One of the most common questions I get as CEO at Nulisec is: How do wholesalers see Nulisec in terms of competition and disruption to their business model?
The short answer: we do not see ourselves as competitors to the wholesalers, since the core of our business isn’t to sell goods, store goods in bulk quantities or distribution of goods.
We are a technology company providing B2B facing companies such as wholesalers with the tools needed to effectively reach new customers and sell online.
The question wrongly assumes that Nulisec functions as an online wholesaler.
Our mission to connect manufacturers and retailers is not a threat to the livelihood of 'offline' wholesalers. In fact, we build tools specifically for wholesalers and distributors so they may use Nulisec as an online B2B sales channel to better serve their customers.
You see, the role of a wholesaler within the supply chain is split into 3 main responsibilities;
1) purchase goods in large quantities, warehouse them and subsequently distribute them in smaller quantities to their partners
2) handle logistics and customer support with retail partners
3) aggregating finances and payments from buyers to pay manufacturers in a lump sum
These tasks are extremely important to the manufacturers as they require operational expertise and extensive investments in logistic capabilities.
Take PTT Global s.r.o. (PTT) for example, we’ve partnered with PTT at the launch of our B2B wholesale marketplace, in 2017. At the time, PTT had a functioning B2B webstore, a distribution center, and 3 field sales reps. Yet, they still decided to invest resources to propagate their storefront on Nulisec to their existing and new customers.
Why would they do that?
We went and asked the Director and founder of PTT Global s.r.o., Pham Thanh Tung, directly for additional info and here are his answers broken into 4 main sections:
Optimizing for digital presence
They understand, that “[our] customers - the independent SME retailers, actively manage on average anywhere between 6 - 8 suppliers for any given product category within the FMCG sector. So it made sense for PTT to be visible where its customers organically appeared” and provided them with the means to make orders when they have the highest desire to purchase goods. Be it to restock their supply or expand their product portfolio.
Eshop vs. Marketplace
When we asked about the fact that they had a website but still decided to funnel their customers to their storefront on the Nulisec marketplace. His answer was that it became “increasingly costly for us to keep a team of frontend and backend developers when they were only in charge of maintaining the database and the backoffice of the webstore.” It was a no brainer to join Nulisec because they wouldn’t pay anything upfront to create a storefront and there was no retainer. Instead, PTT would only pay a tiny fee for completed orders and therefore, they had effectively tied their technical development costs to the overall company performance.
Expertise opportunity costs
“We [PTT] want to provide the best possible service to our retailers and be a much better partner for our manufacturer suppliers.” To achieve that, he wanted to focus on a handful of investments to keep PTT’s market leadership and outsource the rest to other specialists. That’s why Nulisec and other service providers became essential partners in Tung’s clear objective. For example, “while Nulisec continues to invest in the tech development of its online B2B marketplace, we are investing in a bigger and better fulfillment center.”
The role of a sales manager
When we asked them about the responsibilities of a sales manager and the way Nulisec or eCommerce, in general, has affected them. Tung’s answer was very surprising and uplifting. “Sales managers at PTT are not just order receivers, instead, they take on the role of an advisor for a retailer. They leverage Nulisec and other eCommerce solutions to communicate with their clients and give them a method to order goods without having to align their schedules.” In practice, this means that Tung’s sales team uses Nulisec to automate order taking while they focus on customer service and retention.
Are you a retailer that is interested in working with PTT Global? Feel free to check out their storefront on Nulisec!