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A large scale highstreet supplier trying to find its way into the ecommerce

A very different animal with an un-orthodox story here…

Who we are: We are a large scale sports fashion supplier in Turkey managing a network of 20+ manufacturing facilities, 10+ global brands, 4 private labels, 1000s of SKUs. On the selling side of things we distribute to 50+ highstreet sports shops in TR on wholesale basis.

Our core competencies: i) Lowest price possible. We are producers of highstreet sports fashion. We either have residual stocks of global brands or our private label products (identical in quality, unique design) both of which comes with the lowest price possible. (eg- recently we sold 300k multifunctional headwear products to UK and the broker added 6£ on top of what he bought from us @1£… cutting out middle-man is crucial for price optimization)

ii) Unique products: We do the R&D for some global brands therefore we have unique designs/materials at hand.

iii) White label/Private label: both doable. We have a decent set of our private labels but for wholesale quantities we can white label your order.

The difficult problem: B2C ecommerce was never a thing for us and we are still not very excited with the idea: in the age of throat cutting competition one must stick with his/her core competencies. So my boss wants me to come up with a feasible business model where we start our B2B ecommerce line. But how?

Here are the short list of the pathways i am looking at:

i) B2B marketplace: once a wholesaler always a wholesaler, I should stick with B2B platforms like Amazon Business. If you were in my shoes would you choose this path? Which B2B online platforms should i stick with?

ii) Outsourcing to a 3rd party account management service: I have come up to some decent looking “account management services”. Should i outsource the ecommerce side of the things? The question that makes me nervous is that: those services won’t have “skin in the game”… are there any services where i don’t only pay a monthly fee but a profit share/performance fee?

iii) Cold call selling to successful e-shops on Amazon, Shopify, etc.: The header says it all. But the problem is to define and reach those people who are already rocking it. Any advices on finding the right business customers online? The top-100 most selling items list on Amazon sheds a light on who is successful but what about other platforms? How will i call the right people? Linkedin?

iv) Engineer the f.ck out of it ourselves: i am an engineer so i will lock myself in a cave for 3 months and come out like Karate Kid : ) But as said, this is the least preferred path due to the opportunity costs and risks.

If you have been there, done that i would be glad to hear your valuable advice. If you think you would be a potential partner/service provider please reach out to me for further details. If you feel like i need a decent roasting come break my heart 🙂

Thanks to anyone who had the patience to read it all.

all the best

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