As technology, competition, and demand evolve, wholesale businesses are faced with unique challenges. To grow a wholesale business in the modern business climate, business owners and managers must understand the latest industry challenges and overcome difficult trends. If you are interested in sales growth in the wholesale industry, consider these tips for planning your long-term strategy.
How to Increase Sales in Your Wholesale Business
Wholesale distributors in Canada face many of the same challenges as other wholesales businesses around the world. To increase sales for a wholesale business today, it’s best to start by understanding the challenges faced by modern wholesale distributors and wholesale customers. Then, you may create your wholesale business plan.
Many of the challenges facing Canadian wholesalers stem from a rapid change in technology and consumer preferences. COVID-19 accelerated a trend toward online shopping and has both manufacturers and retailers struggling to keep up.
Another major headwind wholesalers must overcome is disintermediation, a trend of removing “middleman” businesses from the distribution chain. Understanding your customer’s challenges and needs may help your wholesale services stay relevant in the eCommerce era.
Challenges Facing Wholesale Distributors
Now that you have a high-level understanding of the business landscape for wholesalers in Canada, looking at industry challenges in more depth may help guide your sales growth strategy.
Services required by manufacturers
Manufacturers are facing their own unique challenges in the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 environment. In addition to keeping up with rapidly changing customer preferences, manufacturers are now dealing with supply shortages, labor shortages, and new safety guidelines. Keeping up with manufacturer needs may alleviate friction up your supply chain.
Big and small retailers want to hold as little inventory as possible to manage cash flow and working capital. That means they might need wholesalers with short lead times and reliable delivery schedules to keep their shelves stocked.
Packaging, freight, and shipment costs may take a big chunk out of your bottom line and need to be carefully managed.
Wholesale businesses want to keep slim inventories for the same reasons as retailers. It’s essential to balance warehouse stock with expected demand carefully. You don’t end up with unsold product or inventory sitting around getting dusty.
Shift to eCommerce
Direct to customer retailers control the entire supply chain from manufacturing to delivery, removing wholesalers from the equation. Adding services like drop shipping and direct customer order fulfillment might keep your wholesale business relevant while your competitors miss the mark.
Strategies for Your Wholesale Business
Support just-in-time fulfillment
Just-in-time manufacturing is a strategy where companies order what they need when they have an order to fulfill. If you can live up to that tight timeline, you might be able to meet the fast delivery time demands of nearly any customer.
Offer direct customer fulfillment
Several of the biggest online retailers offer marketplaces where they sell products and fulfill other businesses’ orders in addition to their own. Offering similar direct customer fulfillment and drop shipping services meets a similar need.
Give excellent customer service
It should go without saying, but many businesses don’t meet the mark regarding customer service. Customers should always leave happy if you want them to return. Teach your team to offer an exceptional customer experience with every interaction.
Automate Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
Automated billing and payment systems may save your business time and money while doing the same for customers. Automated systems may match purchase orders to invoices, send electronic payments on a set schedule, and offer detailed security and cash flow management controls. This may improve your operations and make your processes easier for the businesses you work with.
Consider discounts and incentives
Bulk discounts, limited time offers, and package deals may incentivize current customers to do more business with you. It’s often easier to grow existing relationships than form new ones, and these kinds of deals may keep customers coming back again and again.
Generate more leads
Online and offline sales are still important. Empower your sales team to get out there and bring in more qualified leads. Also, consider leveraging your current network of customers to grow through a referral program.
Build a strategic sales funnel
Once you get an email or phone number, how do you turn that into a sale? As is appropriate to your specific products, build out a high-touchsales strategy, automated email strategy, and test for which actions lead to the best customer conversion rates.
Improve your web experience
In the early days of the web, it was common to see “site under construction” banners. These days, customers expect your website to be regularly maintained and updated. Offering a top-of-the-line web experience that’s easy to navigate, loads quickly on all browsers, works well on mobile devices and encourages additional purchases is essential for any modern business.
Finding a path to profits in wholesale
Despite industry challenges, there are plenty of successful wholesale businesses in Canada and beyond. Meeting rapidly changing customer needs and staying ahead of the technology curve may help your wholesale business stand out from the competition.
A well-designed sales funnel, excellent customer service, and an efficient operating strategy may take your sales growth to the next level.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.