Majority MSME retailers stock 40% more for festive season, prefer invoice financing over COD, data from Solv’s festive season survey reveals

Press Note - Solv’s ‘Retailer Trends - Festive Edition 2022’ survey measured interesting retailer trends around stocking, adoption of B2B platforms, preferred payment options & more

October 24th, 2022: Solv, a B2B e-commerce marketplace with a network of 250,000+ MSME retailers, distributors and other businesses on its platform, recently conducted a survey ‘Retailer Trends: Festive Edition 2022’. The survey of MSME retailers across 300+ Tier 1-6 cities in India aimed to understand how small and medium retailers prepare for increased demand during the festive season, their financing preferences, adoption and experience of B2B e-commerce platforms for ordering and delivery, and other aspects of their business. Some of the interesting findings from the report are highlighted in this note. Solv recently raised US$40 MN in Series A funding led by SBI Holdings.

70% of retailers stock 40% more during festive season

Festive season for retailers means huge demand and heavy competition. And the preferred strategy for retailers to capitalize on and navigate the season is to be prepared with more stocks. The survey found that almost 70% of respondents indicated that they stock up with

at least 40% more than what they usually stock during non-festive season.

Huge adoption B2B platforms for ordering

Most retailers have traditionally been stocking from offline sources. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the deep penetration of technology – including B2B e-commerce marketplaces like Solv – in recent years have encouraged many retailers to try online channels as well. The survey found that 83% of responders now order at least 20-40% of their stocks online via B2B marketplace platforms. Interestingly, the remaining 17% order as much as 60-80% of their stock online.

Invoice financing preferred payment option for 50% retailers

Almost 50% of the retail surveyed indicated that Invoice Financing is their most convenient and preferred payment option. 43% respondents still favour cash-on-delivery (COD) with card payments preferred only by a small minority. Technology-enabled invoice financing allows small traders to borrow working capital against unpaid invoices, easing their cash flow and enabling them to generate more business. Businesses are evaluated, and credit is decided through transaction data, making it more suitable for micro and small enterprises whose credit-worthiness or financials are often hard to ascertain.

34% retailers name WhatsApp as top channel for discovery

Being discovered by and connecting to customers has become a lot easier for retailers with the growing popularity of social media apps, particularly WhatsApp. 51% of the retailers surveyed said customers discovered their brand through social media, with 34% just through WhatsApp. TV advertising, which was the primary source of brand discovery and communication till recently, now accounts for only 17% of brand discovery.

Other interesting findings from the survey include best-selling products during the festive season under different categories like footwear (sports and casual shoes over formal and ethnic shoes) and apparel (denims and t-shirts) as well as the main advantages small and medium retailers see by using B2B e-commerce platforms like Solv.

Click here to read the highlights of the survey report.

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