‘’If you want to go fast, go alone! If you want to go FAR, go together’’ - African Proverb
The business world is evolving with a variety of trends and strategies that one may find difficult to keep pace with. Often, ecommerce platforms are tempted to believe that the competition is so fierce that they have to do everything they can to stay in competition or beat their competitors. However, ecommerce can be alluded to an ocean. As big as it is, every fish will have it’s space to swim. In fact the space is too big that in the absence of proper planning and strategies, you might even drown. It is however very important that when running an ecommerce platform, you sometimes establish and maintain profitable partnerships that will help grow the business. Jumia Travel enumerates a few examples of such partnerships and their importance.
These partnerships can vary between the business and portals, search sites, fellow merchants as well brick-and-mortar retailers. Failure to acknowledge or identify the benefits of establishing these partnerships may leave your business relatively stagnant and static. What this means is that, when you do business in isolation, you may be left behind by your competitors and not grow.
Businesses + Portals - Ecommerce businesses may form partnerships with various portals. This may range from Government portals, personal portals or domain specific portals. The trick is to find a service or product that your business can offer the portal while deriving the desired benefits you also want or reach the target you have set making the partnership mutually beneficial. Most often, businesses place banners on these portals to advertise or even have links that redirect users of these portals to your own website. You may also have relevant information put on these portals to ensure that customers who may not know your product or service can actually know about you from relevant portals. Some very popular portals include AOL and Yahoo.
Businesses + Search Engines - Another form of partnership that is relevant for ecommerce businesses to grow is the one with search engines. Giants such as google and Bing have made a name for partnering many successful ecommerce businesses and leading them to success and growth. The catch here is that these engines use online ads that pop up on the websites that users or customers frequently visit. They also use SEO and SEM to link your business venture to certain keywords that customers are often searching for.
Business + Fellow Merchants - Understandably, a lot of businesses are sceptical about partnering with other merchants. Sometimes the fear is justified because the other business sells the same product or offers the same service . In many other instances, the fear is relatively unfounded since the two franchises offer fairly different products and services. Such partnerships are important for cross selling. For instance, an online hotel booking company like Jumia Travel can partner an ecommerce merchant which is into food delivery to serve customers better and provide extra services for them. For a guest that books a hotel which has no restaurant, one very basic need will be to get food. Partnering with a food delivery company means that Jumia Travel can solve the guests feeding needs as well and that gives the guests appetite to keep coming back.
Business + Brick & Mortar retailers - Not every business is online. Brick and mortar retailers still exist and are very instrumental in the growth and development of ecommerce platforms. A lot of customers often fall on these sect of businessmen to purchase a product or service. Partnering with such businesses gives you access to their customers as well. This form of partnership also allows you to implement a few of the offline strategies that supplement whatever you may be doing online . Flyers, giveaways and other offline marketing materials can be spread through such partnership since these retailers have a direct experience with both the customer and you the business. At the other end of the spectrum, the online business can also market these brick & mortar retailers online and give them a massive online presence.
In the end, everyone is in business to grow and be profitable. No businessman/woman likes to feel cheated hence the best possible ground to partner with other businesses and help grow your own business is to provide mutually beneficial partnerships. Everyone should benefit. Sometimes, you may not get as much as you give but that is the real beauty of business. You will also benefit while your partner will not necessarily derive equal benefits.