Global wholesale distributors always have a lot of obstacles to deal with, but in the past two years, there have been astronomical changes and bottlenecks to deal with. Between supply chain disruptions, rapid technology evolutions, and the changing habits of buyers and sellers, the distribution industry has faced roadblocks unlike ever before.

As we look toward 2022, do you know what your industry is facing in the coming year? Do you know what to expect next?

At MIBAR, we pride ourselves on staying apprised of ever-changing situations as they relate to our customers’ industries. With this said, we’ll dive into the 2022 outlook for trends for the global distribution industry, and we’ll explain how we can help your organization make the most of your efforts.

1. A Look at Economic Trends and an Outlook for the Future

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, the global wholesale industry was affected severely. Between trade and restrictions impacting employees, the industry saw a substantial downturn in revenue and production. However, between now and 2025, the industry is expected to increase in value with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 7%.

This projected growth presents an optimistic outlook for the future of the global trades industry. With that said, if your organization isn’t able to adapt to the ‘new normal’, you could be left in the dust as your competitors race ahead of you. With the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, however, you’ll be better able to go beyond the basics of keeping track of inventory and gain complete insight into your warehouses and distribution lines—no matter where in the world they might be.

2. Direct-to-Consumer Selling is Cutting Out Wholesalers

In 2022, wholesalers will increasingly be at risk of competing with their own customers, as manufacturers are looking to sell directly to their own consumers. This means the traditional distribution model will be disrupted (or skipped over completely).

When COVID-19 came onto the scene, this evolution was exasperated since companies around the world felt major constraints in the supply chain. Ultimately, the brands that had the bandwidth and funds to do so used digital platforms to circumvent the bottlenecks that were being experienced within the distribution channels.

Dropshipping platforms and eCommerce websites exploded onto the scene, making it easier for manufacturers to connect directly with their customers without the burdens that come from traditional retail setups and logistics. But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete as a global wholesale distributor; it simply means you need to pivot and create points of difference to it’s better to use your services than go it alone. You need to present value propositions that present your distribution as being faster, more cost-effective, and, ultimately, more delightful for your customers. MIBAR’s CRM integration will give you a 360° view of your customers by connecting your ERP with your CRM. This will help you better understand your distribution channel and connect your business directly to the people who are paying you.

3. Value-Added Services Will Become Vital

Since it’s likely you’ll soon be competing with your own customers (if you’re not already), it’s important that your organization stands out as the better option. This means you need to showcase your value-added elements whenever possible.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Utilizing optimal technology. The right software will help you become more agile, efficient, and correct. D2C logistics and eCommerce still hold a veil of secrecy for many distributors. If you’re not already well-established in these areas, you might be able to make your brand more well known by excelling in online selling and logistics.
  • Clarifying your service offerings. How do you help your customers solve their problems? What’s your best feature and function as a company? If you’re unsure of these answers, it’s time to re-evaluate because you need to be able to clearly speak to the ways in which you can meet your customers’ needs and be the best option when they’re looking for a distributor.
  • Determining what your customers are struggling with. To add value to your service, you need to know what your customers’ pain points are. This also means you need to know what you do well that your competitors aren’t advertising. If your inventory management is more efficient, for example, you may be able to advertise that you offer quicker stock turnarounds and faster fulfillment. Of course, this all becomes more possible when you have a great inventory management system in your toolbelt.

Ultimately, you need to find out what you’re really great at so you can put your value proposition in front of your potential customers. Let them know how you provide value far and beyond the basics they’re looking for fundamentally.

4. B2B eCommerce Will Grow in Importance

Once upon a time, eCommerce platforms were solely for B2C consumers, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, according to Gartner, 80% of B2B sales will occur digitally by the year 2025. B2B eCommerce is not only on the rise, it’s actually proving to be more cost-effective than its B2C counterpart.

If you’ve delved into the eCommerce space, you need to be able to provide your customers with what they need, how they need it. MIBAR can help you give your customers easy access to product information, opportunities to purchase, and order information, all at their fingertips.

5. Automate Top to Bottom

Automation helps make everything more efficient, accurate, and timely in ways that legacy systems simply cannot achieve. With today’s digital landscape knocking on the door of every organization, you need to embrace the next transformational steps that can elevate your own distribution company to the next level

By this, we mean you need to automate everything possible, including your IT systems, so you can leverage the possibilities to be gained when you eliminate repetitive, menial jobs from humans’ task lists. At its most basic, automation will give your wholesale distribution company the ability to track stock levels more accurately so you can see purchase orders and logistics in real time (without tedious manual data entry).

As you get into more complex applications, you’ll be able to utilize business intelligence and integrated marketing in ways that make everything easier for your entire staff.

MIBAR Will Help Distributors Learn and Grow

MIBAR is your partner when it comes to understanding and navigating 2022’s outlook and trends in the distribution industry.

At MIBAR, we’ve worked in the wholesale distribution space since our inception and know the challenges and opportunities that exist in the customer-focused marketplace. We work with some of the best in the business, and know that with the right processes and technologies in place, wholesale and distribution firms can take control of everything from inventory to ecommerce to financials. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Additional Distribution Resources

Regional to National: How Ecommerce Opens New Markets for Distribution

The Evolving Distribution Market: How the Largest Players Continue to Reshape Distribution

From the 4 P’s to the 8 A’s: How Distributors Can Develop Resilience in a Changing Landscape