We have previously discussed how foodservice buyers are the driving force responsible for disrupting the wholesale distribution industry. Buyers are demanding access to e-commerce B2B platforms, and wholesale suppliers are rushing to meet this need.
Slowly, a transition is starting to take place on the distributor side. Not only are wholesale suppliers acknowledging the demand from buyers, but they are also beginning to realize how online and mobile ordering can benefit their business. E-commerce platforms allow suppliers to minimize labor costs associated with manual order taking and data entry, and make their sales reps more effective.
The distribution industry’s top companies have taken note of their buyers’ needs, and have become early adopters of tech-based platforms. The results from suppliers who have already implemented mobile and online ordering systems speak for themselves:
- 53% noticed previously inactive customers returning to place online orders
- 60% noticed customers placing larger orders than before
- 73% reported customers placing orders more frequently
- 76% reported customers discovering new products and/or categories
Not only is there immense customer demand but there is also a huge business upside to modernizing the ordering process. At the same time, the industry is at an inflection point and suppliers who fall behind on adopting online ordering run the risk of losing customers to competitors with more modern capabilities.
What do you think about this trend, and are you willing to make changes to better fit your customers' needs?
Sources: 2018 Manufacturing & Distribution Sales and Technology Survey Report