Anticipating a sharp decline in customer footfall to physical IT retail stores, post the lockdown period, due to the strict social distancing norms, the governing body of the Federation of All India IT Association (FAIITA) has decided to prepare its members for a rapid digital transformation exercise by launching a dedicated e-portal for its members. This B2C e-portal will allow over 20,000 offline IT partners to tap the new business opportunities emerging from this lockdown.
The step is aimed at fulfilling the demand coming from work-from-home (WFH) users for new laptops, desktops, printers, accessories and other IT products. This move is likely to push partners to create individual e-commerce websites, so that customers can get door delivery. In future the retail store owners have to get prepared with parallel expertise to sell on their own e-commerce platform, thereby competing with the sellers on Amazon and Flipkart.
Recognising that, in this situation, the best solution would be opening a web store for every partner, FAIITA wants to provide a readymade product which will be placed before the members for their benefit. Currently, the governing body of FAIITA is in talks with a third-party technology provider for building a robust digital platform. The launch of this e-portal in expected in next seven to 10 days.
“FAIITA is negotiating with various e-commerce builders and finding the best deal for the members to create B2C platform. The first criterion is to find a reliable e-commerce builder, ensuring that data is safe and the service is effective. We will be proposing this e-store to the interested members with required training. We also have a future plan to migrate these stores to FAIITA B2C platform once things go well,” informed Kaushik Pandya, President, FAIITA.
“Today, online shopping is just 20 per cent of the business and we see huge business opportunities for our offline partners as they can sell beyond their physical stores through e-commerce websites, marketplaces, social media, and more. I believe digital services and digital payments will be the new normal and our members should leverage this time and focus their business towards online selling,” shared Navin Gupta, Secretary, FAIITA.
When asked about supply chain challenge and import of products, Gupta emphasised, “We have discussed the material supply and logistics factors with the major IT brands and national distributors. In last two months, there is a little movement of material and we don’t expect supply led issues in the next two to three months. In fact, launching of this portal will help our T3 and T4 partners to liquidate the pending stock and address the local demands coming from home users.”
“As FAIITA has set up a strong agenda to reach the last mile and is thoughtfully working on those lines, there is an opportunity for the district and state federations who are not registered with us, to join as members and benefit from it,” commented Deepak Bommisetty, Vice President (South), FAIITA.
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