Digital Transformation in Wholesale: Embracing E-commerce and Online Marketplaces

The advancement of technology has resulted in the digital transformation of literally everything. This includes the wholesale industry as well. Wholesalers are those people involved in distributing the end products. These businesses may buy merchandise from manufacturers in bulk and that at a discount. They will then sell them to retailers. It is possible for wholesalers to allow retailers to save money when retailers purchase in bulk from the particular wholesaler. Due to the necessity of businesses to be online, the wholesale industry is even embracing e-commerce. Wholesale industry trends show the digitalization of this industry. 

This era will be remembered as experiencing change as well as upheaval that has been driven by the digitalization of society. This has resulted in important implications for people’s personal lives, the way that we work, and also the way that companies are able to interact with one another. 

The following looks at digital transformation occurring in wholesale by considering wholesale industry trends:

Digitalization in the Wholesale Industry

Today it can be seen that wholesalers are facing challenges because of the new digital competitors present. This has altered consumer expectations, increasing product as well as pricing transparency, and increasing pressure for efficiency to be present. 

Digitalization is even providing precious opportunities. By pursuing the correct strategy, it is possible for wholesalers to employ their core competencies to address these developments and also to benefit from them.

Challenges for wholesalers pursuing digitalization

Wholesale industry trends dictate that these businesses need to have an online presence. The following looks at some challenges that wholesalers may face when wanting to do this:

Develop shopping experience similar to the B2C one

For some years now, consumers have known and experienced mainstream e-commerce. They expect that wholesalers provide them with similar standards of convenience as well as service. 

The younger generation mostly regards online shopping as something natural and wholesalers need to follow the standards present here. 

More transparency

The internet has been able to boost transparency when it comes to pricing and content and so consumers are now becoming sensitive to stuff like price, service, as well as quality. In case any of these elements are not present, the often tech-savvy customers will probably opt for another competitor.

More competition

Wholesale industry trends in the digital landscape show that there are new competitors present. These businesses are penetrating those markets which were first dominated by wholesalers. 

There are platforms like Amazon that have experience when it comes to everything digital, they have a huge technical infrastructure, as well as logistical expertise and even the required financial firepower to stand out here. It is important for wholesalers to be able to compete effectively here. 

Presence of direct selling tactics

It has been observed that more and more manufacturers tend to be selling directly to customers. Due to the fact that they are ignoring traditional distribution channels, they are getting the revenue that wholesalers used to get. 

Traditional processes become less important

There are some companies that are still operating efficiently through traditional procedures. This efficiency can get less in relative terms due to the world getting digital. By following wholesale industry trends and embracing digital transformation, these businesses will have a competitive edge. 

Advantages for wholesalers

If your wholesale company follows wholesale industry trends and pursues digital transformation, it can get the following advantages:

Increase wholesale revenue

Stuff like price, product assortment as well as convenience is important, however these will no longer be main differentiators. Wholesalers need to let customers know how they can benefit when buying from them. This should not only include price and selection. 

With an effective digital commerce platform, wholesalers are able to provide a unique and personalized experience to customers. 

Get more customers

Wholesalers following wholesale industry trends and taking advantage of digital channels, are able to attract new customers. There are some wholesale companies that are already showing how a marketplace or some B2C strategy may be implemented. They are able to reach out directly to customers by developing online pure-play spinoffs. This is by providing them with competitive offers plus pricing and value-added services. 

Enhance customer satisfaction

Wholesale customers want to have a B2C type of shopping experience that allows them to shop easily and comfortably. This includes stuff like the presence of customer-specific details about products, inventories, as well as delivery, etc. With the right digital self-services, a wholesaler is able to give customers a better experience. 

You may be wondering what is global sourcing. When looking at global sourcing, this includes a procurement strategy whereby a business purchases goods as well as services from international businesses across geopolitical boundaries. This is to save money by employing cheap raw materials or even to get skilled labor from places where this is not expensive. To understand what is global sourcing, you can consider the example that Starbucks purchases coffee from locations such as Columbia as well as Guatemala. Due to this the business is able to get quality products but at a lower cost. A company present in a country like the United States may want to source steel from a country like China.

This is due to the fact that it is more cost-effective than producing it domestically. A Japanese company may decide to source rare earth minerals that are not found in Japan from a country where they are present, like in India. With the help of global sourcing, a company is able to access new markets as well as new suppliers. When a company sources from different countries, they can get new supplies that have different abilities as well as resources. They can even get access to new customers and so expand their reach effectively. 

If you own a wholesale company and want it to succeed, you need to consider wholesale industry trends such as the digital transformation of this industry. Many people prefer shopping online and if you have a good e-commerce platform and a presence in the online marketplace, you will be able to reach out to more customers. Sales can increase and you can help get your business known to more people. It is important to stand out in this industry if you want your business to prosper.