The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted different industries and created unprecedented situations around the world. As a result, the global supply chains have been adversely impacted due to the closure of factories, warehouses, and wholesale distribution centres. Businesses are suffering from massive financial losses in this challenging time.
However, such circumstances have also allowed companies to explore new opportunities to operate their business in an efficient and profitable manner. Today, some interesting trends are becoming highly popular in wholesale distribution.
In this post, you will get to know about six popular trends in wholesale distribution in 2020. These trends are expected to continue well into the distant future.
6 Important Trends You Can’t Ignore in the Wholesale Distribution Industry
Although many companies are still suffering the massive financial strain brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses have been able to come up with creative and efficient solutions to enhance their business processes during the pandemic.
Keep reading to find out these important trends in the wholesale distribution industry.
1. Rising Popularity of eCommerce
Online shopping has become highly popular in the last few years. As a result, wholesalers are also acting fast to leverage on the higher demand and enter the online B2B marketplace. There is no denying that more and more wholesalers and retailers have realized the importance of eCommerce platforms to their business.
These platforms allow companies to expand their customer base and be exposed to various profitable opportunities. For instance, eCommerce platforms allow wholesalers to develop online catalogues and distribute them in different marketing channels. Other benefits offered to these wholesale distributors include being able to reach hundreds and thousands of brand new potential customers.
To retailers, placing an online order is much easier with these platforms as compared to manual ordering. They can easily add the items they want to the shopping cart and place their orders.
Alibaba.com is a prime example of a B2B eCommerce marketplace that is expanding to further cater to the needs of wholesale distributors. Its platform connects buyers and sellers from around the world in a fashion that offers maximum flexibility for all parties involved.
2. Using Data in Strategic Decision-Making
Financial management has always been a critical part of any business. Modern tools and technology allow both wholesalers and retailers to collect a variety of data and make smart decisions regarding inventory, investment, and other important strategic decisions.
Moreover, the availability of advanced analytics and data collection tools that are capable of analyzing customer behaviour helps companies in designing suitable marketing strategies, sales channels, and important business processes.
With data and analytics, companies are able to enhance their strategies and allocate proper resources to different departments for the achievement of company goals.
3. Flexible Supply Chains
The pandemic has greatly disrupted the global supply chain due to which a lot of businesses suffered massive losses and even collapse.
Therefore, supply chain flexibility is now a rising trend in wholesale distribution because it allows companies to suitably adjust the utilization of resources in production lines, raw materials, and overall shipping procedures. As a result, the entire process becomes more affordable and profitable.
In fact, the unprecedented disruption in supply and demand has created a global crisis, as most of the B2B retailers did not have any flexible plan in place. And that’s why supply chain flexibility allows distributors to develop a resilient business model that is capable of overcoming serious challenges and crises.
4. Global Trading
Global trading is not a new concept as it has been around in the past few decades. However, technology has given global trade a huge boost. This trend is expected to continue throughout 2020 and beyond.
Moreover, eCommerce platforms offer a variety of shipping options to streamline the entire process of global trading. These platforms comply with the rules and regulations of international trade so that users do not have to worry about any kind of possible violations.
Alibaba.com also offers shipping services via Alibaba.com Freight which further streamlines the process, since this service is equipped to navigate the rules and regulations that come with international trade.
5. Role of Artificial Intelligence
In order to scale a business model, it is important to leverage on automation. Wholesale distribution businesses are now relying on automation technology like AI-based tools to modernize their businesses and make them more profitable.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast evolving and has been used in different industries in the past few years. Now with the introduction of numerous advanced software and management systems, wholesale distributors are able to make use of these modern features, even if they are on a small budget.
AI has applications throughout the wholesale distribution industry. It is particularly useful in sales, payroll management, accounting, etc.
There is no denying that the role of AI in wholesale distribution will greatly expand in the next few years to cover essential warehouse functions like labelling, packaging, and shipping. As a result, businesses will be able to automate most of their processes and make the business model more scalable.
6. The Rise of Omnichannel Marketing
The purpose of omnichannel marketing is to provide a more reliable, modern, and attractive experience to the consumers. It significantly enhances customer experience and plays an important role in providing consistent customer satisfaction.
Omnichannel marketing provides buyers with a streamlined experience. In fact, omnichannel marketing is much simpler because all customer-related departments are linked with one another to provide a wholesome customer experience. In this case, customers can easily obtain essential information from one single source instead of asking from one representative to another.
For instance, if a buyer wants to get information about an order issue, he can get that information from the same representative who will be dealing with other issues related to the shipment, delivery, and payment. Thus it eliminates the need for transferring a call to several departments because one representative will have access to all information in one place.
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the entire wholesale distribution industry, it is important to note that these challenging times have seen the emergence of new positive trends in the industry. Most of these trends are becoming popular because every business wants to minimize the impact of the global pandemic.
Moreover, many businesses have discovered new solutions to deal with the global crisis and expand their companies using the power of technology, including new platforms, software and tools. Thus, it is evident that technology is quickly becoming the driving force of the wholesale distribution industry.
Alibaba.com is proud to be on the cutting edge of these industry-wide developments. With a variety of software, platforms and services, wholesalers can expand and grow with ease.