For years, the role of the wholesaler has been that of an intermediary. Wholesalers buy most of the high demanding merchandise in large quantities directly from the manufacturers and resell them to retail traders. Hence, a wholesaler operates business to business, selling competing products at the same time.
However, with the increase in industrial and technological shifts, there has been a disruption and a need for a wholesaler to adjust to these shifts.
The role of the wholesaler is changing at an increasing rate, although these changes may not be entirely new for most wholesalers. They use it to their advantage to keep them at the edge, improve their business deals, and meet the needs of demanding consumers.
Some of the trends experienced by wholesalers are outlined below:
- Improved automation and user-friendly commerce ecosystem
- Changes in consumer cycles
- Geographical reach
#1: Improved Automation and User-Friendly Commerce Ecosystem: Information Technology has now been viewed as a competitive tool. Wholesalers are investing more in the idea of improving automation and tracking options, thereby creating a commerce ecosystem that will work more efficiently and effectively. This enables a streamline and optimization of operations like orders, stock numbers, return, and pricing, which in turn reduces the stress of doing it manually. Advanced web portals and app-based ordering enable wholesalers to cover vast geographies and transport most products. Those who lag in technology advancement in the wholesale industry are likely to face a robust future.
#2: Changes in Consumer Cycles: Today’s buyers are increasingly more demanding and far from being homogeneous. Wholesalers are no longer limited to products that are only available in season. Due to consumers’ demand, they are now made to have a variety of goods or the same products but in different improved forms to fit-in in all kinds of seasons. They do this, bearing in mind that the objective is to maintain relevance in the industry and also satisfy buyers.
#3: Geographical reach: Wholesalers work with a network of retailers to get most products to their desired location. The process involved in shipping products to the customers and the long wait to get the products across geographical areas may be tedious work. However, with the emergence of IT being a welcome development, wholesalers do not necessarily have to be the ones transporting the goods themselves. Customers will have to order and pay for their products way ahead of time if wholesalers must meet up and get it to the consumers at the required time.
As the world evolves with digital transformation, the wholesale industry will always keep advancing. This will bring more opportunities for wholesalers as well as more challenges. But wholesalers who take advantage of these trends and resources available will remain relevant, increase sales, and satisfy customers want.