Having recently come across this platform, I think it’s quite nifty. Buying.com’s claim:
“Our goal is to create the first e-commerce platform that allows online stores and consumers to buy direct from manufacturers. It’s the next generation decentralised e-commerce platform that harnesses the power of distributed ledger technology along with innovations in bulk pricing, real-time logistics, e-commerce on demand, 2 hour guaranteed delivery and cryptocurrency.”
So, how exactly will they facilitate this direct relationship between consumers and manufacturers?
The Buying.com platform is essentially an online marketplace, not dissimilar to an Amazon or an Ebay, which is connected to a company called Dropshipper.com – comprised of wholesalers that ship direct to consumer.
The problem, they claim, is that consumers want to take advantage of wholesale pricing but are typically unable to do so because of MOQs, or minimum order quantities. These are usually imposed by wholesalers because they don’t want to be selling individual units – that’s what retailers are for.
The solution, therefore, becomes somewhat of a shared MOQ process, where both retailers and consumers can place their request to any wholesaler. Retailers are prioritised, however. Once that MOQ has been reached, Dropshipper.com will send the item direct.
Interestingly, Buying.com are also planning on leveraging people’s unused spaces into hyperlocal distribution points. Anyone who leverages their free space will earn revenue. Quite ingenious really – think AirBnB, but for warehousing.
Bringing it all together will be the BUY cryptotoken, which will act at the internal currency of the entire platform. Some of the ways it will be used will be to pay for shipping, as a means of rewarding for referrals, and a means of payment to the hyperlocal distribution centres. Buying.com are aiming to raise a total of $50m at ICO, which is currently in market.
I think there are definitely some great ideas here. The question for me, is whether those all important MOQ’s will be reached on a regular basis so consumers don’t miss out on what they actually want. The danger is that if a consumer misses out a couple of times, they may revert to the warm embrace of Amazon, albeit at a slightly higher cost. After all, convenience is king.
Max Savransky is Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. He is an active cryptocurrency trader.