What is e-Distribution?

Gaurav Singh Rana

What is e-Distribution?

E-distribution is the next big thing revolutionising the B2B distribution industry. The term e-Distribution literally means—manufacturers or suppliers doing business with their distributors or customers online. First and foremost benefit here is trust. Customer knows that the manufacturer or supplier is genuine and vice-versa. All the transactions are happening online, records are being saved, all the processes are taking place quickly along with absolute transparency. This is the benefit of e-distribution. Let’s now understand e-distribution in detail.

Advantages of e-Distribution

  1. Purchase requests can be fulfilled immediately and at any time.
  2. Shortages at suppliers’ end are visible to the wholesale customers in real-time, eliminating the fear of dead stock or loss of business opportunity.
  3. Costs on storage and distribution reduces.
  4. Better analysis of the Return on Investment(ROI) on different products to help understand which products to continue or discontinue.
  5. Possibility of multiple distributors’ in one region and their conflict can be eliminated or handled in a better way.

Disadvantages of e-Distribution

  1. Interpersonal relationships do not develop between the supplier and wholesale customers.
  2. More exposure of the product catalogue can result in illegal reproduction and distribution.
  3. Communication might be a problem at times, due to the lack of personal contact.

How e-Distribution Saves Resources

With the convenience of an e-distribution system, distributors can transfer inventory online and track the status in real time. Further, monetary transactions can happen with in-app wallet. Details of the daily transactions are available just at a click of a button. Features like this save a lot of resources, as they expedite the entire process, with transparency between the dealing parties. Additional benefit is the stamping out of fraudulent transactions.

E-distribution software features analytics and AI, which helps in making ordering better and improving ROI for all the parties involved. Built-in analytics give insight on the day-to-day sales. This data can be used in making powerful sales and marketing strategies. With automatic inventory updates and tracking, absolute transparency is maintained at each level.

e-Distribution in India

Indian retail industry is among the fastest growing in the world, with CAGR of 16.7%. E-distribution is still in the nascent stages in India. Hence, the market opportunity is huge. India has already emerged as the second largest smartphone market in the world, the potential of mobile based e distribution systems is limitless.

Given the trends, manufacturers will leverage e-distribution platforms by targeting niche products in the Indian market. Usage of the internet has a long way to go in India, as most of the population still doesn’t have the access. Paying capacity of Indians is also constantly increasing. A massive transformation is about to come in the retail industry, giving immense benefits to the distributors and manufacturers.

If telcos in India also start providing reliable and secure mobile networks, they can contribute massively in building a cashless digital India, while monetising a great deal from these opportunities.

The revolution has just started in the retail distribution industry. The faster people will adjust with the rapid changes in the industry, higher will be the benefits. This new wave of digitalisation will sweep away all the hindrances. Those who will not accept the change will be left behind. Big brands have already started to embrace the best practices of the future. E-distributors are the future of the retail distribution industry.

Last Updated :
July 5, 2021
Published :

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