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Author's profile photo Michelle Schooff

Traditional vs. Innovative Wholesale Distribution

According to the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), 73 percent of Wholesale Distributors will begin the change to e-commerce in 2015.

For those Wholesale Distributors that aren’t transforming their businesses, they may be left behind.   Some distributors feel a sense of urgency to adopt an e-commerce strategy while many remain slow to move more sales online.  Those that don’t transform their digital sales approach may lose customers to their competition.  Informed customers are in a position to be influenced by a broader and deeper set of competitor products and approaches.  Distributors must react and develop suitable alternatives to attract new and maintain their current customer relationships.


Can your customers go to one online portal to place orders, request a quote, check order history, or configure customized products?


Can your sales team leverage one digital platform to provide accurate contract pricing, order history, revenue reporting and other data?

According to a survey commissioned with Forrester Research, 93 percent of Business-t o-Business (B2B) buyers surveyed would rather transact on their own electronically than speak to a supplier’s representative.   That doesn’t mean suppliers should stop using salespeople and branch offices.   It is about recognizing the changing expectations of the customer, and then recognizing that Distributors may be open to competitive disruption if they don’t begin to embrace that change. 

The Forrester Research survey also found that up to 50 percent of respondents would switch to a competitor if they were easier to work with.   The bottom line is that customer expectations have changed.  Today’s buyers and sellers want a comprehensive digital experience.  They want one place where they can get all of the information they want and need.


Which type of Distributor are you?


Traditional Wholesale Distributor


Innovative Wholesale Distributor


    • Latent Printed Catalogs
    • Back-Office Order Processing
    • Limited and Inconsistent Channels
    • Distributor Data Maintenance
    • Customary Stocked Products

    • Real Time Digital Catalogs
    • Self Service Order Processing
    • Integrated and Synced Channels
    • Manufacturer Data Maintenance
    • Expanded Non-Stock Products

The bottom line is that E-Commerce is gaining adoption among sellers and buyers.  Online sales are growing rapidly and driving
customer satisfaction, loyalty and process efficiency. 
Distributors that want tosucceed with selling to the next generation need to undergo a digital transformation.  Click here to learn how Ingram Micro Mobility is using SAP hybris to better meet
customer needs,
boost average order value, streamline business operations, drive incremental revenue, and accelerate time to customer value.

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