For a long time, one-to-one relationships have been a key to success in B2B business practices. Once upon a time, the trusty 'salesman' was the face, memory and glue of your wholesaler. But that is changing quickly. Just like retail, B2B is making great strides in digitization and E-business. Global trends in the wholesale trade create urgency. And in those wholesale trends, the use of data is leading.
5 trends in the wholesale trade
The wholesale world is in an important transition phase. For some time now, the corona crisis has forced us to keep one-to-one contacts to a minimum. That is why the development and implementation of new customer, service and business models is crucial. Digitization is the norm here and data is leading. Many trends in the wholesale trade correspond to the path that retail has already taken. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
Trend 1: customers demand optimal customer experience
B2B customers are also 'ordinary consumers'. As private individuals, they see how online retail is increasingly successful in offering customers a personalized customer experience. So they wonder: why don't I see this reflected in my suppliers and service providers? This forces B2B players to take further steps in the digital transformation. With retail as an example, wholesale platforms are becoming increasingly intelligent and versatile. Much attention is paid to the quality and dynamics of product data. But also the service and the sharing of knowledge, qualities that were characteristic of the 'representative', are given a place on the platforms. The corona pandemic is accelerating this trend.
Trend 2: database as the beating heart
Previously, in the 'old days', the back office and field staff were the beating heart of the wholesale activities. Customer knowledge was employee-bound. In the 'new era', the strength of the wholesale trade is increasingly determined by a properly functioning database. It directs the processes that are crucial for dynamic pricing, efficient stock management and customer retention. An up-to-date database is one of the most important trends in the wholesale trade. An intelligent database that automatically adjusts prices, replenishes stock and initiates after sales activities is worth its weight in gold.
Trend 3: omnichannel strategy
We also see a trend in the wholesale trade towards the use of more channels. In addition to physical channels, a dedicated platform that serves customers online is no longer the exception but the rule. However, more than in retail, there is a lot of emphasis on the own customer environment and access protocols. But just like in retail, ease of use and a smooth customer journey are central. Larger wholesale companies are increasingly making specific (sub) platforms for segmented target groups. And also on social media, wholesalers are increasingly blowing their game.
Trend 4: shift to D2C is one of the most radical wholesale trends
The cards were always strictly divided. Retail serves the consumer, manufacturers and wholesalers serve the retail. In this, a shift is taking place that you can definitely call 'disruptive'. Manufacturers and wholesalers are slowly moving towards the consumer market. Digitization and Ecommerce blur borders. There are more and more examples of wholesale companies opening up their range or part of it to the B2C market. D2C business models (Direct to Consumer) will make it complete. It is one of the most significant trends in wholesale today. Hear there B2B Ecommerce Solutions not inferior to those for B2C Ecommerce platforms.
Trend 5: data as a driving force
In summary: the world of wholesale is evolving rapidly. The traditional position in the value chain is influenced from all sides. Buyers are setting new requirements, new players are putting traditional relationships at risk. In addition, the corona virus cuts through familiar patterns in the relationship and contact sphere. In addition, digitization and globalization ensure more competition and transparency. How do you deal with this as a wholesaler? How do you substantiate decisions and how do you exceed the expectations of prospects and buyers? You guessed it. Of all trends in the wholesale trade, this is the most important: data is the engine for success and growth.
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