How to make your business a multi-channel success story

24 November 2016 | BlueBridge One

Every business has a story to tell. In fact, if you’re a wholesale distributor looking to gain new customers, explore different sales outlets and expand into other territories, you might just be ready to start a new chapter. But how can you scale your operations to a multi-channel level?

Let BlueBridge One tell you a tale of our own. Adapted from our white paper, ‘Lessons to learn on the journey to growth’, this account demonstrates how one fictional brand realized their potential from wholesale B2B distributor to multi-channel B2C retailer.

Soap for Sale is a cosmetics business that started life as a single location wholesale distributor. Soap was sold on a B2B basis to select retailers who would then display the soap in their stores or on their websites, perhaps branded under their own name.

The B2B service expanded, with the company developing a self-service ecommerce portal which allowed retailers to buy stock as and when they required it. To meet this growing wholesale demand, Soap for Sale required additional warehouse space, both locally, and internationally; it could choose between owning its own warehouse locations or utilising 3PL services in order to serve customers in new territories.

With the ongoing success of Soap for Sale, its founders were no longer content with supplying soap just to third parties and decided to also sell directly to customers. They developed their own branded products, and sold to the visitors of their website via an ecommerce store. They also used third party market places to reach more customers, such as Amazon and Etsy.

As their B2C offering became more popular and brand awareness grew, Soap for Sale secured space within the physical outlets of larger retailers, opening concessions in various locations. Products were selling well in physical outlets, and Soap for Sale understood that they could benefit from opening their own retail stores. Over time, new branches launched throughout the country as the model proved itself.

Along the way, the brand faced issues with administrative processes, inventory management and logistics as demand increased, but Soap for Sale adapted to become a true multi-channel distributor. They eventually distributed goods to wholesale buyers, via the internet, through concession spaces and in their own bricks and mortar shops.

Growing your wholesale business into a multi-channel operation doesn’t have to be a work of fiction. Our white paper entitled ‘Wholesale to multi-channel: lessons to learn on the journey to growth’ expands on this fictional account to outline some of the real life challenges you can expect to face along the way, and how they can be overcome with the use of the correct business management solutions.

BlueBridge One can turn your plans into a reality.

If you’re ready to develop your multi-channel strategy, we can help. Visit BlueBridge One online to see how business management software can help you to scale your processes, manage your back office activities, integrate systems and improve working efficiencies.