Stationery and office supplies companies that offer their products and services by way of e-commerce are often met with negative response from suppliers that only trade by way of traditional methods. By traditional methods I mean having field salesman, telesales personnel, the cost of company cars etc.
Buying by using e-commerce websites is becoming very popular for stationery and office supplies purchases as it is also a good way of reducing your carbon footprint. You could argue both cases of supply (online and face to face) have great advantages to the end user. Traditional methods of selling will naturally comes at an extra expense which can only be added to the final price you pay for the products.
For small to medium sized businesses that extra cost might only add up to a few pounds per order but if you saved thousands per annum by buying online which of those extra benefits could you live without?
E-commerce reduces your time spent with suppliers
Office supplies in the UK is big business, with over £2.5bn being spent annually. However, what is often overlooked is the cost of office supplies to small businesses, especially when they are already reeling under the strain to reduce costs.
There is a gap in the market for an online stationery supplier offering a mainly b2b solution. This cuts out the middle man and still provides a huge range of stationery goods at near manufacturing prices. With big savings of up to 90% compared to other manufacturers this is an option all business need to at least consider especially when you include the environmental benefits online trading offers.
Consumers are confident with e-commerce when they see service is not compromised
As the consumer mindset is becoming more confident, especially towards saving online, the online office supplies marketplace needs competition too. Stationerydirect.co.uk was launched in January and is based on a very similar model which has seen its bigger brother site Chemist Direct grow from £2m to £15m in a little over two years. They operates from a central low-cost warehouse in Birmingham and ship out orders across the UK. With a low cost base and few overheads, savings can more easily be passed on to the end user.
Using e-commerce models in this way has proved successful and is a new and exciting move for Mitesh. The signs so far are looking promising for his company and his team has already established a loyal customer base. He feels this could just be the beginning of the future for stationery retailing in the UK.
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