The iBUS strategy is not to replace ‘high‐street’ retailers but to increase retail sales by means of 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, e.g. hosting children’s birthday parties, social clubs in‐store for teenagers, craft‐workshops for hobbyists. Furthermore, in-store 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.
Taking part of the iBUS supply chain, retailers participating in it can become leading innovators by providing perceived quality, emotional and social values to their products, normally based on economic factors. Also as media influencers, they will become major innovators on leading online shopping behaviour and they can seamlessly become integrated 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 user-friendly
- Retailers can provide emotionally attaching and quality 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 in the enjoyable valuable experience of creating their own products
- They can differentiate themselves from their competitors through innovation while combining value and novelty thus positioningthemselves as a leading innovator
- They will provide functional value at value for money (affordable price)
- Added value to the brand will be provided through acquired trust factors and safety standards
- Potential to quickly adapt to the continuous changes in the consumers’ needs
- Underpining the local Regional manufacturing, therefore having trustful providers