They must divert it to you.
• Festive Hype creation is an easier way to force newer customers to walk in and check out your display. This is also the time to mingle with new needs and demands of such customers. It gives you verifiable data as to what the customer largely demands.
• Maintain and online promotion drive at all times. This is a great way to brand you local shop. With so many chat groups, social media and apps making way to mobile phones, it is utmost necessary to be there, online, somehow engaging the customer.
• Put up banners and sponsor events in rural areas. That is a big chunk creation of brand value and relationship building for a very low investment. The rural relationships last long too.
• In peak seasons, hold road shows in rural and urban areas to maintain hype.
• Take part in trade fairs. It gives brand boost as well as helps customers touch and feel the products.
We at BA are sure this will help. Do write to us.
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