The prolonged pandemic is isolating the dealer community and bringing a sense of insecurity to their future. With e-commerce becoming the buying and selling point of the future, dealers fear redundancy in the entire mechanism. But how can e-commerce instill its feasibility covering the length of all geographical locations without the united face of valued dealers? The demand and supply ecosystem integrates balance and compliance from the dealer’s front. A highly strategized and intensive digital survey and study conducted by consumer insights company, Median research shows how dealer disengagements are creating a sense of isolation and giving rise to insecurities.
Pre pandemic dealer engagements by companies used to connect dealers with Partners’ meets at 5-star venues, exotic tours, attractive rewards, family engagements. The pandemic has now paused these in-person initiatives. Dealers were ready to channel multi-company resources from their platforms. They were the strongest link with on-ground consumers, they were much sought after by all brands. Median research reveals that middle-aged dealer groups were largely participating with multiple companies, embracing one point sales in the T1 and T2 cities of India. Now the self-distancing policies have taken a toll on business and breeding ambiguity among dealers. Post pandemic concerns are a source of unease for many.
Dealers feel that companies are dealing with multiple conflicts of interest and could target top-level dealers and train them. That would create participation and loyalty while building a sense of trust. They feel that with MNCs competing, the domestic manufacturers should make the necessary up-gradation to products with adequate testing and accept their product’s shortcomings and improve for wider market acceptance. Company policies should be more dealer friendly, and dealers deserve better profit share. Further, the companies should have a fair view of dealers who serve both corporate & Government clients and not give in to client pressure. There should be a standardized policy while performing random checks on products every two years or so on performance level.
Now with the immediate crisis of the pandemic, companies not only have to clear the doubts of the dealers but also think of ways in building a stronger presence online with balanced participation from dealers. The current state of business reflects despair as lockdowns are preventing sale conversions, brewing anxiety and insecurity coupled with poor business prospects. In-person sale is being affected as workers cannot come to the shops during the lockdown period. The shortage of manpower is proportionate to the negligible customer flow. Salesmen ask dealers about the proportion of sales but with supply falling short of demand owing to the lockdown, sales are low.
Dealers are apprehensive of the COVID situation and want to be cautious. Median had launched a study with more than 500 channel partners, syndicate firms and top online survey companies in India to learn that a little more than 67% of dealers are fully vaccinated while some are waiting for their second dose. The fear is mounting with the challenging health system of the country. Companies must take responsible actions and advocate better gestures putting aside journals and ledgers temporarily. Comforting dealers with assurance and building trust by being with them in these difficult times, planning a way forward, and aggregating the dealer strength for sustainable e-commerce may strengthen the bond between dealers and companies.
The methodological approach taken by Median Research opens wider vistas for manufacturers. The dealers are looking for support and confidence in various fronts and without a close connection with them, manufacturers will face stalled operations once the condition has eased. To have a deeper insight on the dealer’s front visit https://medianresearch.in/. Get a firsthand perception. Build partnerships that matter. Connect with us.
An experience built on 20+years of Business Consulting and Market Research in India and the subcontinent, Sourav De has a probing eye that delves deep inside the market nerve and brings out the actual pulse that helps in measuring, understanding and usefully developing the responses for the advantage of companies and their stakeholders. Sourav is an enterprising analyst for Median Research and his intensive study of the global markets from his expansive career in the Retail, E-commerce, BFSI & Media sector assumes an added benefit in constructing insightful reports.