Pretend for a second you're a coffee shop owner. You need to purchase disposable cups, lids, toilet paper, hand soap, dish towels, milk and coffee. By the time most of these products have left the manufacturer/farmer/roasters hands and arrived at your door, they've been touched by: an exporter, an importer and a distributor; each adding their margin and inflating the end price to you.
Dimitri (our designer) runs a coffee business and buys around 20,000 coffee cups a month. A single coffee cup costs around $0.06 from a packaging distributor in Melbourne. If Dimitri was able to group together with other coffee businesses with similar ongoing purchasing requirements, he could purchase cups for as low as $0.01 pre-shipping and save thousands of dollars EVERY month.
I can already hear you saying "but anybody can go to one of the many B2B marketplace websites and purchase products directly from manufacturers!" The issue many encounter is that these B2B marketplace vendors are used to dealing with exporters and have very large minimum order quantities in place. Leaving the discounted prices out of reach for small businesses.
Nate Robinson 5'9" and dunking on the big guys. Now your business can too.
What it does
- A single retailer identifies a product they want from a manufacturer.
- The retailer publishes their intent [what we call a Deal] on the StepUp platform.
- Other retailers looking for the same product commit to the Deal.
- Once the minimum order quantity has been met, StepUp places the order for you.
- Products are delivered directly to each individual retailer.
Stack dat cheeeeeeeze
- Currently StepUp is configured to work only with Alibaba vendors.
- We plan to include MadeInChina, GlobalSources, TradeKey, DIYTrade and many more in the near future.
Challenges we ran into
Alibaba's API is in Mandarin! 我们不会说普通话
What's next for StepUp
- Continue to add websites to our approved marketplaces.
- Develop an Android application.
- Automate payments to manufacturers.