Voltman Retail Chain

Voltman  Retail Chain.

 

 

Alatau Battery Company is a remarkable example of successful business development from one container on a car market to the leader of car battery wholesale market in Kazakhstan with extensive dealer network throughout the country. The Company has come a long way over the period of 15 years.

2015 economic meltdown resulted in tremendous changes on the battery market of Kazakhstan. 100% tenge devaluation, dropping consumer purchasing power, introduction of recycling fee undermined financial stability of companies and forced revision of existing approaches.

Alatau BC considered the following alternatives as a new stage of the Company development:

  1. Own retail chain including Internet sales and services to buyers
  2. Own car battery brands

As for the second direction, everything was quite clear – it was necessary to develop new brands of car batteries with further contracting at the production plants.

On the contrary, the situation with development of own retail chain was rather complex. Keyword here was the word “own” supposing huge capital investments and long years needed for such development.

Unlike the question of who comes first, a hen or an egg, we gave our own answer  to the question of what comes first, retail business or brands. Today it is ever more crucial to have a stable, readily scalable sales channel; therefore creation of such channel turned out to be a task of prime importance for us. Our research revealed some interesting facts of retail business development:

–    Retail market is highly segmented, there are many independent shops, prevalently, family-type shops.

–    Online sales show high development rates despite low base for the time being.

–    Gradually sales outlets merge into small networks, which is best noticed in the sphere of specialized retail sales (tires, oils, batteries).

–    Employees have incomplete knowledge about the product, and shops offer additional services in rare instances only.

–    Corporate style is absent or uses standard, images, colors, and names for the category.

As a result small accessory shops had no distinguishing characteristics or value for the buyer that failed to form loyalty to any point of purchase and minimized opportunities to develop own battery brands of the Company. Survey had shown that only 37% of car owners could name the mark of the battery installed in their cars at the time of survey.

At the moment all В2С markets witness increase in service component of products. Supplier’s role changes from pure provision of goods towards services or even ready-made solutions. This is precisely why the majority of car owners (41%) consider specialized shops to be the most convenient place to buy car batteries as more advanced both in products and services.

Survey of consumers, auto store owners, and sellers of spare parts formed the basis for the perfect auto store formula.

What is Voltman?

It is beyond argument that we should stand out among numerous Battery Worlds and Battery Centers not only with our approach to services, but also the name. Definitely, the name and appearance allowed us to declare who we are and become an attractive development direction, first of all, for current dealers of AlaTau Battery Company.

Voltman is a retail brand of Alatau BC that suggests European business approach, expertise, and relation to car batteries. This name comprises all the brand positioning elements: professional competence, integrity, availability and affordability.

How Voltman works?

We understood that the best development pattern would be involvement of existing auto stores into Voltman network. According to the survey, the majority of store owners work for growth, try to employ some or other ideas, but far from always they have enough resources and expertise for large-scale transformations. The moment they saw Voltman and our offer of partnership that goes beyond client-supplier relations and suggests that in addition to the product itself each partner gets the centrally managed and promoted brand, online sales platform, staff training system, favorable payment conditions, and then some, they had few to none reasons to refuse. The proof is Voltman network consisting of 36 stores in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan created for 2 years.

What Voltman has to offer?

We knew right from the start that extended services and development of own battery brands should increase the weight of sales outlets, influence client traffic and promote image of stores.

Today Voltman stores offer:

  • More than 20 brands of batteries for cars, trucks and bikes, half of which – our own brands
  • Accompanying goods (consumables, service fluids)
  • Battery check, charging, replacement for the time of charging, call-out services to replace faulty batteries
  • Online shop

At the current stage the Company is focused on staff training enabling it to offer unique services, grant sound guarantees and be honest with our clients.

Training methodology

  • Strategic sessions with business owners and management team
  • Face-to-face interviews with car owners before or after their visits to an auto store. Total number of respondents is 250 (Almaty, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Aktobe)
  • Expert interviews with representatives of the dealer companies (Almaty, Karaganda, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Aktobe)
  • Interviews with shop assistants in outlets (Almaty)
  • Mystery Shoppers
  • Desk study (open sources), review of Alatau Company’s internal information concerning sales, regions, promotional activity, etc.
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