Hybrid Commerce...Really?

3:37 AM Suvir Sujan 1 Comments

There has been a lot of chatter recently on Hybrid commerce as a new business model. I have seen and heard various versions of this. Some examples of  business lines that ecommerce companies are contemplating are :
a. Offline Stores
b. Bulk Exports
c. Domestic Wholesale
d. TV Shopping

From marketing to merchandising, from warehouse to logistics, from technology to sales, the processes and organisational DNA required are very different. The reason many of the entreprenuers are thinking about this is because they want to grow their business faster and are thinking of new avenues of growth.

 I would strongly urge entrepreneurs to think through the drivers of a new contemplated business direction, the management and resource bandwidth required and the distraction/opportunity cost of not focusing on the core business.  Sometimes, "new" channels may seem like the easy answer to growing revenues, but with that can come signficant hidden organisational costs that can cause strain to the core business, especially in a young startup where capital is scare and organisational stability is fragile. 

An entrepreneur should assess how much of the "new channel" is leveraging existing people and processes and organisational learning and how much of it is an entirely "new business line" which requires organisational retooling. To give a simple analogy, Mcdonalds entering Fine Dining is a new business line while McDonalds introducing "Drive Thru" or "Home Delivery" is one more channel. 


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