Why “Business as Usual” Won’t Work Anymore in Modern Wholesale Distribution

By October 2, 2018Blog, Cloud, Distribution, ERP, NetSuite

Wholesale Distribution in Digital Times White Paper Blog - SWK NetSuite ERP


Between December 2017 and February 2018, Industrial Supply magazine sent out a survey request to members of distribution companies. Survey questions were intended to determine the current impact of eCommerce on distribution companies, and, more specifically, best practices for companies wishing to succeed with eCommerce initiatives.

Positions as varied as sales, directors, managers, V-levels, and C-levels responded to the survey – and their responses are fascinating.

Get your copy of the survey results in this all-new white paper from NetSuite, Industrial Supply magazine, and Benfield Consulting, “The Distributor Sales Effort in Digital Times.” Download the white paper here.

Why Did NetSuite Feel the Need to Conduct an In-Depth Survey of Distributors?

As you’ve already experienced, the distribution industry, including wholesale distribution, has changed tremendously in the past decade or so. Timelines have compressed tighter and margins have slivered into smaller and smaller numbers – yet, at the same time, sales are booming and demand grows seemingly every day.

However, with the growth in popularity of online sales for both B2C and B2B transactions, an unmistakable distinction is being made between eCommerce-enabled distributors and their more traditional peers.

ECommerce distributors are pulling ahead of the competition.

In short:

  • Larger distributors that can deliver low-cost, commodity products online are experiencing phenomenal online sales success
  • Smaller distributors that compete, not on commodities, but on high-value, “sticky” relationships built for the long-term are lagging behind their commodity-focused competitors

Since industry experts predict that 40% of sales will occur online within a decade, the gap between online-ready distributors and traditional, high-service distributors will continue to grow over the next few years.

The sad truth is that companies that cannot transition into the new sales model may face failure in the long run.

No one wants smaller distributors or high-value distributors to fail, which is why NetSuite, Industrial Supply magazine, and Benfield Consulting found the facts behind eCommerce success for distributors of all kinds.

It’s worth a read.

In the white paper, you’ll learn:

  • The top obstacle traditional distributors face when transitioning to an online sales model
  • The 2 most common paths that distributors can pursue when competing for online business
  • 7 key findings from top eCommerce performers in the wholesale distribution industry

Ready to plan your strategy?


Download the white paper, “The Distributor Sales Effort in Digital Times,” to learn more about how you can enhance your competitive stance for your wholesale distribution business. 


SWK Technologies, Inc.