Wholesalers ‘a decade behind’ in e-commerce

Savona Foodservice to build web-based technologies for food and drink wholesalers and distributors

Savona Foodservice is to build web-based technologies specifically for food and drink wholesalers and distribution companies, in conjunction with tech start-up company 443 AI.

Jason Finch, founder of 443 AI, said, “Wholesalers are still seeing fairly basic e-commerce platforms as innovative despite the fact they’re at least a decade behind in the grander scheme of things. There is so much opportunity in this sector but the margins are wafer-thin so investment in new ordering channels is simply not happening, but wholesalers are starting to wake up to the fact new competitors, including Amazon, are emerging.”

The two companies aim to build an initial e-commerce platform and machine-learning search engine focused on wholesale, and personalised marketing opportunities for suppliers to foodservice wholesale customers.

Mike Morgan, Director and General Manager at Oxfordshire-based Savona, said, “Wholesale is complicated and very different to retail, yet a lot of wholesalers are approaching e-commerce by building on top of platforms designed for retail.”

“Wholesale is about selling large volumes and a few seconds extra adding each item to your order adds huge amounts of time to the overall ordering process. Orders often have hundreds of items built up over days not minutes, bespoke pricing for each customer, promotions packages far more complex than retailers operate, single items and split cases plus in food and drink there are delivery cut-off times that vary depending on the temperature of products, and brand substitutions that all add to the complexity.”

distribution e-commerce online Savona Foodservice wholesale