Mobile Technology’s Role in B2B Business – Interview with Wydr CEO

Mobile technology has become imperative for the functioning of B2B business. Devesh Rai, CEO and Founder, Wydr talks to Dr. Archana Verma of Dataquest about using mobile technology in B2B business in this interview –

Q – How is Wydr connecting the buyers and sellers via technology on a single platform?

In the B2B Retail world today, majority of transactions happen offline. The wholesalers and retailers do not have a single technology platform where they can discover and transact directly. Wydr is a marketplace platform where brands/wholesalers can sell directly to shopkeepers from across the country. We provide complete marketplace platform services including Technology, Marketing, Payment, Logistics, Customer Care and Billing & Payment to our buyers and Sellers.

What’s more, the platform is designed to cater to the unique buying and selling needs of the wholesale segment. We have built unique, disruptive and innovative technology solutions specifically for this segment.

When brands/wholesalers sign on our platform they get a seller panel, through which they can upload their catalogue. This catalogue is then visible to thousands of retailers already signed up with us. Retailers can discover SKUs by browsing or searching for the specific items. They can then connect with the seller through a BizChat feature, negotiate and finalise a deal.

As a marketplace platform we are able to provide the Catalogue Width and Depth that the buyers need to stock up their shops.

Q – After the success of mobile in B2C platforms, how are B2B now adopting technology and focusing their business on Mobile applications?

We believe that mobile will play a bigger role in B2B commerce for multiple reasons. Imagine a shopkeeper sitting in his shop and quickly looking at the catalogue in-between dealing with customers and without having to worry about internet connection, logging in or booting a device. Some of the key reasons for success of mobile in B2B platform are as follows –

  1. Most of B2B business happens on phone, either through calls or through chat apps. This segment of buyers and sellers has bypassed the PC boom and straightaway adopted smart phone technology for enhancing their business.
  2. It suits their requirement of always on connectivity. Sellers and buyers in the B2B are literally 24×7 available for business and mobile is just the right tool for that.
  3. The handiness of a mobile phone brings another critical success factor, that of multi-tasking, especially since they are interacting with people in their offline world the whole day. A mobile makes multi-tasking far easier and efficient than a PC does.
  4. B2B is a repeat behavior business. This makes a mobile app more relevant to both buyers and sellers. A B2B buyer or seller has a very good reason to keep an app forever. It can almost become like a part of his life.
  5. Sheer space constraint itself makes it difficult to keep a PC or a laptop in the case of many Wholesalers and Shopkeepers.

Q – How has the mobile connectivity solved the problem of connectivity and logistics in B2B segment?

India is a country of fragmented supply chain. Shopkeepers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns do not have direct access to the best products at best of pricing. This is one big problem which internet can solve for these people, by discovery of new sourcing options. However, internet on PC is still at best patchy in the country. Mobile internet bridges that gap beautifully and gives them this access sitting in their shop while conducting their daily business.

On the logistics front, one big role that mobile has played is real time view of the package. Update of package status including delivery is done real time and helps manage customer anxiety better. Another critical role played by mobile internet combined with GPS is real time tracking of the vehicle. When goods are being in bulk, this ability to track the vehicle helps in optimizing cost, reducing anxiety, managing routes and delivery times.

Q – How has Wydr expanded across India and/or what are its expansion plans?

Wydr is already available pan India. In just four months of launch we have already shipped to over 150 cities across the country. Our buyers come from all parts of the country, especially Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns.

We will further strengthen our seller presence from key wholesale and manufacturing hubs across the country.

Q – Does Wydr plan to expand abroad? What are the potential challenges in foreign markets?

Though not in near term, but we do have plans to enable sellers from other countries to be able to sell directly to retailers in India. But challenges are largely around regulations and logistics.

We even have received requests from some of our sellers who are manufacturers to help them access foreign markets. We may sometime in future explore that opportunity too.

Q – What kind of new technologies is Wydr evolving and how does it compare with similar technologies from other companies?

Wydr has developed a unique, very disruptive, innovative and relevant technology platform for the B2B Segment. Our features have been developed keeping in mind the unique requirements of B2B buyers and sellers. Some examples of our unique technologies are –

  1. Sellers can sell in multiple selling formats like MOQ, Quantity Slab-based Pricing, Ask for Price and Fixed Lot.
  2. Another key feature is technology aided negotiation. Buyer and seller can chat with each other, agree upon a negotiated price and lock the new price through a unique tool called HighFive.
  3. Sellers can share their own catalog with their regular buyers through our highly evolved chat platform called BizChat. So a seller is enabled with not just passive selling where a buyer discovers his SKUs, but the seller can also engage in active selling by sharing catalog with regular buyers.
  4. Sellers can create a multi user account with us. So multiple people from the same company can have the app on their respective mobile handsets and yet do business with a seamless view across users.
  5. We even have a Private Marketplace mode for some sellers who do not want to make their catalog (designs) public and share it with only select few.
  6. Buyer can post queries on our SmartLeads tool and sellers can contact buyers directly.

Then, we have built a very robust technology stack for e-Commerce services like catalog management, order management, inventory management, fulfillment management and user management amongst others.

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