The distribution industry has evolved over the years and faces even more evolution in 2023. An increasingly competitive landscape will be at the forefront of the top wholesale distribution trends this year. The rise of direct-to-consumer commerce and growth of B2B marketplaces have disrupted the wholesale industry. This competition means distributors will need to focus on e-commerce and digital transformation this year if they haven’t done so already.
From real-time supply chain visibility to keeping up with rapid technology evolution and more…we outline 2023 wholesale distribution trends below.
- B2B Personalization – B2B buyers now expect the same kind of convenient, fast, and personalized experiences that they have as a consumer. Distributors should focus on creating tailored customer experiences in a few ways:
- Communicating with customers via their preferred channels.
- Offering customized pricing, rebates, and discounts.
- Placing importance on “Experience Management” (an effort to measure and improve the experiences a company provides its customers as well as stakeholders) as a discipline within the organization.
- Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility – Through the implementation of intelligent business process management capabilities that offer greater efficiency and the ability to move products more sustainably, wholesale distributors rely on real-time supply chain visibility to improve logistics and make better decisions.This technology also allows wholesale distributors to be more resilient to unanticipated changes in supply and demand by adapting quickly without sacrificing cost or quality.
- Continued Innovation – Distributors are finding ways to add value in ways their peers and the online players can’t, making innovation a trend this year. Differentiation helps win customers, find new revenue streams, and increases customer loyalty. A few main ways distributors are transforming their business for a competitive advantage include:
- Offering Additional Services – Pre-assembly, kitting, and packaging are a few examples.
- Creating a Faster Delivery Process – Streamlining warehouse operations and using digital technology will provide the speed and convenience that customers expect.
- Advising Customers Throughout a Project’s Lifecycle – Project management and coordination services are value-added services that can build trust with your customers.
- Increasing Automation Efforts – The use of intelligent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps distributors reduce manual tasks to increase overall efficiency.
- Keeping Up with Rapid Technology Evolution – With innovation a priority and understanding the pace at which technology changes is only accelerating, it’s extremely important to evaluate technology trends and implement the technologies that make sense for your distribution business. What’s transforming every industry? Cloud technology, e-Commerce, automation, and AI to name a few. This year distributors need to prioritize developing employees’ expertise and skillsets in AI and machine learning and standardizing business processes and interfaces.
2023 is already presenting new opportunities for wholesale distributors, but companies must be prepared to take advantage of these new trends if they want to remain competitive and successful. If this year’s trends have one thing in common it’s successful wholesale distributors must embrace a variety of technologies to help them keep that momentum to not only survive, but to thrive for years to come.
At NSA, we help distributors implement modern solutions that will help distributors like you remain competitive and increase profitability. With most of our employees having first-hand distribution experience, we understand the nuances of being in the distribution business and the importance of staying current with wholesale industry trends.
Utilizing Infor’s CloudSuite Distribution platform, our ERP solutions serve distributors across various industries to solve whatever problems you might encounter. Having helped hundreds of distribution businesses like yours implement successful and efficient ERP solutions and Total Warehouse Logistics (TWL), we’re confident we can help you too. If you’re ready to implement these technologies into your distribution business plan, reach out to us here.