Here at TWC we work with lots of suppliers, helping them interpret the data they secure from wholesalers (and now retailers!).  But, there’s an elephant in the room….

Online ordering is commonplace in the industry and it’s growing its share of sales rapidly.  Share also differs significantly from operator to operator.

We’ve been approached by a few suppliers who are struggling to gather the breadth of data sources they need to help them understand the combined size of online and offline sales for their category and brands/SKUs in wholesale.

All large suppliers and most medium sized businesses have budgets to pay for data, as well as teams to analyse data (or, they use us as an extension to their teams). This enables them to provide wholesalers with data-backed recommendations to grow sales.  Without this information, suppliers won’t fully know where to deploy their resources (£ and people) to improve performance.  For wholesalers, this could become another income stream by commercialising their data.

What we are also finding is that suppliers are being asked by wholesalers to invest in digital marketing activity, but they then cannot always determine whether paying for banner adverts is leading to increased sales and conversion. It is also unclear whether digital marketing activity is cannibalising traditional sales because the results from online activity (where available) are not always joined up with the sales data the wholesaler already supplies for offline.

A reminder to wholesalers:  For obvious reasons, suppliers need to prove a return on their investment.  They are inundated with mountains of data from other channels.  Not only could sharing your data become an additional income stream but the intelligence and knowledge generated could help drive competitive advantage and higher sales.

Sometimes customers shop online, sometimes in person – this Omni channel approach needs to be condensed into ‘one view of the customer’.  Whilst a few wholesalers are now including online sales as a field in their standard sales data reporting, others are not sharing any visibility of ecommerce at all; meanwhile a few are reporting it from a different system to their traditional sales data.  The bottom line is that suppliers will want this data to be included as a share of total sales within one report for online and offline so that they can build a complete picture of where to invest to drive growth

We at TWC understand the wholesale channel better than most, whether that’s shopping in person or online.  We have the platforms to make sense of data.  And we can help you identify the key performance indicators to improve performance.   Data-led businesses achieve higher returns.

If you are a supplier struggling to access online data, or you’re a wholesaler keen to consolidate your online and offline data, we are here to help.