Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
There are several different models on how artisans / organizations currently sell on Elevyn.
They have the option of being a "passive producer", which means Elevyn provides all the services of photo-taking, data entry, enquiry handling and order fulfillment.
Artisans or organizations that are more knowledgeable in e-commerce set up and manage their own online stores. In this case, Elevyn's only role is monitoring and support to ensure transactions are processed smoothly.
Depending on the models above, Elevyn charges between 5-20% off each transaction. Additionally, Elevyn charges USD 0.10 for each quantity of item listed on the website.
On top of that, Elevyn also works with retailers on an offline model, where items are sourced from the artisans to be sold in malls, shops and hotels. Based on fair trade principles, Elevyn ensures that a minimum 50% of the selling price will go back to the artisans.
To ensure the project a success, Elevyn works hard to fine-tune its business model and to continuously improve the supply chain. This includes working with organizations and urban designers on product development, exposure trips for artisans, and experimenting with new revenue ideas.
What might prevent that success?
1. If consumers are just not interested in the products - the sale will not happen. Hence, the need to gather market feedback and embark on product development - which is time and resource-intensive.
2. Elevyn's business model of making 5-20% of selling price require that large amounts of quantities being sold every month to be sustainable. With some artisans groups, due to the limitations of handmade items and raw materials, the supply just cannot be provided.
3. A lack of market expertise and know-how. The craft-buying market is a targeted niche, and market knowledge is required to be able to reach out to the buying group. Additionally, as the fair trade concept is still relatively unknown in many countries, market education is also needed. Hence, the need for more resources in terms of time, manpower and money.