Extend your reach with Wholesale and Marketplace channels. 

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Distribution channels used to mean:

  • B2C channels (stores only).
  • The internet (and stores).
  • Mobile (and stores and internet).

Increasingly, the benefits of wholesale and marketplaces are now being realised too.

Why? Wholesale selling and marketplaces can be cheaper, less risky and great for testing – especially for international growth.

The important question is whether or not your systems are up to scratch?

Think global!

Domestic growth is limited. The UK is the most mature ecommerce country in Europe, with €107,157 million turnover (or about £84,500 million), but there are still opportunities for pure-plays beyond just B2C channels. Fashion retailer Joe Browns opened 53 new wholesale accounts UK wide following a trade show this year, while Etsy launched Etsy Wholesale selling worldwide in August.

Think mobile!

Multi-channel retailers enjoy 20% more growth in sales via mobile than pure-plays. This reinforces that multiple channels are key. Some 72% of cross channel sales come from the UK, France and Germany. The greater the number of influencing touchpoints, the greater your potential for sales.

Think simple!

You need to decide what’s right for your business. Stores can be expensive; wholesale can be less risky.

Marketplaces are also more visible. Amazon is the most popular research source for shoppers in the UK and Germany – even above stores.

Think visibility!

Expanding beyond B2C channels with B2B distributor channels creates a bigger shop window – at home and internationally. More visibility, especially in a greater number of geographical areas, leads to higher sales with lower marketing spend.

Think now!

International expansion through traditional B2C channels is expensive, challenging and takes up valuable resources – but needs to be seriously considered. Some 94 million consumers buy cross border and this offers great opportunities for selling short dated stock, reducing stockholding and maximizing sell-through price. About 63% of retailers already trade online overseas.

It’s tough, however, to replicate domestic markets due to:

  • High set-up costs.
  • Localisation challenges.
  • Variations in delivery, payment and customs rules and regulations between countries.
  • Issues with returns.

To manage these challenges effectively, your team needs the right multi-channel and multi-lingual systems.

Think wholesale!

Why? Because it offers low risk, low cost entry, learning and testing. Even US giant Walmart has opted for wholesale stores in India to sell to small businesses after abandoning its own store plans.

Takeaways:

  • Expanding beyond traditional B2C channels offers opportunity for growth – both at home and abroad.
  • Assess if wholesale or marketplaces would work for your business.
  • Using B2B channels offers highly efficient testing models on top of B2C channels.
  • Ensure your stock management and information is 100% accurate before you begin.
  • The right systems are key.

Discover how you can expand your business further by downloading the eGuide: The store of the future: 10 ways to make people love shopping again

This post first appeared on the Sanderson blog