The wholesale and especially the wholesale e-commerce marketplace has turned upside down in recent years, as rising fuel costs, new technologies, and competition from giant retailers transform the budgets and workflow of wholesale distribution. However, while there are many new obstacles, they are by no means impossible to overcome. Wholesale distribution continues to experience steady financial growth, but in order to keep up, it’s important to stay on top of the game by combating the biggest problems wholesale faces before they become insurmountable problems for you.
The Problem: The risk of losing retailers due to disintermediation
While modern technologies have greatly enhanced many business operations, the risk of disintermediation as retailers have the opportunity to directly purchase from manufacturers is a big threat to wholesalers.
The Solution: Create greater value for your services to encourage retailers to stay.
Flexibility and dependability are your two greatest assets when it comes to keeping current clients. Offer multiple options for pricing and delivery to make it attractive for them to stay with you. Always emphasize great customer service, and demonstrate how buying with you will be easier for them than buying direct.
The Problem: Rising fuel costs increase transportation expenses
As the price of fuel rises globally, wholesalers around the world have experienced an increase in transportation costs, which in turn rises product prices and delivery costs. Considering that transportation is a large portion of total distribution costs, minimizing the effect of increased fuel costs is very important for wholesalers.
The Solution: Fight back!
While you can’t control the price of fuel, you can control how much it affects your business. Invest in fuel-efficient vehicles and look for cheaper delivery methods. Additionally, offer options to consumers to have goods delivered in more cost effective ways. The lower price of the product can combat the longer time it may take to get delivered. Asking your customers to understand your side and offering compromises and flexible delivery options.
The Problem: Working to implement new technologies
New tools available to the sales industry can be enormously beneficial to everyone in the sales chain. However, While many of the technologies, such as radio frequency identification tags, offer unargued benefits to wholesalers, many find it a challenge to implement.
The Solution: Research your options before you switch.
Understand the software options fully and think about your goals before investing. Some programs are significantly easier to implement and can integrate with the tools you already use, making it easier to move over. Offer comprehensive training to staff and clients on how to use new technologies before making any changes, and deploy slowly so everyone has time to adjust.
The Problem: Trying to stay on top of inventory levels.
Inventory levels are the bloodline that keeps your business alive. However, if you work in wholesale you know it’s not always easy to manage inventory and backup stock while also balancing your many other responsibilities. Trying to stay on top of wholesale metrics can be a lot to take on, especially when it feels like the numbers aren’t matching up to your needs.
The Solution: Automate analytics so you can have accurate forecasts.
Use programs that help you gain accurate forecasts so you can be on top of your inventory at all times. The best solution is using software that not only tracks inventory but also uses analytics to help you identify how to allocate your resources most effectively.
While these are by no means all the problems facing wholesale marketing, hopefully it offers you tried-and-true solutions for improving your business and taking on some of the challenges facing wholesale distributors today. Any other problems you see in the marketplace that you have found viable solutions for?