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Author's profile photo Frank MARGUIER

How wholesalers mute to service through the green path


How wholesalers mute to service through the green path


Wholesalers know very well they need to move in order to resist to Amazon Business  (Amazon BTB ) which just reached 31 Billion USD in its 4 Years of existence. One of the key components of the fight to survive is to move to more services whereas Amazon is focused to the “click and deliver.”

With the spirit of the COP 25 and even more with the growing influence of the “Greta Thunberg” young generation and more, all companies are starting to change their strategy and policy for a greener page.

It is exactly this opportunity that some wholesalers are taking to launch services to replace the hard “one time delivery of goods.”. In that spirit, we see trends to suggest a different way of being the “middle man.”

  1. Circular economy: A large part of the articles sold could be sold and returned to be recycled. The wholesalers are driving their assortment to make this percentage bigger and bigger and work with their supplier to modify the BOM in order to reach 100% recycled components in one product and for instance get rid of plastics. Then the wholesalers are able to sell a cycle of services and not invoice a physical delivery. For example, an existing service is already there with the tissue you take to dry your hands which when totally used goes to cleaning for a new total cycle. This kind of cycle-product will definitively grow as companies reimagine their business models.


In another segment and for one cycle only, we have food proposals, in some European countries wholesalers are providing quotations to socially conscious restaurants to include the return of unused food into a  Bio-Gaz container.


  1. Renting instead of selling: a lot of industrial and high tech products could be rented, returned and re-rented again until their end of life which will then will be good for recycling.  In addition, this could be a regular income to wholesale distributors.


  1. Second-hand:, This is a large trend at the present time in Business-to-Consumer products or even CTC ( consumer to consumer ), which is cheaper and avoids have to scrap product. The Business-to-Business model could easily adapt it, with the middle man guaranteeing through quality testing for  re-use of the product.  Truly, this, on one hand could cannibalize the market, but on the reverse, could allow market share gain.


  1. Adapt the delivery schedule : Whereas Amazon delivers several times a day without any consideration for CO2 emission; explaining the customer that you will deliver every two days instead of everyday in order to reduce traffic and environment impact is easy and in turn the customer of the wholesaler could advertise it and display it in its own green policy.


As always, with any trend there is an opportunity. Wholesalers might not be the laggards here, especially given that turning to a green approach enables better employee engagement and retention; a critical point for wholesalers which are suffering today to retain talent.






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