Wholesale challenges and the benefits of moving to the cloud

The wholesale business is changing. As the market opens up to a global audience on both the buy and sell side, businesses are responding by moving online to take advantage of new customers internationally and remain competitive. Some wholesalers are also opening B2C sales channels in order to diversify their business.

In order to achieve these goals, many now require a more robust and up-to-date inventory management system that streamlines product management, enables B2B eCommerce and allows employees and stakeholders anywhere in the world to get real-time information.

In just 7 years, SMB Consultants have grown to be the leading cloud integrator consultants in Australia, New Zealand, and the entire APAC region. Over that time, they’ve helped many businesses implement cloud-based software, and ultimately, streamline their entire business operations.

Here, they share their key insights into some of the challenges wholesale businesses face today and how moving to the cloud can benefit wholesalers.

Wholesale business challenges

  • How  to sell more product and reduce stock holding

In a nutshell wholesalers are struggling to diversify their business and find more ways to sell their product, but simultaneously reduce the amount of stock holding that they have.

Today, many wholesale businesses are challenged with trying to diversify their business, to sell more products through different channels. However, having a big warehouse and keeping it stocked to the roof simply isn’t feasible for wholesalers who want to keep stock holding costs as minimal as possible. The good news is that current technology allows businesses to be smarter in their inventory management and warehouse managementpractices. With access to sophisticated reporting tools, data, and insights into stock movements, wholesalers are better equipped to hold the right amount of inventory at the right time.

  • Choosing the right sales channels

The wholesale business model has grown since many businesses have seized upon the opportunity to create their own retail brand, diversifying their business to be a retail-wholesale hybrid. Historically, doing both B2C and B2B trading was too labor-intensive for most businesses, but with advances in technology it’s becoming an attractive option.

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However, with this transition comes the difficulty of choosing the right places and channels through which to sell. Pop-ups are a great testing ground, because they require minimal technology and overhead costs, resulting in a high ROI over a short timeframe.

  • Keeping up with demand

With advances in wholesale technology comes increased customer demand for faster service and self-service capabilities. B2B businesses need to be constantly adapting to ensure they’re providing the most direct way for customers to purchase from them, such as providing self-service opportunities.

These challenges can be overwhelming for some businesses, but increasingly more companies are realizing how cloud computing can alleviate these issues.

The benefits of moving to a cloud-based wholesale management system

  • Empower customers

Traditionally, wholesale businesses would have to hand out physical sales catalogs to potential clients and then follow-up by phone – a slow and inefficient process. With a cloud inventory management system like TradeGecko, wholesalers today can invite clients to their online B2B portal, where they have access to online sales catalogs and can even place orders. This not only puts the power into the customer's hands but also opens up a more direct communication channel, facilitating ongoing relationships with customers.

We recommend TradeGecko for wholesale clients that are wanting to manage an indent purchasing workflow, have multiple sales channels where sales come in via TradeGecko’s iPad app, eCommerce, or B2B. It’s also very user friendly and the workflows are really clear. It does very, very well in that sense. People love how easy it is to use and the way it looks.
  • Lower costs

One clear benefit of moving to the cloud is that wholesalers can say goodbye to the costs of printing catalogs, physical terms and conditions, and so on. While some business owners still think in traditional terms, top wholesalers are already moving their wholesale businesses online to cut down on costs and provide a better customer experience.

  • Streamline operations

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One of the biggest things wholesalers have struggled with until recently was streamlining the process from order placement to fulfillment. The fulfillment chain involves everyone from finance to sales to warehouse workers, so it makes sense to have a centralized system. With a cloud-based wholesale management system, all necessary information can be seen by anyone, at any time, and in
real time. This reduces the likelihood of errors and facilitates better collaboration and communication between teams – ultimately, making the entire sales process much smoother and more efficient.

To learn more about SMB Consultants’ business journey, read their case study.

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See also:

7 ecommerce trends for b2b online growth

Beginners guide to B2B eCommerce: An eBook

3 ways to evaluate your wholesale customers

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