The iBUS strategy is not to replace ‘high‐street’ retailers but to augment retail sales with internet sales channels; retailers can be both ‘brick’ and ‘click’. The iBUS business plan is for the retailer to host in‐store design workshops whereby potential designers can experiment online with 3D tools and print the product in‐store. The scope of application for such workshops is considerable, eg hosting children’s birthday parties, social clubs in‐store for teenagers, craft‐workshops for hobbyists. Furthermore, instore workshops overcome the perceived lack of socialisation of online shopping.
From this perspective, the iBUS supply chain aims to have a portfolio of local and agile SMEs manufacturers and retailers integrated into a rapid response supply chain where raw materials are stocked at a low level of added value rather than in a finished goods form.
Being part of the iBUS supply chain, retailers participating within it can become a leading innovator by providing perceived quality, emotional and social values to their products, normally based on economic factors. Also, as media influencers, become leading innovators on leading online shopping behaviour. They can have a seamless integration across multiple channels.
Therefore, the added value the project provides to the retailers, being them online or of ‘brick’ one, are:
- The platform will provide real time services and will be very simple to use
- Retailers can provide emotionally attaching and qualitative products, as well as the experiential service.
- They can improve the social, human atmosphere at the ‘brick’ store, but also to provide a shopping experience at the online store
- They can engage their customers through the enjoyable valuable experience of creating their own products
- They can differentiate from their competitors through innovation and combining value with novelty thus positioning as a leading innovator
- They will provide functional value at value for money (affordable price)
- Added value to the brand will provided through trustful and standards
- Potential to quickly adapt to the continuous changes in the consumers’ needs
- Underpin the local Regional manufacturing, therefore having trustful providers