The festive season for retailers means huge demand and heavy competition. And the preferred strategy for retailers to capitalize on and navigate the season is to be prepared with more stocks. Almost 70 percent of retailers indicated that they stock up with at least 40 percent more than what they usually stock during the non-festive season.
Solv, a B2B e-commerce marketplace recently conducted a survey ‘Retailer Trends: Festive Edition 2022’, to understand how small and medium retailers prepare for increased demand during the festive season, their financing preferences, adoption and experience of B2B e-commerce platforms for ordering and delivery, and other aspects of their business.
Highlights of the survey
Most retailers have traditionally been stocking from offline sources. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the deep penetration of technology – including B2B e-commerce marketplaces in recent years have encouraged many retailers to try online channels as well.
The survey found that 83 percent of responders now order at least 20-40 percent of their stocks online via B2B marketplace platforms, and the remaining 17 percent order as much as 60-80 percent of their stock online.
Almost 50 percent of the retailers surveyed indicated that Invoice Financing is their most convenient and preferred payment option.
43 percent of respondents still favor cash-on-delivery (COD) with card payments preferred only by a small minority. Technology-enabled invoice financing allows small traders to borrow working capital against unpaid invoices, easing their cash flow and enabling them to generate more business.
Businesses are evaluated, and credit is decided through transaction data, making it more suitable for micro and small enterprises whose creditworthiness or financials are often hard to ascertain.
Being discovered by and connecting to customers has become a lot easier for retailers with the growing popularity of social media apps, particularly WhatsApp.
51 percent of the retailers surveyed said customers discovered their brand through social media, with 34 percent just through WhatsApp.
TV advertising, which was the primary source of brand discovery and communication till recently, now accounts for only 17 percent of brand discovery.
Other interesting findings from the survey include best-selling products during the festive season under different categories like footwear (sports and casual shoes over formal and ethnic shoes) and apparel (denims and t-shirts) as well as the main advantages small and medium retailers see by using B2B e-commerce platforms.