5 takeaways from the Wholesale Online Report
b2b.store CEO Rob Mannion highlights the biggest talking points after contributing to Lumina Intelligence’s annual report for the wholesale sector
1: ONLINE TRANSACTIONS UP, BASKET SIZES DOWN
The figures show that while online-ordering frequency is increasing, basket sizes are down, providing a huge opportunity for wholesalers to bring in additional revenue. The good news is that people are engaging more with the channel by placing more orders, so while we might want to see bigger baskets, there are more eyes on products and promotions within e-commerce platforms. What’s key here is understanding these numbers and positioning targeted adverts to customers at the right time and in the right place to encourage incremental sales.
2: WHATSAPP IS GETTING EVERYONE TALKING
There’s an ever-growing need for wholesalers to capture the attention of their customers and keep them engaged as cost pressures cause increased promiscuity.
Communication is key and why we’ve seen a lot of interest in the use of paid-for WhatsApp Business API technology.
WhatsApp Business API offers huge potential for wholesalers.
It is highly adaptable and can be used in several different ways, whether it’s sending promotions and updates in a channel with high engagement, redirecting customers to their e-commerce channels, or offering one-tap ordering from a message. Greater personalisation also means messages can be segmented by region or customer group to allow in-app ordering or credit control management functions.
3: OPEN E-COMMERCE WEBSITES ARE COMING
Open e-commerce websites could quickly become more than a trend for B2B online-ordering platforms. Whereas traditionally wholesalers are cautious about the idea of opening up their sites to non-customers, it might be that by not driving more traffic to their e-commerce, wholesalers are limiting themselves by keeping everything gated.
Lumina’s research shows that retailers and foodservice operators are using e-commerce websites to check out new products, but another benefit is that wholesalers’ sites will rank on Google, both of which are great acquisition tools to attract more customers.
4: TAILORED APPROACHES ARE THE ANSWER
What the report shows is that wholesalers need to target their approaches to customers, with clear trends identifying the shopping habits of different groups, from how they access e-commerce sites to the times of day when they’re most likely to place an order.
This level of insight is invaluable because it means that approaches can be adapted to each customer segment to ensure any resource or investment achieves the best possible results. This level of sophistication is where big gains can be made in 2023.
5: COST PRESSURES ARE ENCOURAGING INNOVATION
The cost of living crisis is hitting businesses and individuals, and wholesalers are feeling the pinch more than most. Innovation can provide a route to cost savings, with WhatsApp Business API a great starting point as an effective channel to send brochures and marketing collateral that would previously come with print and distribution costs.
The solution that makes an instant saving is open banking, which completes transactions at a much lower fee than those associated with credit cards and handling cash. Our open banking service is one of our most popular products, which shows how keen wholesalers are to reduce the cost of receiving payment.b2b.store communication ecommerce Rob Mannion