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Is Distribution Getting e-tailed?

Digital technology is getting integrated into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how they operate and deliver value to their customers. It is a cultural change as well- one that requires organizations to constantly challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.

We have witnessed how the markets today are getting transformed digitally and changing the buying habits of a customer from general trade to retail trade. Now e-tail taking over.

Every manufacturer is looking to participate but e-tail platforms have their stringent clauses which they seem to manage; however, they are still looking for distributors who are ready to scale up and transform their legacy Distribution system into the new generation e-tailed distribution.

What is e-tailed distribution?

Technology has always been present in businesses across the centuries – and is more a constant, than a trend. Distribution as a legacy is the chain of suppliers between manufacturer and end customer which facilitates availability of the products in the market at local pricing.


The first supplier in the chain is called the main distributor or ND which forms the Top layer in the chain.

Technology is no longer just about the business – it is about the wider environment: customer behaviors, market changes, economic direction, as well as tech innovation. Tech platforms or the online market places where the customers surf, shop and order their needs like groceries, electronics, furniture and clothes are called e-tails.

The distribution network is the most relevant, trustworthy and obviously profitable mode of sales for the manufacturers. What is changing now, however, is the customer himself and his expectations from the technology. Hence today’s distributors must realize the scale, speed, breadth and depth of the impact of digital transformation, to keep their customers engaged by getting their distribution system e-tailed.

How to get distribution e-tailed?

Distribution at ground level is stock and sale, where you stock large quantities at bulk prices and then sell in small quantities in the market by earning margins. Customers visit the general trade or retail trade for their needs and buy the products from the shelf.

In e-tail customers visit the online platform, place order and get the products delivered.

What is the difference? In e-tail customers don’t see the stock but just images and buy the products hence e-tail is only a sales platform.

A distribution can get e-tailed by adding a new e-tail platform for their sales and use their logistics capabilities for delivering the products to customer.

How would an e-tailed distributor survive the competition?

Manufacturers today ensure their visibility via an online presence before the customer visit their website for any offers, schemes and upgrades.

Distributors can take advantage of such a customer behavior by getting the manufacturer to create a small shopping cart and then redirect the cart to land on their e-tail presence taking the payment and then fulfilling the requirement. By using this business model the distributor would be ahead of any competition and would develop a visible presence in the e-tail markets.


Yogesh Dhandharia is working with RP Tech India as a Business Manager (Customer Services) and IT Head.  He has been an integral part of the RP Tech family for over 15 years and the backbone of its IT services. He is the winner of Future CIO award in 2016 and CIO 200 Global award.

This post first appeared on Why Are Business Analysts Vital For Any Project’, please read the originial post: here

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Is Distribution Getting e-tailed?


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