MarketCentral’s weekly stories on the small business world
5 Ways to Protect Your Data and Build a Secure Online Business
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What’s the News:

As micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) digitize more, they also become vulnerable to cyber-attacks and security concerns. We hear stories of cyberattacks every day. But how can MSMEs protect themselves from such challenges?.

Let’s look at some trends for B2Bs to improve customer experience:
  1. Be aware of common cybercrimes and cyber-risks: Learn about known forms of cyberattacks and pass the information on to your employees. Some of the more common cyberattacks are:
    1. KYC frauds: Attackers may pretend to call you or send an SMS from your bank, asking you to provide bank details to ‘update KYC’. Do not click on any such links, and do not share confidential data such as OTP, CVV, ATM PIN, bank account number or debit card numbers with anyone.
    2. OTP frauds: Attackers may call or SMS you asking for an OTP to ‘renew your bank card’ or to ‘claim your gift’ or similar excuses. Be aware that banks will never ask for an OTP from you. Be careful about sharing your mobile phone number, email address, or credit/debit card information with anyone.
    3. Phishing: This kind of cyberattack sends you an SMS or Whatsapp link. Clicking on this link might cause your device to become hacked or filled with malware.
  2. Identify and protect all the information that’s important to your business: This will include financial data, customer information, your employees’ bank account information, your business’s security passwords, your Tally or transaction management files etc. You can protect your data by only working with trusted online business software which promise data security and encryption. For example, at MarketCentral we provide SSL certificates and require multi-factor authentication to protect the information of our customers.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication prompts you to verify your identity in multiple ways before you can log in to a website, an app, or an account. You can verify your identity using a password plus some other identification such as date of birth, fingerprint, email link, Face ID, etc. Setting up multi-factor authentication on apps such as Gmail, Yahoo, Whatsapp etc. can help you protect the data on them. MarketCentral uses Google Authenticator to protect our customers and make sure we only have actual, authentic logins.
  4. Be careful of e-Wallets: While e-Wallets and Whatsapp payments have made digitization faster for a lot of MSMEs, frauds have also used them to steal money and data from businesses. Make sure you download only trusted e-wallets recognized by the Government. Don’t save your e-Wallet passwords or account information on your mobile phone.
  5. Be alert, updated, and proactive The Internet has made a lot of information and convenience easily available to us. Being alert and not clicking on suspicious links, saying no to giving out your information, and protecting assets such as your mobile phone can go a long way in keeping your business secure. If you receive any strange calls, you can report it at Toll Free number 1963, or 1800110420.
Act now:

At MarketCentral, we believe that a little awareness goes a long way. As a digital commerce platform, we make sure to protect our customers’ information, ensuring that your online business experience is nothing but easy, efficient, and delivers results. You can read more about MarketCentral’s data security measures in our Help page.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Customer Experience: 3 Ways for B2B Businesses to Stand Out from the Crowd
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What’s the News:

While digitization and modernization has started to increase among MSMEs, and especially B2B (business-to-business) small businesses, the customer experience has not changed too much. New and innovative customer experience methods can help B2Bs to adapt to the new online market.

If you’ve started an online business, it is important that your customer experience (CX) also change from slow, in-person B2B sales to high-quality, fast, convenient experiences.

Let’s look at some trends for B2Bs to improve customer experience:
  1. Account Based Marketing Can Build Relationships:It is very important in B2B marketing to form relationships. Just like in-person meetings can build a connection between you and your customer, online business owners must also try to address the individual needs of their top customers. You can use multiple channels for this such as email, social media, whatsapp, SMS, or website. By sending personalized emails to your network, offering specific online discounts, and reaching out on social media, you can build a connection with other business owners across India.
  2. Create a Great Customer Experience: B2B customers want fast response times and quick access to services. A lot of customers are looking forward to a quick checkout which they can do themselves. MSMEs in India can provide this experience to their customers by automatically generating bills and invoices, and adding shipping and payment gateways to their website. This will help B2B customers easily find and purchase what they need without having to face long wait times and inquiries.
  3. More and More Businesses Will Use Data to Create Personal Experiences: Using data to increase your business revenue is very important. For the B2B segment, it is important to understand what are your top-selling products, what is the ideal inventory required to stock, what kind of customization a customer might want, and what is the best pricing model to follow. All this information can be analyzed when doing online business through dashboards and digital transaction receipts. In this way, B2B companies can predict what their top customers want and at what price or quantity they want it. Some B2B enterprises are even opting for chat-bot technology to help their customers with basic products or support. This kind of technology is powered by data.
Act now:

It is still early days for the online B2B market in India. A study by Essential Retail showed recently that across the world, 44% of B2B buyers bought directly from sellers before the Covid-19 outbreak. This number is now only 16%. As the segment grows, buyers will look for sellers with whom the customer experience is fast, cheap, efficient and trustworthy.

With MarketCentral, B2B suppliers can build an online business that promises trust, speed and ease-of-use. They can build networks online and create personalized experiences, as well as use data to improve their existing customer approach. To read more about how MarketCentral can help your business, click here.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Diwali 2021: 3 Trends in Online Business, E-commerce Inflation, and More
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What’s the News:

This year’s festival season gives a lot to look forward to for small and medium businesses across India. As the first Diwali after the Covid-19 lockdowns, this season is expected to give a big lift to India’s MSMEs and SMBs. Last year, most festival shopping was done online on major platforms. This year, however, things have changed with shoppers looking for personalized options, businesses hitting it big in social media, and e-commerce giants slowing it down on discounts.

Here are 3 trends to watch out for:
  1. There’s no better time to go online than now: With 75% plus surveyed customers inclined towards making online purchases, this year as well e-commerce shopping continues to win. But online shopping is no longer constrained to the big platforms. Many customers this year are turning to smaller websites and social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp to buy from smaller businesses. Among sellers too, businesses from Tier 2 cities are now starting to go online faster than ever. As online consumption gets stronger, more customers across India will experiment with purchasing many different categories and products. This will make having an online business channel necessary even for businesses or business categories that have traditionally always operated offline.
  2. Uniqueness and personalization can help SMBs stand up to big platforms: Across online channels, unique Diwali gifting ideas, decorations, traditional clothing, gift hampers and locally sourced sweets etc are attracting customers. In addition to traditional festive items, small business offering house-cleaning services, environmentally safe firecrackers, spa packages, and Diwali holiday planning services are also in demand. With some creativity and a presence online, this Diwali can be a brand-new experience for SMBs across India. For example, WareInnovations is a ceramic brand that created a festival special ceramic set in the shape of an Aum symbol. Phool.co, another small business, has created a Diwali special incense set. Meanwhile, Viskaa has introduced hand-painted tea kettles specially for Diwali.

    Eco-trends are also rising this Diwali: From green firecrackers to diyas made from banana fiber, and eco-friendly colors for rangoli, this Diwali smaller businesses are embracing a clean and green Diwali. Some of the more interesting finds are plantable or recyclable diyas, made of bamboo or other natural materials. For example, the Artisans of Tripura’s District Administration Sepahijala have created a bamboo diya that’s fully environmentally friendly. Meanwhile Kraft Seeds’ eco-friendly Diwali kit contains a coir pot, seed packets for vegetable and fruits, and a Diwali wishes note. It’s clear that new ideas and creativity go a long way to attract customers this Diwali.

  3. Deep discounts will drive e-commerce lesser and lesser B2B businesses must work with data from their online business and use it to improve inventory, predict demand, or increase product offerings. Using data to understand bestsellers, where your customers are from, what time they shop, or how much they buy can help B2Bs price and stock their products and so improve online business revenue.
  4. Digitize Better to Get Better Results: Since last year, online retail prices grew by more than 3%. A report by Adobe showed that due to Covid-19, the cost-advantage offered by big e-commerce platforms have started to slow down. In time, e-commerce retailers might find it harder to offer heavy discounts. Already, this holiday season, discounts offered are between 5-25% as opposed to the usual 10-30%. As this trend develops, and campaigns like Vocal for Local or Atmanirbhar Bharat pick up, we can expect to see shifts in e-commerce that benefit more local and small businesses. As customers start to invest their loyalty in smaller businesses, act now to create a brand experience that will allow customers to find your business anywhere—whether at a physical store or online—to increase your revenue sources while offering best customer experience.
Act now:

At MarketCentral, we believe that changing and adapting to new business trends, adding new channels of purchase, and modernizing business according to the times is the best way to survive, sustain and succeed. That strong belief is why MarketCentral offers all the benefits of digital commerce under one umbrella. This Diwali season, why not register to MarketCentral at zero cost?

Take a step towards online business success.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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4 Steps To Guide Your Business-to-Business (B2B) Enterprise Towards eCommerce Success
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What’s the News:

As micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) come out of the Covid-19 impact, it is important to know how to use the tools of online business to get the best benefits from a changing world.

Post-pandemic, government portals like GeM (Government e-Marketplace) are seeing a growth of small business-to-business sellers taking their business online. Over 29 Lakh sellers and service providers are registered on GeM, selling everything from Electronics to Handicrafts to Medical supplies. With B2B e-commerce valued at $7.72 trillion worldwide, this can only mean that the market for online B2Bs is growing now, and growing fast.

If you’re just starting out in B2B eCommerce, here is how you can achieve online success:
  1. Choose the Right Model: B2B businesses have to decide the best model of eCommerce for their business
    • In the supplier-oriented model, businesses will list their products online through their own or collaborative websites and make them available for buyers to purchase. This model gives businesses full control over their inventory and business practices.
    • In the intermediary-oriented model, B2Bs will sacrifice some control over their business to sell through large platforms. This model will help businesses reach a larger buyer base at the risk of high competition.
  2. Create a Great Customer Experience: It is important for B2Bs to stand out from the competition. 64% of B2B buyers say that they cannot tell the difference between one B2B brand’s digital experience and another’s. Having a unique online website and customer experience can contribute to online success.
  3. Use Data and Analytics to Get More Purchases: B2B businesses must work with data from their online business and use it to improve inventory, predict demand, or increase product offerings. Using data to understand bestsellers, where your customers are from, what time they shop, or how much they buy can help B2Bs price and stock their products and so improve online business revenue.
  4. Digitize Better to Get Better Results: Small B2B businesses can make online selling work for them by taking small steps towards digitization. This includes transforming paper billing to online billing and invoicing, tracking transactions and payments online, and managing customer data using online tools. This way, B2Bs can keep transactions organized, which will lead to a better buyer experience as well as more access to loans or benefits via government welfare schemes.
Act now:

At MarketCentral we believe that there is no better time for B2Bs to get online than now. In the next seven years this segment will triple in size. With MarketCentral’s digital commerce platform, you can take all the steps towards digitizing your billing, analyze data, and also create a business website that lets you have full control of your business online. With tools for email marketing and business networking, creating a better customer experience comes easy with MarketCentral.

Build the foundation of your online business now with MarketCentral.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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What The Facebook, WhatsApp Outage Can Teach Small and Medium Indian Businesses
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What’s the News:

On October 4, 2021, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram were offline for 6-24 hours. This had a huge impact on small and medium businesses in India. With a lot of small businesses relying on social media as the primary medium of sales and customer communication, this outage meant that many SMBs were suddenly facing a day of lost revenue.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?
  • Over 15 million users in India use Whatsapp business, and several startups use Instagram, Facebook, or Whatsapp to communicate with customers.
  • SMBs also depend on Whatsapp for chatbots, Facebook for marketplace listings, and Instagram for direct-to-customer sales.
  • The global shutdown however highlighted the problems with such a situation.
  • Dependence on these giant tech platforms, and their monopoly, has made some sellers vulnerable and reliant on them for revenue. And lost revenue in post-Covid times, even for one single day, is no small amount.
  • There are also other risks: government policies can cut users and sellers off from social media, the algorithms that drive these channels might change, and the platform might decide to demonetize the business at any time.
  • While SMBs should definitely have an online presence via social media platforms, they should try to use these platforms to add on to their online business, instead of being completely at their mercy.
The way forward
  • According to experts, the way forward is decentralization. What does this mean?
  • An SMB with a decentralized online presence will not be dependent only on big platforms like Amazon, Facebook, or Whatsapp to conduct its business.
  • Instead, SMBs should be able to diversify and manage their own websites, marketing, accounting, logistics, and payments on the internet through smaller technology providers.
  • The biggest challenge to this is of course the expenses of creating and managing such channels and their effectiveness in comparison to such large platforms as Facebook or Whatsapp.
Our Final Viewpoint

While we believe that social media is a way to bridge the gap between small businesses and customers for sure, it also should not be the only way that SMBs do online business.

At MarketCentral, our mission is to equip SMBs and MSMEs with tools that help them to do business their way. Without depending on any massive tech platform, and for zero cost, SMBs can create and maintain their online website, manage their billing, and market their products to customers. This reduces the dependence of SMBs on huge platforms where any change can result in massive loss of revenue and/or customer base. At the same time, at MarketCentral we also encourage and provide ways to integrate social media channels into your websites.

The statement is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, and the latest Facebook and Whatsapp outage only proves the truth of it in online business.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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E-Commerce Market in India to reach $350 Billion by 2030: What Will This Mean for SMBs?
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What’s the News:

Consulting firm RedSeer’s new reports say that the online retail market in India is set to grow from $45-50 billion to $350 billion by 2030. This will make Indian e-commerce the third-largest market in the world. Over 500-600 million Indian shoppers will go online in the next few years, leading to much more returns for online sellers. As the volume of customers from smaller Indian cities start increasing, made-in-India companies can also start expecting to compete in a vibrant market.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?
  • Payment Methods will Change: As India starts to move towards a digital economy, new transactional methods like UPI payments (Bhim, Google Pay), Whatsapp payments, digital currency and vouchers (e-Rupi), and payment methods like ‘Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)’ will replace traditional cash or card payments. This will mean that Small Businesses (SMBs) need to have access to payment portals to provide a more wholesome customer experience.
  • Personalization and Customization will Become Important: With more and more shoppers online, standing out from the competition is what will lead to success. SMBs who can provide shopper-specific products or services can expect more customer loyalty and therefore increased revenue. In the time of digitization, the ability to take custom orders and offer a more personal experience will lead to a greater brand value.
  • Fintech, Government, and Private Sectors will Offer Lending: A host of stimulus packages, credit lending, and solutions to delayed payments will become available to SMBs. This is because the success of MSMEs is also linked to increased employment, exports, and the rural economy. If SMBs and MSMEs can take advantage of the wave of digitization and make use of technology, they will also be able to modernize their businesses and create digital records. With even the RBI now accepting digital business records, MSMEs can soon get access to flexible, low-cost credit faster.
Our Final Viewpoint

Online activity for MSMEs is set to take a huge jump. MSMEs who are smart at adopting new technology will emerge as the winners in the next few years. New digital solutions can support SMBs to manage remote transactions, shipping and deliveries, and even access to financial services. Using them, small businesses will be able to benefit from new revenue streams, reduce costs, and eliminate their technological pain points.

As mass adoption of e-commerce pushes more MSMEs to adopt digitally-- why not try it at zero cost? MarketCentral’s commitment is to help small businesses get online faster and do online business better. Our no-fee digital-commerce portal is easy-to-use and can be free for a lifetime. With payment gateway integration, your own free website, and business-to-business networking, meet the increased demand for online services faster at your own pace.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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50 Lakh MSMEs Have Registered on Udayam portal. Enroll your business today.
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What’s the News:

Udyam is the Indian government’s portal for small businesses. Using the Aadhaar number, MSMEs can register their enterprises on this portal.

On 28 September 2021, the Udyam Registration portal has crossed 50 lakh registrations. With 47 lakh micro-units and 2.7 lakh small businesses, the paperless portal provides MSMEs with permanent registration numbers and a certificate post-registration.

Read about it here
Here are the advantages to registering on Udyam portal:
  • It is zero-cost, no fee, free registration.
  • Helps government to have data on the number of MSMEs, using which new beneficial policies can be structured.
  • Gives MSMEs certificates and QR codes with which information about the business can be accessed. This helps businesses become eligible for loan schemes, get interest subsidies, and benefit from tax exemptions.
  • Get government support to recover delayed payments and access to government trade portals.
  • Get discounted IPR (intellectual property rights) registration fees.
  • Get special preferences for tender allocation and other benefits within SEZs (special economic zones).
What you need to register on the Udyam portal:

You will need the business owner or the applicant’s Aadhar Card, and a PAN number. You can register one business against each PAN card.

How can you register?
  • Visit the official website to register: https://udyamregistration.gov.in/.
  • Enter the 12 digit Aadhaar of the applicant and complete verification process.
  • Provide the name of the owner as mentioned in the Aadhaar card.
  • Provide the applicant’s social category (general, SC, ST, other backward castes etc.).
  • Provide the name of the enterprise (fill the name by which you want your business to be known).
  • Select the type of organization (private, public, LLP, partnership, trust etc.).
  • Verify your PAN details.
  • Enter the location of the businesses.
  • Enter the address of the business.
  • Add the date on which the business was started.
  • Enter details of bank account of the company, including IFSC code and bank account number.
  • Select your major business activity - manufacturing, service etc.
  • Enter your total employee size.
  • Enter your GST details (you can leave this out if your business is not registered under GST).
  • Enter any amount of money you’ve invested in the business.

Finish the application process and submit the data to immediately print the Udyam Registration Certificate!

What can you do after registering on Udayam?

Now that your business is registered on Udayam portal, why not take an extra step and take it online?

With banks accepting digital transaction records, having an online business just became all the more important to MSMEs. MarketCentral can help by providing a zero-cost, no fee online business portal. Registering on MarketCentral helps businesses set up their own free website, access billing solutions and network with other businesses.

You can learn more about MarketCentral here or register in 2 easy steps here.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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3 Recent Schemes and Funds for MSMEs and What They Mean
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What’s the News:

While MSMEs are known for their resilience, in 2020 the sector took a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviving the MSME sector and growing it to help it compete in a global market is a big deal for policy makers. This will push forward India’s goal of “self-reliance” while making sure that the country’s economy does not take any hits. As such, new programmes and schemes are coming out every month.

Let’s look at a few of the recent ones.
  1. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI):
    • The PLI scheme is a government incentive for the MSMEs in manufacturing sectors, including Electronic and Technology, Food Products, Pharmacy, Automobiles, Steel Products and White Goods.
    • By encouraging companies to establish manufacturing facilities, this scheme hopes to also create more jobs
    • The scheme is open to companies registered in India who are engaged in manufacturing
    • Through this scheme, domestic manufacturers can get incentives of 4-6% on incremental scales of their products
  2. RBI’s Account Aggregator program:
    • RBI has launched an “account aggregator” program to help MSMEs get faster access to loans by sharing their financial data digitally
    • An “account aggregator” helps a business securely and digitally access their financial information, and share this information from one financial institution to another
    • This means that MSMEs with multiple financial records in several banks can now submit an organised digital record to the RBI
    • Using simple, mobile-based and safe digital data sharing, MSMEs can share information (including digital invoices and tax returns) from banks like ICICI, Axis, HDFC etc
    • They can use RBI-approved aggregator platforms like PhonePe, Finvu, OneMoney, and CAMS Finserv for doing this.
    • This will replace long physical processes of submitting bank statements, notarisation, stamped documents etc with a much easier digital technique
    • Read about it here
  3. The ‘Ubharte Sitaare’ Fund:
    • Announced by Financial Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, this new fund has been set up Exim Bank and SIDBI
    • This fund will identify Indian enterprises which are currently underperforming but has the potential to become ‘future champions’, especially through exports
    • With an allocation of Rs. 250 crore, the fund is a mix of support through financial, technical and advisory assistance
Our Viewpoint

With all eyes on the revival of the MSME sector, schemes and incentives will keep coming. Experts agree that e-commerce, faster loans, and digitalization are the way forward for this sector. With the RBI now favoring digital financial records, and the ‘Ubharte Sitaare’ fund looking to identify businesses with global potential, this is a good chance for Indian MSMEs to turn challenges into opportunities.

MarketCentral can help MSMEs take the first step towards positive change by enabling them to go online.

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Entrepreneurship and Competition in the Time of Covid-19
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What’s the News:

The news we’ve read about Covid-19 and the economy points to downward trends, struggles and new challenges. However, now research suggests that there was also a positive in the form of new companies being created across India. Registration of new companies over the period of April to August 2021 has increased by 25.3 percent as compared to the previous year.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

As more and more companies choose new business practices, the competition in the market is going to increase. Here’s how new company creation will change the competitive landscape for SMBs:

  • Digital transformation will set businesses apart: Covid-19 sped up digital adoption across India, which means that more and more new businesses are now learning how to use online tools. With lower capital investment and physical space required to start up, these companies are finding ways to reach their customers faster. This trend will make getting online necessary for all businesses if they are to survive and succeed.
  • A new, lower barrier to entry for small businesses: New public policy ideas created due to the pandemic, such as ‘Work from Home’, digital payments, e-currencies and emergency government welfare schemes, have all been helpful in speeding up new company formation. Virtual business meet-ups, online conferences, and small business webinars have helped more people access and understand the business world better. This has reduced barriers for new businesses to enter the field.
  • New customer needs will dictate which businesses succeed: With lockdowns, work-from-homes and new working models, the needs of customers have changed. On the demand-side, online purchases have risen as more customers stay at home. On the supply-side, obtaining resources can become difficult, and so entrepreneurs are forced to innovate. Many people began to move into fields previously unexplored such as fitness and wellness, crafts and hampers, home-cooked food and premixes, catering, and hobby stores. This promises an increase in new SMBs catering to new customer needs online.
Our Final Viewpoint
  • The pandemic has created challenges that can be turned into golden entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • With rising competition online, SMBs will have to modify existing business models, add new channels and grow business networks to adapt faster.
  • As small businesses undergo this transformation, MarketCentral is here to equip them with the necessary tools required. Specially created for helping small and medium businesses succeed, MarketCentral is a platform where SMBs and new companies can enter the growing online market and manage their business with ease.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Amul, Parle Among Businesses That Has Cut Supplies to Udaan
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What’s the News:

Business-to-business e-commerce platform Udaan focuses on providing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with honest pricing and a wide variety of products across multiple categories. But recently, some of India’s large FMCG companies like Amul and Parle have said that Udaan is monopolizing distribution. This has led to them not supplying goods directly to Udaan.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

Udaan wants to simplify distribution of goods and services among small and medium businesses, wholesalers, manufacturers, traders and retailers. Now, stating that Udaan has too much control over distribution of their products to retailers, companies like Parle and Amul have stopped supplying to Udaan.

  • The concern of the FMCG companies is that Udaan is doing distribution to retailers directly. For a company like Amul, which has over 10,000 exclusive distributors, Udaan’s method of selling directly to retailers means that it competes with Amul’s own distributors. This ends up negatively impacting Amul’s distributors.
  • But for retail small enterprises associated with Udaan, these new changes might cause uncertainty in prices. This is because, in the absence of direct supply from Amul or Parle, Udaan will have to buy their goods from the open market. This will increase prices on Udaan, thereby causing challenges to the SMBs that buy from them at lower costs.
  • These SMBs will then have to turn to other wholesale distributors, where they might not receive competitive prices or ease of buying as they would with Udaan.
  • For “must-stock” items such as Parle biscuits or Amul products, such price fluctuations will put a big strain on small and medium retailers.
Our Final Viewpoint
  • While large distributors and retailers have a wider support network, smaller businesses often deal with unpredictable market conditions and pricing changes. Marketplace model e-commerce is not free from such fluctuations, as we can see in this case with Udaan. One way for small businesses to combat uncertainty is by investing in creating their own online channels.
  • By having control over buying and selling leads, reaching more customers, and expanding their own network, small businesses can make themselves shock-proof from such sudden challenges.
  • MarketCentral is also committed to equipping small businesses with these tools. Growing stably without disruptions is the need of the hour. At MarketCentral, we help businesses do exactly that.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Covid-19 Second Wave: What Can Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) Learn From It?
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What’s the News:

A series of lockdowns last year have made big shifts in how Indian small businesses work. The SMB sector is challenged by stress on cash flow, government regulations, and restrictions on movement. This makes it important that small businesses adapt and make changes to how they operate. Many small business entrepreneurs have been discussing transformations which can help a small business grow and sustain during this time.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

As things return to normal post the second wave, many entrepreneurs will turn to the following ways to grow their business:

  • Digital Commerce Will Grow Faster: As more companies go online, they will be looking for complete online business solutions. Companies will need online websites, accounting, invoicing, digital marketing and business networking to help them succeed. This will enable SMBs to grow beyond borders and reach more customers.
  • Cloud-Tech Solutions Will Make Business Operations Simple: Cloud technology includes internet services that customers can use without purchasing physical hardware or software. Cloud-tech will help SMBs improve data security, manage shipping and payments, create better customer experiences, and run business operations without depending on multiple vendors.
  • Digital Payments Will Help with Financing: By moving to digital transactions, billing and invoicing, SMBs can create a good financial record. This will be helpful in securing funds through government welfare schemes, RBI loan programs, or micro-lending.
  • Going Online Will Bring Future Security: Being present online will reduce dependence on manual processes. Using and analyzing customer data will help businesses respond to changing demand and market trends. This will allow businesses to overcome restrictions like lockdowns.

More Channels, More Reach, More Customers, More Revenue: Having a presence both online and offline is of greater benefit as you can reach more customers anywhere.

Experience Offline, Buy Online: Your customers can see and feel the product in the offline store, while being able to buy it online later. This leads to better customer experience.

Better Brand Building: You can grow your brand and improve your brand’s name, image and loyalty by being present offline and online, wherever your customers need

Future proofing: You can take advantage of changes in the market, or unpredictable situations. During lockdown, for example, online businesses saw a sudden boom.

Our Final Viewpoint
  • As the economy revives post second-wave, businesses that utilize new technologies will gain the most benefit.
  • A good financial record is important for businesses to make the best of the government’s new digital currency, emergency welfare schemes, or e-discounting systems. Managing transactions online can help create this record and improve credit scores.
  • Digital commerce and cloud software will bring in many more new channels such as social media or e-mail marketing, thus opening up new revenue streams for SMBs.

MSME entrepreneurs are choosing digital commerce to create a more secure future. Are you?

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Amazon is Opening Physical Stores. What Does it Mean for Small Businesses?
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What’s the News:

The business world has been talking about Amazon opening supermarket-style stores. The online giant has tried offline sales before: its Amazon Go model had small, semi-automated shops, and it had also opened stores for Books and devices such as Kindle. However, this is the first time that Amazon is launching large department stores.

We read the news here:
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

Even Amazon, which had a huge increase in shoppers during the COVID-19 lockdowns, is expanding its model offline. Amazon is not the only online company to try this. Furniture stores like Pepperfry, makeup website Nykaa, and even food website Freshmenu are all trying offline stores.

Why should you also go for more than one channel?

More Channels, More Reach, More Customers, More Revenue: Having a presence both online and offline is of greater benefit as you can reach more customers anywhere.

Experience Offline, Buy Online: Your customers can see and feel the product in the offline store, while being able to buy it online later. This leads to better customer experience.

Better Brand Building: You can grow your brand and improve your brand’s name, image and loyalty by being present offline and online, wherever your customers need

Future proofing: You can take advantage of changes in the market, or unpredictable situations. During lockdown, for example, online businesses saw a sudden boom.

Our Final Viewpoint
  • The trend of online businesses opening offline stores, or offline businesses coming online will continue. This is because businesses are realizing that customers prefer to shop in a mixed way.
  • For example, a customer might first see a product online, try it offline, purchase it online, and then sometimes return or repair it offline. Therefore, being on both channels is important.
  • Companies need to keep pace with customers by being where they shop: offline, online, on Instagram, Facebook or even Whatsapp. The ability to change and adapt is key to building a business that can grow in all situations.

Amazon’s decision to open offline retail means they’re not ready to lose a single possible customer, both online and offline.

How about you?

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