Recently O2O (online-to-offline) has become the buzz word in ecommerce industry where companies like Myntra, Jazzmyride, Lenskart etc. have strengthened their brand portfolio. The whole concept of O2O is to bring experience to the customers and boost product credibility and build a reference point in the minds of customers.
Customer is king of the market and the trends show that people go to showrooms and compare product prices. Online businesses are left wanting for the quality standards of the product so a brand store helps to kill those demons in customers mind. However, now as the etail business has flourished this has given confidence to many dealers and distributors to go for the online model which can be termed as reverse O2O in the current times.
With the reverse O2O model a well-established distributor can start selling products under their domain name as technology and norms for doing business has become more conducive for the new ecommerce startups to gain from.
The only hurdle that remains is to build credibility amongst the masses to generate traffic on the portal and side by side selling the products through leading ecommerce players, dealers, and offline stores. Hence, reversed O2O can actually work as a double-edged sword for the new ecommerce players to create a niche market for themselves and boost their top lines.
Will It Work?
The whole concept of reverse O2O will be the next game changer in the ecommerce industry or should we say the next big thing as the pockets will be created by these businesses to flourish in certain geographies. The only drawback to these models will be the product portfolio that will be there to offer so dealers/distributors will have to specialise in their niche offerings where cost sensitivity will play a major role.
At present many brands have developed their own gateways but they are bit too niche for customers who is always looking for the variety and value for money deals so we shouldn’t be surprised if big offline retail players shift their marketing focus on online model if not for the sales to happen but to promote products and offers at their offline outlets.
The biggest advantage for this model will be the after sales service – there have been instances in the market where prominent brands have refused to provide after sales service to customers and this has also left few customers confused if they can buy costly products like AC, Refrigerators, Washing machine etc. from the prominent online platforms. Hence, a distributor or dealer-powered platform which may be a bit costly compared to the others will provide peace of mind to customers who wouldn’t want to stay worried post the purchase as the new age buyer is ready to shell out cash for guarantees/ insurance/warranties.
Challenges For Reverse O20 Adoption
The only challenge for these reverse O2O players will be logistics, as it has a cost associated with it and timely delivery is what makes every customer happy and converts them as your brand ambassadors.
Adopting reverse O2O is definitely going to fuel the next wave of entrepreneurs in Indian ecommerce scenario and this will bring some unique offerings for the consumers across India. This evolutionary process in the ecommerce domain will also see some very interesting aspects to come out in the market.