Online marketplaces and B2B e-commerce platforms are fueling a wholesale renaissance

After a few years of industry destabilization, the retail sector is experiencing a complete revitalization fueled by innovative B2B e-commerce solutions. With these new tools, brands around the world can continue to reach new buyers and sell seamlessly online, while empowering their retail partners to shop the way they want.

The rise of the internet has definitely changed the way consumers browse and buy products. In this context, the emergence of e-tailing (electronic retail) has offered brands and retailers the opportunity to sell their products online directly to consumers, potentially eliminating middlemen. With brands now having more options than ever before to reach consumers and sell their products, some might think this marks the end of online marketplaces, wholesalers and B2B e-commerce platforms. In addition, many wonder if all these channels will have their place in our new reality. But they would be wrong to think so.

Image: NuORDER

Recent research highlights the benefit of using direct-to-consumer (DTC) models, as well as wholesale partnerships with e-commerce platforms and B2B marketplaces. While some brands have avoided going the wholesale route, confident in their ability to succeed with just a DTC sales model as it generates higher margins, however, studies by Coresight Research have shown that wholesale offers access to a customer base. greater and more effective marketing, although it offers lower margins. Furthermore, analysts at BMO Capital Markets have found that selling by the DTC model alone does not guarantee higher margins. Indeed, among a panel of top apparel brands studied by BMO, four of the top five merchandise margins were equivalent to sustained wholesale revenue. According to the BMO report, brands Gap Inc and American Eagle Outfitters, which invest little in wholesale, have lower merchandise margins than PVH and Ralph Lauren, two brands that focus heavily on wholesale and direct selling.

“Using a platform to improve your reach and efficiency within your sales organization is critical to achieving profitable sales” – Erik Ulin, Vice President of Marketplaces at NuORDER, a leading B2B e-commerce platform In addition, BMO found that the DTC channel does not guarantee increased sales either. In its report, BMO notes that the brand’s sales may remain flat despite an expansion of the DTC model as it is difficult to scale. Even though revenue per unit is likely to increase, that doesn’t mean the company’s total revenue will do the same. As confirmed by NuORDER data showing a 53% increase in adoption of B2B e-commerce solutions over the past two years to maintain strong relationships with their retail partners, it is clear that the ever-growing brands have continued to invest in wholesale alongside the direct sales. Brands utilizing a DTC platform, B2B e-commerce platform and wholesale marketplaces can thus attract new customers online and find potential consumers in multiple locations, allowing them to expand their customer base with minimal marketing effort. While DTC models are ideal for brand identity, wholesale channels will always play an important role in accessing a larger customer base.

“Harnessing the reach of marketplaces helps generate leads and business opportunities from areas and targets that would not otherwise be targeted” – Erik Ulin, vice president of marketplaces at NuORDER, a leading B2B e-commerce platform.

Therefore, the importance of a wholesale presence in the development of a brand’s business should not be overlooked. That’s why a successful and growing business must strike a balance between attracting new retail customers and strengthening partnerships with existing customers. Fortunately, several wholesale platforms today offer integrated B2B e-commerce solutions. Most of them specialize in mid-range and basic prices, such as Ankorstor, NuORDER and Faire. But how can brands determine which one is right for their business? “It’s important to understand how different markets work for different brands,” says Erik Ulin. “Factors such as price level, product type, logistical configuration, distribution sensitivity and price of the service itself are critical to understanding your identity as a brand and organization to find an effective approach. »

Image: NuORDER

Another key aspect to consider when finding a wholesale partner is the degree of control brands have over the digital space where shoppers interact with their brand and products. Indeed, being able to showcase the brand’s vision and visual voice remains the key to success. “How you want a buyer to experience the brand is critical to our solutions. The virtual showroom therefore allows you to design the experience to your liking. It’s important to teach the buyer who you are as a brand and what your customer is like so that there is a good fit and a good foundation for a long-term business relationship,” adds Ulin. At a time when shoppers have mastered all the ins and outs of technology and are looking to self-service options to find new products without the help of a salesperson, having integrated solutions is essential. NuORDER data revealed that two-thirds of B2B customers prefer digital tools over physical sales. In response to this, NuORDER built its solution around its product and order management system. Buyers can easily manage and analyze their product portfolio to make better decisions about allocation, sales, and future design direction.

“Our Marketplace allows you to showcase your brand to NuORDER’s vast network of shoppers who browse and search for new brands and products every day,” says Ulin. Through its communications with its active base of 150,000 shoppers worldwide, NuORDER introduces them to new categories and brands that see a 30-40% increase in leads generated. “For example, the Danish brand

Samsøe Samsøe generated significant accounts in Central Europe through its market exposure and American beach brand Surfside Supply connected to a retailer that has since become its biggest account,” Ulin points out. . These two brands, which serve different market segments, are proof that the NuORDER market leads to success.

NuORDER sets itself apart from other B2B e-commerce platforms by allowing brands to plan their sales and allocations across all channels. It is vital that brands adopt integrative solutions and help streamline business processes. NuORDER joined Lightspeed last year to advance its vision of creating a fully integrated B2B2C solution for more connected commerce. Brands and retailers can work around a single, trusted source for product data and order management.

For more information visit NuORDER.com

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