eCommerce: €'s behind the Online Shop

It is widely recognised that eCommerce has been one of the fastest growing areas of business in recent years. Internet is reshaping retail businesses, with large companies and mass merchandisers having benefited – and in some cases been disadvantaged - depending on how quick they were to embrace this new trend. eCommerce however has had an arguably stronger impact on SMEs, shops and small manufacturers, as the possibility to sell over the internet and beyond their immediate locality has become reality.



Indeed, it is now possible for even the smallest company to enjoy a global reach via a dedicated on-line shop attached to a website, covering the whole sales process, from display to payment and delivery. New technology has been very effective at bringing producers closer to consumers, and there is no doubt that it has now started to influence business and trade relationships. Future sales and marketing activities made through trade intermediaries will undoubtedly benefit from new, more sophisticated technologies.











In our opinion, PRM (Partner Relationship Management, dedicated software which enhances and extends standard CRM functionalities to include the management of resellers), is well positioned to address these needs, especially if one examines some of the key challenges to be faced when developing a network of distributors:


Commercial information

Whether they newly appointed or long standing partners, resellers need to be engaged in a different way with final customers. Resellers are not only interested in a product and its performance, but equally in its business potential, as well as market data and trends.


Channel management


Particularly if working on large scale projects, distributors would expect manufacturers to manage such opportunities, including which channels to be used and how to access them, while ensuring that their respective interests are respected.




Geographical coverage, marketing budgets and business plans are all elements that need to be monitored, even for the smallest businesses. However, for those smaller organisations which do not have the resources or justification to spend time in preparing regular reports, management of this type can be a major challenge.



Fortunately, these areas are addressed by PRM: as a database, it compiles data, ensuring it is updated and managed. As a platform, it communicates not only with manufacturers but also engages resellers by allowing for their own input and feed-back. The remainder of the software is largely automated (dashboards, notifications, alarms etc…).


As PRM software clearly cannot replace the need for human contact required in most business relationships, nor the languages needed for this, the Varega team offers a wide range of complementary sales and marketing services. Managed by a professional and highly experienced team, examples include : sales representation, customer prospection, competitor analysis and market entry strategy.


In conclusion, one can draw parallels between eCommerce and PRM: PRM enables SMEs to generate revenues beyond their immediate traditional resellers, engaging them on a global basis and automating many commercial tasks, so making them simpler. Any gaps in the offer may be filled by the services of experienced international channel managers.