“If wholesalers recognize the need for online shops and websites, they face the challenge of optimally coordinating the various distribution channels.”

Dr. Kai Hudetz and Judith Hellhake, Institute for Retail Research, University of Cologne, Germany

Big Customers, Big Challenges, Big Opportunities

Digitization is the DNA of e-commerce. In the private sector, customers have been familiar with the convenience of e-commerce for years. So, they expect the same functionalities and services for business processes, too. In addition, new technologies are opening the market to new competitors. Target groups and distribution channels are becoming increasingly complex. Wholesalers are under pressure to act.

Forewarned is Forearmed?

As a link between the value creation stages, wholesalers have to utilize the digital opportunities provided: New distribution channels, access to new customer groups and, above all, the ability to better serve customers thanks to quantitative data analyses – the greatest risk lies in eschewing these possibilities.

Big Data – Big Service

Extensive customer and usage data acquired through new online channels helps wholesalers better understand their customers and identify and serve their individual needs at an early stage – without the need for another middleman. Because even in wholesale, the personal relationship, the direct line to the customer is also a decisive advantage over purely online dealers.