Smart way to the market for Informal Retailers

It’s the digital age and a smart world. Easier ways of doing things emerge on a daily basis; thanks to technology. A lot can now be done without the need for physical presence or contact. Several business deals are being sealed virtually. Customers make purchases from anywhere and get items delivered wherever it’s needed.

Likewise, technology is making business easier for retailers in the informal sector. Without leaving the shop, retailers now restock as simple as pressing some buttons on their phones. Here are five smart benefits for informal retailers through  e-commerce:

Better bargain: Prices of goods in the market are rarely stable. In most cases, it’s sharp rise in prices of goods which tends to affect retailers’ inventory, by reducing the quantity of goods that can be acquired. Creating a network of manufacturers and distributors, B2B online platforms shield retailers from unstable prices. Further adding to the appeal, it has improved informal retailers’ access to a wider range of products to meet their customers’ needs. 

Reliable delivery network : While retailers go through a lot in the process of transporting goods from the market, ordering online leaves the delivery in the hands of experts. B2B e-commerce platforms have a logistics network that makes good delivery seamless for retailers. 

Ease and convenience: Going to the market is a major stressor for informal retailers. A typical market day is full of uncertainties.  “Before I started ordering my goods online, going to the market was stressful and time consuming. As a result, I would always lose some potential customers while I was at the market. Alerzo has further improved my business by giving me a stress-free, safe and quick delivery on all my orders,” said Mrs. Dasola Eleshinmeta, owner of DASOLA STORE, Molete Ibadan. 

Profit increase: Research has shown that the average informal retailer spends at least N1,000 transport fare on every trip to and from the market. For a retailer who stocks up 3 times in a week, they end up spending N3,000 every week, with an annual expense total of around N144,000. Added to the expense of transportation is the fee paid to market authorities. If the same retailer spends N500 on this fee each time she goes to the market, she will spend N72,000 per year. This means that each year, she spends at least N216,000 on trips to restock her inventory, this takes out a huge proportion of their profit margins. Restocking online this helps retailers to save cost and increase profit margin. 

No out of stocks (OOS): One of the ways retailers build good customer relationships is by always being a reliable stop shop. Like “if she doesn’t have it, then there’s real scarcity.” Such testimonials are what give retailers a lifesaver status. Ordering for inventory online frees up time and enough window for planning against stock-outs. 

Overall, B2B online platforms provide easier and safer restocking options for retailers. The beauty of it is that it’s all available at their fingertips. 

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