Until recently, the wholesale industry has been slow to accept technology. Today, digital transformation is becoming incredibly important in wholesale. The motivation to accept and embrace technology is a relatively new concept for the industry. Wholesale distributors realize that the use of outdated systems will only stifle them in the future. Technology is also helping to recruit and retain younger, technology-savvy workers.
Companies like Amazon are significantly changing the wholesale distribution landscape. They are using innovation to deliver immediate response to consumer demand. For example, data on a mobile device is critical. Distributor sales reps expect mobile device interaction both online and offline. Workers want simple, easy-to-use solutions that can be executed on a tablet. Regardless of the job description, workers in the industry expect to be able to conduct business using a mobile device.
Here are 5 ways wholesale distributors are laying a foundation for technology and customer interaction.
1. Standardizing business processes.
Setting core business standards is stabilizing the wholesale industry and allowing them to build on a stable, digital core.
2. Hiring technology-savvy employees.
There is a large wave of personnel retiring in the wholesale industry. As a whole, the industry is hiring younger people who are forward-thinking and are interested in developing customer-facing solutions.
3. Focusing on the platform as well as the product.
Industry leaders like Amazon are well aware that the experience of the platform is just as important as the items being marketed. People expect a simple, easy-to-use shopping experience. New e-commerce and omnichannel technologies are taking hold in the wholesale distribution industry, helping to move the customer experience forward.
4. Improving remote technology for sales reps.
Wholesale distributors typically have hundreds of sales reps out working with the customer from remote locations. Being able to execute transactions on a mobile device, such as an iPad, is critical. Sales reps, regardless of location, are able to update their talking points when talking with customers as they receive real-time data and information.
5. Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Data collected through sensors and provide insight to the customer using the IoT could be game-changing for wholesale distributors. While currently there is more focus on mobility and the customer experience, expect IoT applications to be developed in the near future.
The most successful wholesale distributors are forward-thinking in terms of technology and innovation. Distributors are really acting more like B2C companies, instead of B2B companies. As customer expectations continue to grow, the wholesale distribution industry will continue to embrace and develop new technologies well into the future.
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