Last Updated on June 7, 2021 by Dan Christoffersen
“I don’t have that many retailers, so I don’t need to invest in a wholesale eCommerce platform.”
Many wholesalers can probably relate to this statement. It’s a common opinion among businesses selling B2B and wholesale. Instead of using a wholesale eCommerce platform, they make their retailers order via email and phone.
The main issue with this opinion, however, is that it is extremely one-sided. And does not consider the most important party in this case; the retailers and the buyers. The fact is, that the majority of your customers would prefer to purchase via a digital solution. And they don’t care how many retailers you have.
In this blog post, we are going to show you exactly why you should invest in a wholesale eCommerce platform, even if you don’t have that many retailers (yet).
Retailers prefer to order online
The main reason you should invest in a wholesale eCommerce platform is that the majority of your retailers prefer to order digitally. We already mentioned this in the intro but are going to back it up with proof here.
Numerous studies are backing our claim that wholesale customers prefer to order online. McKinsey, for example, found that 85% of B2B customers would prefer not to talk to a salesperson for repeated purchases. If you are only allowing your customers to order by email and phone, there is no way for them to avoid this.
If you need additional proof, we’ve made an entire blog post on this topic, explaining why retailers prefer to order online. You can read this here.
Other reasons why you should invest in a wholesale eCommerce platform
Obviously, an eCommerce platform for wholesale will bring efficiency to your internal processes. You will no longer have to input all orders manually into your accounting or ERP system, you will have fewer errors, increased sales, etc.
So even if you won’t go digital for the sake of your customers, the other benefits should convince you. We will cover some of these below.
Manual halts growth
Manual processes halt growth. A manual sales process is a bottleneck, making it very difficult for you to grow your wholesale business beyond a certain point.
If you refuse to utilize a wholesale eCommerce platform because you have too few retailers, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because sticking to the manual routine, will ensure that you won’t get a lot of retailers. You simply won’t be able to handle a lot of retailers.
Instead, you will be spending hours answering questions from your customers. Questions that your customers could find the answer to themselves, if you had a wholesale eCommerce platform, that is.
And even worse, you will be forced to input orders manually into your accounting or ERP system instead of synchronizing them directly from your eCommerce software. A very time-consuming and cumbersome task that is certain to result in order errors and even more frustration for you and your customers.
Start growing with eCommerce
Instead of being stuck in a manual standstill, you can grow your business with eCommerce.
And don’t just take our word for it (we know you never would). Because, once again, numerous studies back our claim that companies grow from utilizing eCommerce.
This study (in Danish), for example, found that companies that go from a manual sales process to eCommerce, on average, see a 40% increase in earnings. It furthermore shows that if the same company increase its level of digitization in other areas as well, they can increase earnings an additional 34% to a total increase in earnings of 74%,
Several factors facilitate this growth. One of them, however, is that digitization can make it easier to get new wholesale customers as well as keeping your existing ones.
Get more customers. And keep the ones you already have
Digitizing your wholesale business is a great way to increase your customer base. Specifically, a wholesale eCommerce platform can help you get new customers and keep the ones you already have.
So even if you feel you do not have enough retailers to invest in wholesale eCommerce at this point, doing so will quickly get you those extra retailers.
Get new customers
We know from experience that some retailers refuse to order from a wholesaler if they do not offer a digital order process. Retailers know how simple it is to purchase digitally, and will often select and deselect suppliers based on what process they offer.
This means, that if you offer an easy digital ordering process, you also increase your relevance to your potential market and increase the likelihood that retailers will select you over your non-digital competitors.
Another way that digitization can help you get more retailers, is via features like Retailer request forms. Such a request form makes it super easy for new potential customers to get in touch with you and request to order your products.
Keep your existing customers
Even more important than helping to get new customers, a wholesale eCommerce platform will also help you keep your existing customers.
First of all, as mentioned above, most retailers prefer to order digitally. You don’t want to be the non-digital wholesale losing business to your competitors.
Second, using eCommerce software will give you a much better overview of your customers and their activity level. This way, you will know if you need to reach out to a retailer to keep them as a customer.
Why the unwillingness to digitize?
The conclusion in this blog post is that irrespective of the number of retailers you sell to, it’s recommended to digitize your processes with a wholesale eCommerce platform.
The individual retailer or buyer wants the best experience when buying from you, and that experience should be digital!
They don’t care how many other retailers you have – ordering should be simple. If you invest in a wholesale eCommerce platform, you will get happier customers and better customer retention.
So why are so many wholesale brands reluctant to take their wholesale sales process online?
Well, we’ve debunked the myth that retailers are keen on talking with their suppliers every time they have to order. So, you shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to digitize.
Other wholesale brands think that their processes are too complicated to digitize. While it is true that wholesale can be complicated, the modern eCommerce SaaS (link) solutions are more than capable to handle anything you throw at them. Differentiated prices, individually negotiated terms, product exclusivity, etc.
Lastly, many wholesale brands mistakenly think that a wholesale eCommerce platform is expensive. While this was true not too long ago, it definitely isn’t anymore. Today, you can even find wholesale eCommerce software that is completely free to use.
Get started with your wholesale eCommerce platform and grow your customer base today
The earlier you implement an eCommerce platform, the better. After all, your number of retailers will only grow from here.
And with Turis, getting started with your own wholesale eCommerce platform is super easy and quick.
Sign up for the free version of Turis using the button below.
Or you can book a 30 min online demo.