Over the last year, five major trends have impacted wholesale distributors and morphed customer expectations into a demand for consumer-grade experiences.

SAP is sponsoring a Modern Distribution Management (MDM) research project regarding the state of e-commerce and marketplaces to understand how these market trends are evolving for the distribution industry online.

This research will provide SAP and partner Mirakl the opportunity to gain further insights into wholesale distribution trends and expose opportunities for improvement from an industry perspective.

Market Trends Impacting Commerce for Distributors

To understand the current state of commerce, we must analyze the market conditions that are having a ripple effect in the industry and creating challenges for wholesale distributors.

First, competition is driving distributors to find new revenue sources, such as value-added services. Some examples provided to customers include light manufacturing, kitting, product training, and product management.

Customers are looking to distributors to collaborate and provide complete solutions for specific business needs, such as providing materials for every phase of a stadium renovation.  Meanwhile, customers are also looking for distributors to carry a wider range of products with more flexible delivery options.

To add value to the business and meet growing customer expectations, new talent is looking for roles where they can make a positive impact and leverage new technologies.

Lastly, the requirement for business resilience in the face of health, environmental, and trade challenges has moved from addressing tactical issues of continuity towards strategic decisions driving overall longevity.

Why Participate in the State of E-Commerce Research?

The 2021 State of E-Commerce research initiative provides wholesale distributors the ability to share insights related to their company’s e-commerce and marketplace ambitions in a confidential way.

Within the survey, MDM asks distributors to report on each organization’s current commerce landscape, including key capabilities or customer needs that they are looking to support in the coming years.

Example questions include:

  • What is your greatest concern or reservation about the value, effectiveness, or risks of e-commerce within your organization?
  • What initiatives are you undertaking to broaden and deepen your catalog?
  • Have you considered launching or operating an online marketplace, where third-party sellers provide the stock and fulfill orders?

Any wholesale distributor employee who is located within the United States or Canada can participate in this survey. As a thank you for your participation, you will be entered to win a $250 gift card. This brief survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

To impact the future of wholesale distribution commerce, please take the State of E-Commerce survey today!

John McDonnell is industry advisor for Wholesale Distribution at SAP.