I hope you have all managed to stay safe and well and are beginning to resume your lives as much as you feel comfortable with.
As we consider the implications of the pubs re-opening this Saturday night amidst the depths of the pandemic and the other elements of the lifting of the lockdown, many of us are reflecting on the last 100 days and asking: ‘Who am I? What do I want? How am I going to get through this? What is best for us as a family? Do we want things to return to how they were?
An article in the Observer on Sunday revealed that most of us are asking ourselves these existential questions whilst looking back upon our pre-COVID lives. It states that only 13% of working parents want to go back to ‘the old normal’. The ramifications of this staggering statistic will be immense.
At buyfair.global, it is no different. We have had to consider the monumental change that has happened around us whilst planning and strategising accordingly. As you can imagine, it has not been easy to re-invent ourselves but as a result of persistent brainstorming with our close team, we have. Last week’s discussions culminated in an exciting breakthrough in understanding who we are and what we can be.
As I have mentioned in previous correspondence, over the lockdown period we decided to open up buyfair to consumers as well as businesses. This was always part of our longer-term plan but as a result of the uncertain shape of retail post-COVID-19 and an exponential amount of B2C selling during the lockdown, we have brought forward these developments. As pivots go this is a big one and there are a plethora of changes that we are making to become a B2C marketplace while continuing to offer an exclusive B2B sales channel. We will continue to share news of these developments which include a shipping solution, adaption to the ‘buy now’ sale function and additional brand safety controls.
However, as exciting as that may be, such a dramatic change of direction must be considered very carefully to ensure our proposition remains unique, authentic and resonates with our customers. I wanted to take this opportunity to share how we went about this and the conclusion that we came to.
At buyfair we wrote to family, friends and our closest platform users, asking them to consider why they would use buyfair over say Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Wayfair, Achica and many other new competitors as we enter the B2C world.
The response was very revealing. From this research, as well as considering all our previous workaround competitor analysis and our brand identity, many things became clearer. Without boring you with too much detail, here are some of the highlights.
The ‘fair’ in buyfair was considered very highly by the study group but it is not just there by coincidence. We set up the marketplace to be a level playing field in terms of price for both buyers and sellers which is highly respected in a world where the bigger companies have all the power. We don’t want independent retailers to disappear because they can’t compete on price with the larger ones, so we welcome them to a fair marketplace. We vet every brand on the site as we want to know that we are dealing with brands that share our moral values. So to us, ‘fair’ is more than price. Be fair to both suppliers and customers. Be fair to the environment and our planet. Don’t just discard and destroy old stock and rush to use more natural resources to create new stock. Reduce waste. Be considerate.
In a recent interview with my co-founder, Nick Munro articulates this very well. Watch here. Skip to 20 mins 22 Secs if you're short on time.
Look, feel and ease of use
The look and feel of the site, as well as the ease of use, was of significant importance to all and many reflected upon the difficulties using other sites. As was the ability to find unique products on our site from fantastic brands in a much cleaner, simple environment.
However, the single biggest benefit cited by the group was the ability to buy direct from any of the brands on our site. A bargain is only a bargain if you know for sure what you are buying. Whether you are buying from Amazon, eBay or Alibaba, the same issues always arise. Is the Seller real? Is the product counterfeit? They may be offering a great price, but you won’t know for sure if it is worth it until you have received the goods, by which time it is usually too late.
On buyfair, this will not happen. This cannot happen. You are buying directly from the brand itself. Not just any brand but a premium brand vetted by buyfair with stringent guidelines. buyfair is there to facilitate a sale, but every buyer is dealing and corresponding directly with the brand themselves. The goods are being sent directly from the brand or a subsidiary or agent authorised by the brand.
So, there you have it. Our new slogan, our main USP, our purpose, our identity:
Stay safe and well.
All the best,