The ‘Schem’ing Channel
Week after week, month after month, we are witnessing more and more schemes being floated in the market. Both vendors and partners are devising innovative and exciting schemes to boost their businesses. While it is somewhat surprising but also pleasant, considering everybody believing that the economy is going through a slowdown currently. Not just that, a weakening rupee over the last few months has meant product prices spiraling. The offers though might be a balm in that context offsetting the expected loss in sales as a result. Schemes normally generate enough excitement that is essential for pumping up the motivation factor—it's definitely more an impact effect and generation of business momentum than having a direct sales correlation.
The nature of these schemes is witnessing innovations every year. From taking the partners on holidays to exotic destinations, to having interest free EMI schemes, to bundling goodies ranging from pen drives to broadband connections-- the need for innovation and customization is being increasingly conveyed to the vendors. Even though consumers are becoming more conscious towards spending, such schemes seem to have a positive impact on sales. While the sole objective behind such schemes/promotions is to help channel partners boost their sales by promoting the end product, more and more partners now want a 360 degree support from the vendors in not just availing the scheme but making the most out of them. In return, the vendors are getting more motivated with the overall structuring of these schemes.
The subtle transformation of these schemes is visible every year. Vendors are slowly moving away from the erstwhile stock keeping based incentives format to a logically progressive sellout based incentives format. Since partners want promotional schemes which are more saleable, vendors also try to put new products as incentives/rewards. Sometimes channel partners are allowed to decide on the reward of their choice based on their preferences. The real bonus for resellers in such innovative schemes is that they can now mix and match slabs depending on their preference and convenience.
More and more partners are finding the need for schemes which are region and tier specific. Certain schemes which are announced by the vendors in the metros may not yield the same results in the B and C class cities. The buying patterns and consumer behavior in small cities differs when compared to metros. Also, many resellers cannot achieve volume sales and not even small targets during the scheme period. A vendor must find out which schemes would attract the channel in small cities and at what level.
Even as vendors continue to innovate in terms of partner schemes, partners too realize that schemes have become more relevant in these difficult times wherein competition is stiff and margins thin. With the summer holiday season now about to set in, most vendors are already in the process of announcing attractive schemes to win that extra mind share of their partners, for whom anything more than the usual is always welcome. After all, current situations might dampen the sales figures, but schemes should be enough to tide off the crisis temporarily. Hats off to the channel bonanza!