Wholesaler online ordering services

Online ordering has created a “fundamental shift” in the average spend, order frequency and promotional activity through convenience wholesale, according to B2B.store.

B2B.store has helped major wholesalers develop online ordering services through their websites and mobile phone apps, including Bestway, Epicurium, The Soft Drinks Company and KC Foods.

Founder Rob Mannion told betterRetailing that wholesalers who have offered online ordering to retailers within the past year have seen their average basket spend increase. “There’s lots of evidence retailers aren’t finding the switch from traditional to online ordering too challenging. They have already been offering a similar service to their customers themselves,” he said.

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“One of our customers – a national wholesaler – had average basket spends of £500 through cash-and-carry purchases. However, since offering an ordering service online, they’ve found their average basket spend has more than tripled to around £1,600.”

Mannion said the frequency of orders has also changed as a result of more online services being added by wholesalers. “We’re seeing a fundamental shift. Not only are the baskets online bigger, but the orders made throughout the week are changing,” he added.

“Typically, retailers would procure their order in the cash and carry on a Monday. Now these are being created throughout a number of days in the week. This allows the retailer to see more of what the wholesaler is stocking throughout the week and could be one of the reasons why these baskets are bigger. They’re using cash and carry visits for more top-up shops now.”

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Wholesalers are also set to change their promotional activities in depot, according to Mannion. “Another big change is the promotions in depot. Typically, cash and carries generated revenue from suppliers advertising in depots and trade days. A lot of that is now finding its way online. There is one top wholesaler that is planning to get rid of all in-store advertising in the next 10 years and look to move it all online,” he explained.

Asked about upcoming developments to B2B.store’s service, Mannion said: “We’re building more things for retailers. It won’t just be about ordering products, but also looking up account balances and paying those off. Live customer chat is coming in a few months and we’re also looking at enabling account managers to create orders on the behalf of retailers and apply discounts accordingly.”

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