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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 April 2016

Is UK commerce really ready for mobile shoppers?

13th April 2016

Two thirds of online traffic now comes from mobile devices

Desktop shopping has lost its throne; new statistics from SimilarWeb show that 65% of eCommerce traffic in the UK now comes from mobile devices, a greater proportion than any other country in the world.

Mobile is perhaps the most lucrative channel of all for retailers and wholesalers. In addition to accounting for the majority of direct online traffic, it has a powerful impact on offline purchases. The smartphone has become consumers’ go-to tool for researching products, and many go on to select click and collect delivery of that item, bypassing the need for a desktop or laptop computer altogether.

Even those shoppers who use bricks-and-mortar channels will use their mobile to look up product information at the shelf edge, compare prices online and even sourcing discount codes before purchasing.

So, we’ve established that consumers want to use their mobile to shop, whichever channel they’re shopping in. But are retailers and wholesale businesses ready to embrace mCommerce and its associated opportunities?

Not always, is the simple answer. Some organisations are still failing to get the basics right, like building a responsive website that is optimised for viewing on mobile devices – particularly in the wholesale sector. The smaller screen size means short product descriptions, bold imagery and clear call to action buttons are critical to convert mCommerce customers.

In the retail sector, website optimisation is just the start of the journey. Mobile’s increasingly influential role on transactions is changing the back-end demands being placed on businesses. For example, as we mentioned earlier, mobile is a key research tool for click and collect purchases. The exponential rise of click and collect in the UK – 3 in 4 consumers have now used collect in store fulfilment, according to IMRG – is placing new pressures on inventory management.

Convenience is king for the modern shopper, and click and collect enables them to control when they pick up a purchase, rather than wait in all day for a delivery. However, this has created new logistical headaches in terms of stock fulfilment, as store inventory and online inventory are often managed separately, in two different locations.

Click and collect can create scenarios in which online orders diminish store availability, to the point where ‘walk in’ sales are lost. Alternatively, it can make fulfilment very expensive for retailers as they ship items to the store in order not to cannibalise stock that has been allocated to that location for direct sale.

In order to meet the demands of the mobile-savvy end buyer, whether in a retail or a wholesale environment, businesses must look closely at how to solve these challenges and others like them.

Embrace mobile customers with BlueBridge One

Whether you’re a retailer, a wholesaler, or operate in both channels, the key to becoming mobile-ready is complete integration and automation of your core business systems.

As the UK’s leading NetSuite implementation partner, BlueBridge One can support your complete multichannel needs – from optimising your online presence, to aligning operational systems with front-end capabilities. So no matter how complex your mobile customers’ demands become, you can meet them in an efficient and profitable manner.

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How the Google effect is disrupting the wholesale distribution model

11th April 2016

There’s a reason why the verb ‘to Google’ is now in the English dictionary. The search engine is a constant companion to online activity, and it’s impacting both how retail is run, and how wholesale and distribution companies support their journey.

For instance, online research has become a critical step in the consumer’s path to purchase, and this is now infiltrating the wholesale journey. By the time a B2B customer is ready to place an order, they already know what they want and when they want it; this is known as ‘The Google Effect’.

Google also plays a pivotal role in B2B trading. It made a foray into wholesale distribution, launching a ‘shopping for suppliers’ initiative in 2013, which was shut down a year later. However, last year the online giant announced the launch of ‘buy buttons’ for web users, similar to those being piloted on social media networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This will foster even stronger direct commerce links between searching and buying over the web.

The influence Google has over the wholesale and distribution industry even extends to brand content and messaging; in late 2015, Renee Niemi – Google for Work’s director of the Android and Chrome global businesses – urged companies operating in the supply chain to undertake a digital revolution, using mobility, wearables and cloud-based analytics to reform how orders are processed, co-ordinated, picked, packed and shipped.

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