The ‘Schem’ing Chan­nel

DQ Channels - - Channel Pulse -

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!

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