Unitas Wholesale has announced the launch of a Digital Excellence Academy in partnership with Lumina Intelligence, even as its partnership with data and digital specialists TWC has attracted more members.

The buying group will hold a virtual event on 2 February 2021 to kick off the academy. The member exclusive event will focus on best practice for B2B wholesale transactional platforms, including websites and apps.

“The events of recent months have highlighted the importance of the need for efficient and effective online capability more than ever, and as the digital agenda is a key strand of our forward strategy we are committed to supporting this type of initiative with our wholesale members,” said Darren Goldney, Unitas managing director.

The initiative by the buying group will offer advice and support to its 165 wholesale members, covering a wide selection of digitally related topics important for wholesale businesses.

As part of the academy, the members will have the option to undertake digital health checks carried out by Lumina Intelligence. This will score and benchmark their online capabilities and identify opportunities to develop and grow sales through the platform.

Meanwhile, the membership coverage of the new Unitas Data Service by TWC has moved from 21 members to 25 as of 1 December. This has resulted in an additional £250 million of member sales bringing the total read to £1.35 billion.

Further members have already signed up to join the service in 2021, TWC added.

Launched nine months ago, the service has seen key suppliers signing up to the service, including JTI, PepsiCo, Treasury Wine Estates, KP Snacks and Mondelez, among others. Users have already visited the platform over a thousand times since going live providing suppliers with insight on over 30,000 SKU’s.

“Clearly 2020 has been a challenging year for the whole industry, however, one where data has been an imperative in understanding fast-moving trends and changing consumer behaviours which have impacted our members and the supply chain, enabling them to respond quickly to either drive opportunity or mitigate risk,” Goldney said.

“And we appreciate that our data service has represented an investment for suppliers, however, one that has paid significant dividends this year in keeping ahead of market turbulence, especially bearing in mind that we have seen far less ‘feet on the street’ over the last few months.”

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