Ecommerce Distribution: Are You Overlooking This Big Opportunity for Wholesale Distributors?

By October 9, 2018Blog, Cloud, Distribution, NetSuite

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The facts are in: eCommerce and other digital consumption methods are impacting wholesale distribution in a big way. Often, these changes and impacts are viewed negatively by distributors, but we can’t blame the industry for having worries. If your company has experienced the “Amazon squeeze,” you’re probably worried about shrinking margins and the now-standard, highly hectic speed of order and delivery.

But… you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle.

The eCommerce marketplace also creates an incredible, extremely positive opportunity for savvy, forward-looking wholesale distributors.

What’s the Opportunity?

Many wholesale distributors view eCommerce as a cost center for the business. Even worse, they see it as a burden that leads to frustrating commodity pricing on all products. Other distributors, who are perhaps more visionary, understand that though eCommerce distribution has its flaws, it also has its upsides.

And one of those upsides that most distributors don’t realize is that eCommerce doesn’t solely create disruption in the distribution industry, it creates disruption in all industries.

This is incredible news for distributors.

Essentially, this wide-scale disruption means that you suddenly have a much larger range of business opportunities from the new types of companies that now exist – and it’s all because of the eCommerce-driven economy.

This means you have a lot more potential customers than you thought.


  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is a largely eCommerce-driven digital technology that keeps growing in popularity. This industry provides opportunity for industrial supply distributors to expand into emerging markets for printable metals, ceramics, plastics, and more.
  • Online meal-planning / grocery-delivery services have sprung into being recently, which creates a new market for supplying perishables and non-perishables to businesses that are neither restaurants nor grocers.
  • The DIY movement and the rise of online marketplaces like Etsy is creating opportunity for wholesale distributors of all kinds to expand into busy, growing craft boutiques through sales of industrial chemicals, metals, and other materials.

How to Take Advantage of Emerging Online Opportunity

We’d love to say there’s some amazing service out there that lets you know about emerging opportunities for your specific distribution field and helps you take advantage of them, but we certainly don’t know of one. (Yet.)

In lieu of such a service, the burden of action falls on you. To better identify opportunities, you can use data analytics software to track trends and new, up-and-coming businesses, and to connect with potential customers, you can implement a digital marketing strategy that leverages social media, so you can reach potential, eCommerce-driven clients anywhere and anytime.

And, of course, the most important part to becoming a key player in the eCommerce marketplace is to offer a robust online B2B store that’s fully integrated with your ERP, so you can ensure that customers and prospects can peruse your options at their convenience with full understanding of your pricing and current stock levels.

If you’re ready to start on your eCommerce distribution journey, so you can capture new customer demand before your competitors, your first step should be to plan your digitization strategy.


Need help planning your strategy? Call on the eCommerce distribution experts at SWK Technologies to get the information you need about implementing and using today’s newest digital tools, implementation methods, and systems.

Want to know more?

SWK Technologies, Inc.