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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 February 2016

Multichannel shopping is now a way of life

15th February 2016

95% of UK shoppers are multichannel savvy

When it comes to shopping, multichannel retail has become a way of life. A recent survey revealed that 95% of consumers in the UK now multichannel shop, hopping between several touch points – online and offline – in order to browse, research and buy.

For the digital world in particular, evolving multichannel mindsets have created new customer experience challenges. Today’s consumers expect an informative, attractive website that is optimised for whichever device they are using; they want endless aisle capabilities and a choice of fulfilment options; and they want eCommerce to blend with their bricks-and-mortar encounters, through cross-channel services such as click-and-collect.

These higher-than-ever expectations are putting multichannel retailers under pressure, as their capabilities can make or break customer loyalty. Online, for example, more than half (56%) of UK shoppers will consider switching to a rival company if their preferred retailer can’t offer the method of delivery they desire. A third of these consumers demand online deliveries in two days or less.

It has become critical for retailers to offer a compelling brand offering that not only impresses customers – it delivers on promise. Sounds simple enough, but the greater number of channels that a consumer shops through, the more complex the management model becomes. This, in turn, increases the risk of letting the customer down; either by getting the proposition wrong in one channel, or simply being able to connect the dots across the business.

One of the problems that faces many retailers in 2016 is the evolution of their multichannel model. Unlike startups, which are launching into this multimedia, multi-platform trading arena, traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers that have expanded online are having to weave together disparate operations and systems. Many started off by treating eCommerce as a separate entity, but rapidly found that this siloed online/offline approach did not work.

Serving the customer anywhere means being able to see them everywhere – and respond to the demands they are making in the context of their wider activity. Any disconnection between online and offline operations makes it virtually impossible to gain a 360 degree overview of shopper activity, and to ensure all channels are working together harmoniously, in order to profitably meet customer needs.

More than that, with so many companies achieving this integration between activity in all channels, consumers will no longer accept excuses among those who still can’t deliver a seamless multichannel journey.

Give shoppers multichannel flexibility with BlueBridge One

Responding to 2016’s multichannel savvy shoppers means having the right platform to give them the experience they crave, wherever and however they shop.

BlueBridge One is a multichannel commerce expert; we give retailers the technology to unify decision making across the business, and simplify the complexities of today’s trading environment.

See how we helped fashion brand Orlebar Brown to unify its multichannel strategy.

Whether you’re trading in a single country or across multiple markets, we can help you coordinate and grow your multichannel business.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

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How multiple-channel convenience is disrupting the wholesale distribution model

11th February 2016

Our recently published white paper: 5 trends disrupting the wholesale distribution model explores how to create a leaner, more profitable wholesale operation.

Here we look at one of the ideas in the white paper: Multiple-channel convenience

Until now, multi-channel convenience has mainly been the domain of direct-to-consumer activity, but expectations are now moving into the wholesale environment. Gone are the days where B2B orders are limited only to inbound phone call and email orders; B2B customers now crave the same flexibility and seamless customer experience as their B2C counterparts.

One of the key drivers of this trend is eCommerce. Now that shopping online has become second nature to consumers, the level of functionality demanded of a web platform is filtering into wholesale transactions.

In the B2B trading environment, though, creating online transactions is not as straightforward. Whereas there tends to be a single offer to consumers in each market, wholesalers must balance the differing needs of their customers. For example, the quantities required, reordering frequency and even price point will vary from client to client, which makes transactions much more complicated than in the B2C arena.

Therefore, wholesale companies wanting to reach the multichannel audience must invest in an eCommerce system that can provide a B2C-like experience, in order to meet customer expectations.

This is made even more challenging by the growing role of mobile in eCommerce. Mobile optimisation is critical to customer satisfaction – according to Wpromote, 16% of traffic to B2B websites already comes from a mobile device – and so wholesale and distribution companies must be able to optimise their customer journey, from whichever device and location the client chooses to interact.

Do you want the full 5 trends? Click here to download our white paper.

Do you want to make your wholesale operation more profitable?

Then download our white paper now to ensure your business is not being disrupted.

Download now ›

5 trends disrupting the traditional wholesale distribution model

10th February 2016

How Third Party Logistics (3PL) is disrupting the wholesale distribution model

2nd February 2016

Our recently published white paper: 5 trends disrupting the wholesale distribution model explores how to create a leaner, more profitable wholesale operation.

Here we look at one of the ideas in the white paper: Third Party Logistics (3PL)

As multi-channel retail expands retailers’ reach, and online commerce continues to break down national and international borders, the wholesale and distribution are having to serve a wider network of customers, more frequently.

In order to address this, an increasing number are outsourcing operational logistics - from warehousing to delivery – in the form of third party logistics (3PLs).

Opting for a 3PL has a number of advantages for wholesale companies. These include:

  • Instant access to expertise – working with companies that have years of industry experience and best practice
  • Cost-effective – reduces the volume of warehousing space needed, and also the staff and vehicle costs associated with running a distribution network in-house
  • No drain on resources – a 3PL can take care of trading logistics such as managing customs regulations and documentation for international deliveries, leaving the wholesaler free to concentrate on building their business

Such is the lure of 3PLs that the standard bearer for customer-centric delivery, Amazon, is increasing investment in its own third party network. In late 2015, analyst Robert W/ Baird & Co created a report outlining the advantages of Amazon expanding its presence in the global 3PL market, warning that the influence of third party logistics on wholesale should not be underestimated.

However, this approach is not flawless. Outsourcing will always mean relinquishing some level of control to an external party, and placing a greater distance between the wholesaler and the product, which isn’t ideal for quality control purposes. It can also involve greater up-front investment.

Do you want the full 5 trends? Click here to download our white paper.

Do you want to make your wholesale operation more profitable?

Then download our white paper now to ensure your business is not being disrupted.

Download now ›