StoreKing: Reaching Rural Consumers with Assisted E-Commerce
(6 pages of text)
In 2019, the founder and chief executive officer of StoreKing, a distribution company that sold consumer products to rural India through designated retailers, faced the challenge of attaining 100,000 retailers by 2020. The chief executive officer (CEO) had previously identified an opportunity to use an assisted e-commerce model to reach rural consumers and offer them a better variety and choice of products than offered by traditional distribution channels. The challenge now was to grow the business rapidly to be viable and to achieve a leadership position to compete with not only similar players but also the large e-commerce company, Amazon.com, Inc. The CEO needed to decide on a growth strategy, how to promote the concept to retailers, and how to develop an edge over the competition.
This case is intended for use in graduate- and executive-level courses in e-commerce, sales and distribution, or marketing in rural communities. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- assess the opportunities and challenges for e-commerce in rural markets by addressing their low rates of Internet connectivity, low levels of literacy, and limited distribution network;
- strategize how to overcome rural consumers’ resistance to e-commerce;
- leverage a rural market’s existing relationship and institutions to overcome issues of trust and credibility;
- understand and manage issues in distributing goods to rural consumers living in geographically distant villages;
- build an effective channel partnership;
- develop a viable model for selecting a channel partner;
- evaluate concept selling as a tool to promote the new model; and
- develop a growth strategy by leveraging market potential and facing competitive challenges.
India, Medium, 2019
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