DeelEenContainer (‘Share a container’)

DeelEenContainer (‘Share a container’) is a first class example of a creative concept and business model in e-commerce, turning an industry on its head. It was a little under a year ago that we first got in touch with our client, Going Kolombo. They’ve been active in the pet supply industry for over 10 years: designing, manufacturing and selling goods for pets. Given the digital era we’re in, they realised they couldn’t stay behind in terms of their online efforts.

But there were two constraints:

  • Remaining a B2B player: selling the goods to retail, NOT to the end consumer
  • Allowing for lower margins with lower risks: competition got more and more intense over the years, meaning that the margins in the industry were under pressure. In an ideal scenario, a way would be found to allow for even lower margins on sales made, with a reduction of the accompanied risk.

So we got to work. And DeelEenContainer was born.

DeelEenContainer works as follows:

The website shows a number of containers. Every container - large or small - can hold up to 20 batches. Every batch contains a predefined set of products. Here’s an example of a configuration. One container consists of 10 batches of Pet Strollers:

These Pet Strollers come in different sizes and colours. Clients can order a minimum quantity of 1 batch.

    This one batch contains of the following products:

  • 4 x Pet Stroller - Excellent Alu - GRIJS - 73x52x103 cm
  • 4 x Pet Stroller - Excellent Alu - ZWART/GRIJS - 73x52x103 cm
  • 4 x Pet Stroller - Urban - FUCHSIA - 97x43x97 cm
  • 4 x Pet Stroller - Urban - DONKERGRIJS - 97x43x97 cm

Retailers can then order this batch of products. If they buy one batch, the container fulfilment level will go up by 10%. Only when all batches of a specific container are ordered, will the products be produced and shipped.

The production and shipping process takes some time of course. Therefore it is crucial to communicate perfectly with the clients.

    We built in an automatic emailing mechanism with 7 notifications:

  • Thanks for your order
  • All batches in the container have been ordered
  • Production started
  • Production finished
  • Your order has been shipped
  • Your order arrived
  • Your order will be delivered

What are the advantages of this system?

There are two major parts that make this way of working stand out:

Limited risk: in this scenario, the supplier will only produce and ship once all batches are ordered. This means that every item is pre-sold before it is manufactured. There is a perfect match between supply and demand, and the margins can be determined based upon the certainty of having these larger order quantities.

Lowest prices on the market: given the advantages of the previous point, the pricing can be very aggressive. Even though our client, Going Kolombo, is not the largest in its industry, they can now challenge the market leaders with lower prices.

Our involvement

We are the proud development partner of this initiative and still serve as a soundboard for new, creative ideas. We built the software starting from an existing open-source e-commerce platform, and we tailored it like crazy to match the necessary requirements. We’re continuously monitoring user statistics, and implementing extensions and some improvements left and right.

The process to go from initial idea to finished process was fairly straightforward:

  • Discussing initial concept
  • Writing user stories
  • Drawing wireframes and iterating until all parties were aligned
  • Distilling precise functionality:
  • The number of batches should be flexible to set-up on a container-level
  • One type of product can belong to different batches
  • One product in one batch can contain multiple pictures to showcase it to the world
  • Integration with their internal accounting system
  • Multilingual functionality
  • Content management system for keeping content up to date at all times
  • Responsive design implementation iterations
  • Building the right functionality
  • Writing the integration with the payment service provider (Mollie)
  • Getting all the final details right before launch

If anything, this is how we love to work! From a challenging business case all the way to a fully functional platform that puts the incumbents in an industry to the test. Going Kolombo is also the type of partner we love to work with. Not necessarily the biggest in their industry, but definitely the most entrepreneurial and creative. We look forward to a lasting relationship and good mutual understanding.

We’re always open for partnerships with industry thought leaders who want to innovate digitally. Hands on & beyond the buzzwords. Drop us a line at hello@panenco.com.