Here is a story that should be a warning to any wholesale business that is thinking of going B2C.
A few years ago a wine wholesale business which specialised in working with independent wine shops decided to offer its wine to consumers direct. Unfortunately, most of their wholesale customers dropped them like they were a hot brick. The wine wholesaler went bust. Everyone said going online B2C was a genius modern banking certainty until it broke that business.
Now we are not saying it can’t be done. Many businesses very successfully are multi-channel, with a blend of B2B and B2C routes to market. But like wine shops, Independent Farm Shops and Delicatessens have spent a long time building up their customer bases, and they want to hang onto them. If one of their suppliers starts undermining that, they are going to get the cold shoulder.
Hider Foods partnerships with Retailers
This is what is so innovative about the Hider Foods approach. Their B2C solution works with and through their wholesale customer network. If you are a Hider Customer you can get a free eCommerce shop for your business, PLUS it comes pre-stocked with the Hider catalogue for you to offer you customers.
That is over 100 bands and over 1000 products.
You the retailer gets 15% of each and every sale. That is less than the margin you would receive for stocking the goods and selling them in your shop, but you don’t have to buy or make space for it. You commit no working capital. It is a cost-free, hassle-free method of expansion.
Now available to every Retailer
We all need a little help during the Covid outbreak. Duncan Hider’s original approach had been to make this offer available only to his existing customers, a thank you for staying with them. But covid put the whole industry under pressure, and Duncan decided to allow his investment to be used by any retailer.
We think this is a good idea in its own right: food is behind almost all other areas in building online presence (approximately 3-5% compared 15-17% in other sectors). If every small food shop becomes a food hub, as Hider offers more and more through its Hider delishop network, the more small and artisan foods become available throughout the country. Customers can buy securely through a local trusted food shop. It will build availability and build familiarity in buying food online.
Risk-free cost-free range expansion
Retailers are risk averse to stocking anything they don’t have confidence in. One packet not sold out of and outer of six, and your Gross Margin tanks. If you don’t sell 2, or even 3, it is loss making and taking shelf space from something that can earn better.
Online selling direct from the warehouse solves that problem for you in one stroke. Suddenly your customers can buy in one and twos, with no risk to you the retailer.
That will give your customers more choice, and make them more adventurous. And maybe it will make you consider expanding your order from Hider….
Maybe that was Duncan Hider’s plan all along.