FMCG NEWS – September 2009, Keith Lucas
This September will see the launch of the first B2B ecommerce platform for the FMCG industry. emarket.com promises to explode the current barriers to trade, and in so doing, to create opportunities with global scale for thousands of businesses.
Conceived and developed by industry specialists from the UK, France, and Spain emarket.com will enable companies across Europe to trade physical stock online, real time, in wholesale quantities. The remarkable part of the offering is that emarket also arranges door-to-door delivery, inspection of goods, pricing, payment and credit on a European wide basis.
Co-founder Manuel Dieryck says â€œOur aim is to seamlessly connect the entire supply chain so companies can trade with each other in just a few clicks.
We want to make it easier for companies to do business with both new and existing suppliers and customersâ€. emarket has introduced a sophisticated algorithm that enables pricing to be displayed on a personalised, delivered cost basis to each and every member, including applicable taxes and duties. This seems to be a particularly attractive feature with early adopters.
Frank Helou, national buyer for E.leclerc, which operates 576 hypermarkets in France, says â€œI can scan the marketplace at a glance and compare prices from producers across Europe on a like-for-like basis. The fact that I can then just click and buy through a trusted source takes a lot of the headache out of the procurement processâ€.
On the buying side the ability to find the best price and best value on products from across Europe in a few clicks is extremely compelling, especially in more complex and fragmented categories such as wines. It is no wonder then that 4 out 5 of the leading French supermarket groups are members of emarket.
The initial success with industry leaders also seems in part down to the flexibility of the system and level of member focus.
â€œMembers are in complete control and can choose the best way to utilise emarket so that it fits easily with their overall strategic plans and day-to-day needsâ€ says Marketing Director, Ravi Sharma. â€œWe have a wide membership base that includes both blue chips and SMEs; emarket can add value to each in a different way. For instance on the sales side some manufacturers are using emarket to dispose of residual stock, others for international sales, and some as their main distribution channel.â€ Zaytoun, the worldâ€™s first organic, fair trade olive oil, is typical of smaller manufactures on the exchange. MD Atif Chodhury says, â€œthrough emarket we can scale up much faster than would ordinarily be possible. emarket removes some of the inherent weaknesses we suffer from as a small company in terms of sales force and logistical capability. It lets us compete on quality of product, which is where we are most confident.â€
As well as being able to trade and compare prices, members also have access to a customisable member centre. Here, members can set alerts for specific types of products and prices, get real time track and trace on pending orders and can run reports on sales and demands trends.
Sellers can make offers that are specific to certain markets and types of member. They can also send out email campaigns on special offers and promotions to buyers registered in those categories.
Emarket is all about connecting companies in order to multiply opportunities to do business. Suraj Sharma CEO of emarket says, â€œthe industry is fragmented and information tends to move slowly â€“ with emarket 90% of the processes are automated â€“ where before it might have taken a buyer a week to research a certain type of product and hunt around for quality information and pricing now they have it within seconds at a click of a button. There are tremendous opportunities to increase top line sales, cut costs and reduce operational inefficiencyâ€.
emarket started advanced testing with the first 300 members in early June 09 and has already recorded transactions totaling â‚¬5m between its members. It will open up to new members in September and is currently offering a 6 months free trial to eligible companies that sign up before September 30th.