The Digitally Empowered Customers’ Impact on Wholesale Distribution

Digitally Empowered Customers

In the evolving digital economy, wholesale distribution companies find themselves on the run in unchartered territory. For wholesale distributors of all sizes, across the industry – including consumer goods, food and beverage, plumbing, electrical supplies, consumer electronics, building supplies and others – digitally empowered customers are raising previously unknown challenges that require innovative solutions.

You’re still under the gun to improve business performance, increase operational efficiency, meet diverse customer needs, and increase customer satisfaction. But to survive and thrive in the new competitive landscape, you need to think big – and think digital. Social media and the proliferation of mobile devices give your buyers instant, worldwide access to information, and they have the power in their hands to seek and find the greatest degree of value throughout the buying process.

The changing customer dynamic

Unprecedented access to information fosters an environment where customer behavior is unpredictable and customer loyalty is constantly shifting.

In fact, a recent Aberdeen Group report states that, “Wholesale Distribution is under tremendous competitive pressure to modify their business model, and take on all the challenges thrown at them for support by their customers.”

The changing dynamic between customers and wholesale distributors means:

  • New technology, social media and mobile devices empower buyers.
  • Retailers and other customers have exacting expectations.
  • Demand is increasingly unpredictable.
  • Customers insist on unmatched service levels, lower prices, and easier returns.

The push is on for wholesale distributors to become increasingly customer-centric. Customers want personalized experiences and value-added services. You need to deliver all that while profitably sourcing product inventory and improving margins.

Adopt transformative practices and technologies to leverage the digital economy

Winning with digitally empowered customers requires adopting technologies and practices that allow you to: gain customer insights, increase your understanding of customer behavior and requirements, and improve customer loyalty.

There are two key aspects of making the business transformation required to embrace and leverage the digital economy: 

  1. Boost Customer-Focused Buying Experiences – Digitize the end-to-end customer experience to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and provide a consistent and meaningful experience across every channel. Use customer insights to create offerings and service experiences that anticipate customer needs. Accurately monitor demand information to help ensure product availability. Focus on nurturing relationships with profitable customers and taking the right actions to improve relationships with less profitable customers.
  2. Enable Quick and Decisive Actions – Move from a purely reactive to a more predictive supply chain network; connect across multiple trading partners and functions and gain complete visibility from upstream suppliers through to your end customer. Improve inventory accuracy and boost margins. Manage diverse customer needs and avoid unexpected supply disruptions. Optimize inventory levels, reduce logistics costs, increase on-time delivery performance and deliver a superlative customer experience every time.

With additional insight into customer behavior and business operations, you can build effective digital business strategies for engaging buyers, capturing new revenue growth, and cutting global supply chain costs.

Learn how your wholesale distribution enterprise can succeed and thrive with today’s digitally empowered customers. Get your free itelligence industry insight white paper: How Wholesale Distribution Companies Compete in a Digital Economy.

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