Buying in bulk from the manufacturers and selling them in smaller quantities to the retailers or small-scale businesses is what wholesale is all about. Over some time, not one but many have forecasted a diminishing graph for the wholesale industry. This industry does not seem to be profitable because of the lack of digitisation in business.
The wholesale industry has been still working on pen and paper accounting, manual entries, hand-written invoices, and heavy cash transactions. It seems as though we are reading something from a pre-millennium era. But sadly, it is still the situation with some of the wholesale markets in India. This work pattern not only gobbles up your valuable time but also pulls in a lot of travails. The problem with wholesale business is found to be of the hierarchy of ownership. Many times, the business is transferred from a father to the son or daughter. In such a situation, the legacy cannot be easily broken by squeezing in digitisation. And thus, it hampers the growth of the business.
Hence, one must understand the benefits of digitisation to outgrow the market and make profits. But before we do that, we must comprehend the meaning of the word digitisation.
1. Digital Transformation
Generally, digital transformations mean integrating cutting-edge and innovative technologies into all facets of the business that leads it to fundamentally dynamic changes. It changes the businesses’ operations and the way they cater to the service value towards the target clientele. Adopting the digital transformation for a business means making a significant change in the activities, processes, transactions, relations, and methodologies. It needs to be done to leverage the promising opportunities that strategically knock your door completely.
2. Aspects of Integrating Digitisation In Business
A business can be transformed internally with the help of specific strategies. Consider these three types/aspects to digitise your business smoothly:
- Customer Experience
The strategy of shifting your focal lens from product to the customer is what this strategy revolves around. Extraordinary results can be reaped when an entrepreneur of a wholesale industry strives hard to transform his business for a better customer experience. Whilst doing this, one can enjoy the benefits of digitisation visibly. It has been seen that entrepreneurs focus mainly on the products, their quality, and their diversification. But in today’s competitive market, more than a product, one must concentrate on the customer experience.
Now the question arises how do you digitise your business for a better and easier customer experience. The answer is through innovative technological ideas.
- Hire a strong customer service team.
- Create an eCommerce website for your products.
- Make the checkout process hassle-free.
It can make your business visible in the digital world and your products approachable.
- Operational Process
Merely integrating the technology with the customer experience will not help your wholesale business flourish; you also need to reform the operational processes. Simply putting up a website and a digital marketing team will not make profits. One must revolutionise the internal operations too. The logistics of the firm need to be digitised. Digitising small businesses with the help of logistic applications, automated machinery for quicker production, and technical quality control can acquire huge profits.
- Business Model
With the help of these two pillars of transformation, one can proactively transform the business model. While strategising the customer experience and revolutionising the operational processes, one can easily shift the business model. Revising products for a better customer experience and changing operational processes to grab bigger markets can lead to a bigger, brighter, and better business model. Thus it is visible that through strategic planning and execution, Digitalisation and its benefits can be enjoyed by an entrepreneur without shelling out too much.
Now that we’ve seen and understood the aspects forming the backbone of a digital transformation of a wholesale industry. Let’s delve into the agents that can revolutionise the industry to perform better.
3. Top-Performing Agents
Many agents can help the wholesale industry flourish and stay competitive in the market. Listed below are the top performers that have been tried and tested by many:
- Social Media
The social media platforms can be used organically to create brand awareness, brand value, monitor customer experience, detect trends, and respond quickly. These platforms can also be used for paid promotions to market your wholesale industry. Some professional platforms offer B2B promotional brand pages and also B2C services. Using these platforms, one can easily fetch the distributors, stockists, and retailers to grow your business.
- Data Management
The most widely accepted and adopted mode of operating a huge business is using Data Management or Cloud Computing. In these methods, one can easily store all the logistics, transactions, accounts, invoices, etc., in a single server. The server can be placed in the office of the wholesale business, or it can be uploaded to a cloud computing server too. In this way, the complete data of the wholesale business can be accumulated, processed, and executed effortlessly. It lessens the human capital investment and saves time too.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
This well-known term comprises various devices and mechanisms that can be skillfully equipped to fasten the production, automate the operations, and digitise the marketing. Various heavy machinery, sensors, alarms, surveillance units, servers, automated software setup, etc., can do wonders to your traditional business and transform it into a highly competitive digital market.
Advantages of Digitisation
Having learned about the aspects and agents that can help you digitise your wholesale industry, let’s learn more about the advantages of digitisation.
- Time Saver - Transforming a wholesale industry with the help of Digitalisation can help the business save time. As the production or servicing shall be done with automated aids, it will save the clock hours for sure.
- Saves Money - When the operations and productions switch to automated mechanisms, the wholesale industry can save a lot of capital utilised for manual work.
- Increased Efficiency - It has been proven that the Digitalisation of business leads to greater efficiency. The product made by workers might have slight variations, but machine-made products are bound to be of the same quality.
- Human Capital - Digitalisation lessens the investments in human capital and eases the operations of the available human resources.
- Accuracy - When the business model is digitised, the owner can expect accuracy in production, operations, transactions, and services.
- Increased Clientele - Through digital channels, one can increase the supply and proportionately the demand too.
- Brand Awareness - By utilising the eCommerce website or social media platforms, the wholesale industry can create a brand name for itself and publicise it more effectively.
- Wider Markets - The scope of Digitalisation has the power to open the gates of the global markets for any wholesale business.
- Higher Profits - Increased efficiency, qualitative products, cost-effective operations, automated transactions, and strategic marketing can dynamically lead to appreciation in the profit margins.
These pointers are enough for you to understand the advantages of Digitalisation and buckle up yourself to draw your new goals.
These aspects and agents will reap better results in the competitive markets for any wholesale business entrepreneur when put to work.
In these aggressive, ever-changing, and volatile market conditions, only Digitalisation can help you swim through the tough times. Today, when the customer cannot purchase the product, it becomes vital for the business to reach its doorstep. And as the saying goes, “Change is constant”, if you do not change and transform as a business, you shall soon face extinction.
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Q. What are the most common technologies businesses use for digital transformations?
Ans. Social Media, Mobile Phones, Apps, SaaS, IoT, and Artificial intelligence are among the most common technologies used by businesses.
Q. What is the newest technology in the year 2021?
Ans. Big Data Analytics, DevSecOps, Tactile VR, Cybersecurity, Intelligent Process Automation(IPA), Everything-as-a-Service(XaaS), Human Augmentation, etc.
Q. What are digital footprints?
Ans. A digital footprint is essential for any industry or business, as it determines the standing point of the brand on the internet. If the business lacks a peculiar presence online, all the efforts and marketing shall go in vain as the marketing will not reach the targeted audience due to loopholes.
Q. What are the three driving trends of digital transformation in 2021?
Ans. The three driving trends of digital transformation in 2021 are transformation, generation change, and resilience-building technology.