Increasingly tough conditions in the retail industry have shown current wholesaler models are no longer sustainable, with retailers leaking profit through distribution channels and health issues disrupting face-to-face sales activity. As part of their 2020 strategy, AM Eyewear is changing the way wholesale eyewear purchases are made, reducing the layers between factory and retailer with a digital-first approach.
With the launch of AM Eyewear’s B2B ecommerce platform, the pioneering eyewear manufacturer are now able to preserve margin leakage, offering their retailers industry-leading discounts and the ability to earn more sustainable profit margins while allowing their retailers and agents to trade directly online.
Two years ago, AM Eyewear Director Simon Ponnusamy took notice of the recurring trend of increased competition, lower margins and more middle-men in his distribution channel. “I interviewed retailers across my sales channels and we quickly determined the current distribution model is not sustainable,” Ponnusamy says.
“Retailers were struggling to operate on thinning margins. With the age-old retailing mantra ‘innovate or die’ in mind, I challenged my team to look for a better way to preserve margin as our products moved to our retailer-partners,” he says.
Ponnusamy’s team met the challenge, working with him to design AM Eyewear’s unique self-service B2B platform that enables retailers to train sales staff, manage marketing support and receive aftersales service. Further, retailers who make wholesale purchases of frames are comforted by the AM Eyewear no-questions-asked refund policy on any order placed in the last 14 days. “Our system removes multiple layers and pools the margin to share with AM Eyewear’s retailers,” Ponnusamy says.
Innovation for product buyback and rotation
Delivering further incentive for retailers to move onto AM Eyewear’s new system, Ponnusamy is offering to buy back any frames purchased from their platform, avoiding awkward rotation deals. The new AM Eyewear platform will offer the convenience of 14 different payment methods including SEPA, with order distribution and customer service to be managed holistically from AM’s Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere Offices.
Empowering the evolution of sales agents
With a passionate support extending beyond helping retailers increase performance and profits, Ponnusamy wants the roll of his sales agents to evolve. The convenience of the AM Eyewear B2B ecommerce platform means that AM Eyewear’s agents become brand ambassadors, introducing retailers to the quality of the product. Ordering is handled digitally, allowing AM Eyewear’s agents to see more customers, growing their store networks and commission base.
“This is critical innovation in our distribution chain. It’s win-win, and a sustainable practice which removes a lot of the pinch on the retail model in the high quality eyewear industry,” Ponnusamy says.
Overcoming health and safety barriers
As the world braces against COVID-19 and related health issues, AM Eyewear sees their digital-first approach to B2B ecommerce as way to help overcome the cancellation of international trade fairs and potentially limited access to localised sales agents.
“Through our platform, customers have the ability to make wholesale purchases without needing to physically see an agent”, Ponnusamy says. “Most importantly, AM is making it possible for our agents to continue working from home, reducing travel requirements and helping to stop the spread of across Europe.”