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5 trends disrupting the traditional wholesale distribution model

Multichannel Distribution Specialists

Integrating Wholesale Distribution alongside In-Store, Online and Machine-to-Machine to let today's multichannel businesses increase efficiency and reduce costs while achieving flexible and agile control of the supply chain.

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Archive for December 2015

How will Amazon Business impact multichannel wholesale expectations in 2016?

15th December 2015

The B2B buying experience will demand B2C standards

In October 2015, Amazon announced the launch of a new digital platform, designed to penetrate the wholesale market – Amazon Business. An extension of its former project, Amazon Supply, Amazon Business is an online marketplace offering companies the opportunity to buy goods at wholesale prices through the e-tail giant directly.

Amazon Business will shape the wholesale market in more ways than one. At a fundamental level, it will give retailers greater opportunity to buy goods online, as many wholesalers do not currently offer an ecommerce service. So this in itself will raise the game for B2B purchasing and distribution over the next 12 months.

For those that are trading online at present, this new platform is likely to gather momentum into 2016, and it will have repercussions for the wholesale and distribution strategies of multichannel businesses. Amazon will use all of its consumer experience – and its key lessons learned from Amazon Supply – to create a more responsive, B2C-like journey for B2B buyers. This, in turn, will put pressure on other wholesalers to create a similar approach.

Replicating the traits of a B2C transaction can be challenging in the wholesale world, but it’s by no means insurmountable with the right processes and technology in place. For example, clear communications are a huge part of delivering to expectations. B2B audiences are no different to the end consumer; they should be provided with a transparency at all times, and that means being able to share the availability of product quantities, order dispatch and arrival dates, and any issues that may impact fulfilment.

There also must be capabilities for multichannel wholesale businesses to implement a level of personalisation suitable for their customers. For instance, the pricing structure may differ from client to client, whilst there may be purchasers who require regular re-orders, which they wish to automate.

Responding efficiently to these varying demands relies on being able to streamline core business processes through technology, to reduce labour-intensive tasks and free personnel to concentrate on customer service. This will also benefit coordination across the supply chain, as everyone involved needs a clear depiction of order requirements at all times.

By making the end-to-end journey quicker, slicker and easily viewable by all those involved, in 2016 multichannel wholesale and distribution companies will be able to give their customers the same, optimised journey as they are used to experiencing as a retail shopper.

Enhance multichannel wholesale with BlueBridge One

To address the customer experience challenges of modern multichannel wholesale, many companies are investing in technology such as NetSuite to coordinate and improve key process – and rightly so.

However, every business, although adhering to general best business practices, has their own specific needs. That’s why wholesale distribution organisations hoping to grow their revenue in 2016 need the support of a partner who understands their trading environment and the disruptive trends affecting them, who can help them optimise NetSuite’s cloud based business management platform to take advantage of evolving trends in this sector.

BlueBridge One has extensive experience in helping B2B companies innovate their business through investment in cloud technology. From implementation best practice to automating manual processes, we can help organisations increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction levels without significantly adding to staffing costs.

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How to impress multichannel shoppers in 2016

8th December 2015

Delivering on promise will be imperative

2016 is just around the corner, and with it fresh opportunities for multichannel retail and wholesale businesses. But with market competition tougher than ever, and customer expectations exceptionally high, how can companies maximise their growth plans for the year ahead?

One major challenge that will face the retail sector next year is making seamless multichannel shopping a reality. For some time now, the industry has talked of a consistent customer experience in all channels, but many retail organisations are still struggling to make that a reality – especially Tier 2, 3 and 4 businesses.

Even in Tier 1, there’s been innovation and investment made over the last 12 months in impressive customer-facing technology, such as digital display advertising and iBeacons, when shopper satisfaction levels are yet to be optimised.

Getting it right in 2016 comes down to one simple to say but difficult to deliver statement: get the customer what they want, when and where they want it. Naturally, that customer should be engaging with businesses across multiple channels and touch points, but even the most sophisticated digital outreach will fall flat if companies can’t get orders to them in the manner requested.

In order to deliver on their promise over the next 12 months, retail organisations need to look inwards, to analyse where improvements need to be made in their current processes, and invest in the technology that can make those changes.

For example, there are many processes in the end-to-end journey – from wholesale right through to fulfilment – that can be automated, at least in part. Moving away from manual processes not only reduces the margin for error; it speeds up the time to customer as well.

Moving to a system capable of automating wholesale, distribution and multichannel capabilities has another significant benefit: bringing all retail operations under a single solution. Too many customer service errors occur at present because key decision makers within the business can’t see either how the customer is behaving in all channels, or where their stock is available throughout the life cycle.

Gaining a single view of all business operations on one platform is essential to serving shoppers consistently wherever they interact. And if this system is cloud-based, multichannel businesses can easily connect new devices to the network, to share critical trading insights across stores, distribution centres and other strategic hubs.

It’s clear that change in 2016 will start from within, however many retail organisations are yet to invest in the back-end technology to support their growth, because they’re unsure what their company requirements are – and getting the solution wrong is a costly mistake. Therefore, next year, we are likely to see more retailers than ever turn to business solution providers for support, to ensure they not only select the right systems, but that they’re implemented in a way that drives profitability.

Optimise your multichannel operations with BlueBridge One

Meeting customer expectations in 2016 will rely on the integration of channels and processes, to enable the transparency and flexibility necessary to adapt to customer demands.

BlueBridge One can support multichannel businesses with this integration process. As an expert NetSuite ERP solutions provider, we understand how to tailor out-of-the-box functionality to the individual needs of each business, to get them up and running rapidly.

More than that, our experienced NetSuite implementation team cause minimum disruption to day-to-day running – so retail businesses can stay focussed on delivering their customer promise.