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April 2, 2024

Empowering online sellers: the roadmap to digitalization and growth with innovative lending solutions

Empowering online sellers: the roadmap to digitalization and growth with innovative lending solutions

As the digital landscape evolves at lightning speed, your organization must continually adapt to maintain its competitiveness. The transition towards a more interconnected, digital economy presents challenges as well as vast growth opportunities for your business. As this digital transition accelerates, the necessity for accessing innovative tools and resources has never been more crucial for your success.

At the same time, the financial industry is undergoing a transformative shift towards alternative lending solutions. With projections indicating that by 2030, 30% of European financing will move to non-bank channels, the rise of tech-based lending models is set to redefine how businesses, particularly SMEs, secure the capital they need to grow. 

Rabobank’s innovative lending solution

Rabobank has introduced an innovative lending solution that is transforming the way Dutch entrepreneurs can access business financing.

With their online, fast, and simple application process, businesses can apply for financing within minutes and receive funds or access to credit within 24 hours. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for traditional barriers like annual financial statements. Instead, Rabobank leverages technology to make personalized offers based on a business's transaction data, making the process more tailored and efficient.

Amidst these changing tides, KatanaPIM is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Rabobank. This represents our joint commitment to empowering business growth at every stage—especially for early-stage companies stepping into the digital future, ensuring businesses have the support and resources they need to thrive in the ever-evolving digital economy.

Peter de Best (Rabobank) and Raoul Straathof (KatanaPIM) during the presentation “How we stimulate business growth” at the Webwinkel Vakdagen 2024.

This innovative approach to financing is all about offering you a seamless, technology-driven way to support your ambitions. But what exactly leads you to consider leveraging financial services for funding, and what kind of doors does this solution open up for your business?

Simplifying the road to digitalization

The foundation of your business's technology infrastructure—your tech stack—plays an important role in determining your operational efficiency, adaptability, and potential for innovation. A well-considered tech stack is crucial for you, especially if you're aiming to thrive in the digital age, as it directly impacts your ability to process information, engage with customers, and stay competitive.

This chart (McKinsey Global Survey on digital transformations) displays the success rates of various digital transformations in organizations, comparing those who have made certain structural changes since the start of their digital transformation against those who have not. The chart indicates that organizations that incorporate digital tools into their work processes tend to achieve greater success in their digital transformation efforts. For instance, companies that introduced digital tools to simplify the analysis of complex data or to facilitate information access across the organization were more likely to report successful digital transformation. These examples highlight the benefits of leveraging technology to enhance business efficiency and decision-making.

Best of Breed solutions: the key to digitalization and future growth

With the large amount of tools available in the market, you might have to face an important decision: whether to opt for an all-in-one platform that covers multiple functionalities or to choose best-of-breed solutions that specialize in determined areas.

All-in-one platforms offer the convenience of a single vendor solution, potentially simplifying integration and vendor management for you. However, this approach often means compromising on the depth of functionality, as these platforms aim to cover a wide range of capabilities at the expense of specialized excellence. Best-of-breed tools provide superior features, flexibility, and performance, enabling you to select the best possible application for each component of your operations.

By selecting the most effective tool for each specific function, you can craft a tech stack that is efficient and tailor-made to address your unique operational demands.

The best-of-breed approach to digitalization is about building a future-proof foundation for your growth. It enables you to develop a technology stack that is scalable, flexible, and capable of adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape, ensuring your long-term success.

Tools like Product Information Management (PIM) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions play important roles in an ideal IT landscape. They enhance operational efficiency and ensure data consistency across all digital touchpoints, providing a seamless customer experience.

As a standout example of a best-of-breed solution,
KatanaPIM significantly impacts a business's digital transition. It's designed to be easy to use, ensuring that teams can adopt its functionalities without extensive training. With an easy-to-implement approach, businesses can quickly set up KatanaPIM, and its easy-to-integrate allows to connect with existing tools, from ecommerce platforms to ERP systems, ensuring that data flows smoothly. By centralizing and managing product information from a single platform,  businesses can craft accurate, consistent, and compelling product content.

Lending for digital tools

The cost of acquiring top-notch digital tools and the effort needed to choose the best fit can stretch budgets and resources thin, particularly for smaller businesses. Additionally, integrating these tools into daily operations and ensuring your team is up to speed can further demand significant investment in time and resources.

“The failure rate for digital transformation initiatives ranges from 70% to 90%. That can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as unclear objectives or strategies, a lack of funding, [...] a complex infrastructure, inadequate training, and implementation that isn’t complete”.

This is where the power of a tailored lending solution comes into play. Such solutions provide a financial boost that helps overcome the upfront costs associated with digital tools. By offering the flexibility to spread these costs over time, lending solutions can lighten your immediate financial load, making it easier for you to embrace essential technology without compromising your operational liquidity. What's more, with financial concerns eased, you can move quicker from selecting a tool to putting it into action, ensuring you can benefit from your investments sooner. This approach not only speeds up the digital transformation process for you but also supports comprehensive training efforts, ensuring your teams can fully leverage new technologies.

Boosting vertical and horizontal growth

In your ambition to scale your business, access to tailored financial solutions becomes the keystone for transformative growth and expansion. These solutions are designed not just for day-to-day operations but for realizing your vision of scaling up to meet the market demand. Through strategic lending, you are empowered to pursue avenues of growth that were once beyond reach due to financial constraints.

This image (McKinsey, Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint) outlines a strategic blueprint for businesses aiming to achieve sustained and profitable growth, detailing three key steps:
1. Set an aspirational mindset and culture: this emphasizes the importance of fostering a company culture that is inclusive, sustainable, and embraces ambitious, actionable goals. Companies with such growth mindsets are 2.4 times more likely to outperform their competitors.
2. Activate pathways: this step involves expanding the core business, innovating into adjacent areas (related markets or products), and igniting breakout businesses (entirely new ventures). Companies investing in multiple growth pathways are 97% more likely to outperform their peers.
3. Execute with excellence: execution is about establishing a solid growth operating model and dynamically reallocating resources. Companies with the right growth-oriented models and capabilities can expect to achieve three times more total shareholder return (TSR) than others.

Expanding your business can take many forms, but two of the most strategic approaches involve growing vertically and horizontally. When talking about expanding vertically, it involves deepening your roots in your current market and enhancing and growing your product range to serve a vast array of customers.

On the other hand, horizontal expansion means spreading your reach wider. This could mean taking your current products or services into new markets or territories. From entering new geographical locations to tapping into online marketplaces where your future customers are already shopping, horizontal growth opens up a world of possibilities.

Vertical growth: fueling product diversification 

Growing a business often means facing the challenge of keeping up with higher demand by having enough products in stock. This is especially true when adding new products to offer more variety, which requires buying more stock to meet customer needs. A credit solution can be very helpful here. It allows businesses to get the extra products they need without having to pay all at once. This way, they can grow smoothly by offering more choices to their customers. Financial help is crucial for buying and introducing new items, making sure they reach the people who want them. This strategy helps your business grow by meeting more customer needs and spreading the word about your new offerings, all while managing your finances wisely.

Horizontal growth: multichannel strategy & international expansion

Providing businesses with the capital necessary to break into new international markets, lays down the groundwork for a wider global presence. Financial support for market research and the development of strategies to enter these new markets ensures you can navigate the complexities of global expansion.

Investing in more sales channels, like online marketplaces, is a smart move for you looking to grow abroad. By putting your products on popular platforms where customers already shop, you can reach a bigger audience. The funds can help you get started on these marketplaces, covering costs like listing fees, promotional activities to stand out, and maybe even special offers to attract the first batch of international customers. This approach makes it easier for you to start selling in new countries, reaching out to customers where they are already looking for products. It's a practical and effective way to grow and bring your products to more people around the world.

Financing your way to success

The journey toward digitalization and expansive growth for online sellers is both exciting and challenging. With the ever-accelerating pace of the digital economy, the need for innovative financial solutions like those offered by Rabobank has become increasingly essential. These tailored lending solutions alleviate the financial barriers to adopting cutting-edge technology and pave the way for strategic market expansion and product diversification.

Whether you're aiming to deepen your market penetration through vertical growth or extend your reach globally via horizontal expansion, financial flexibility is key. Rabobank's approach, emphasizing quick, technology-driven financing, is designed to meet these needs directly, offering online sellers the agility and support necessary to thrive in a competitive landscape.

By embracing best-of-breed solutions for your tech stack and leveraging strategic financial solutions for digital tools, marketing, and expansion efforts, you can set your business on a path to not just compete but to lead in the digital age.

We invite you to explore how Rabobank's innovative lending solutions can transform your business's approach to growth and digitalization. For more insights and to discuss how we can support your unique ambitions, reach out to us today.

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Empowering online sellers: the roadmap to digitalization and growth with innovative lending solutions

Get your product information together and scale your business

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Get your product information together and scale your business

Try KatanaPIM

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