Keeping Wholesale Alive During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The global coronavirus outbreak has disrupted life as we know it. What we believed to be a faraway virus has now become a gruesome reality of 2020 that has impacted lives on a global scale.
Not only has it brought the fear of deteriorating health and death into our lives, but it has also radically changed how we do things. The global outbreak has unraveled a chain of tragedies, changing the world in almost a blink of an eye. As we scramble to find cover, we realise that no one is safe from the pandemic—not even businesses.
With the looming threat of recession and plunging stocks, even the most successful businesses like McDonald’s and Facebook have taken massive hits. Other industry giants like Uber and Google have also voiced their concern about the future of their business.
Perhaps the worst of all has been borne by small-scale businesses and artisan businesses that are working under conditions of extreme economic uncertainty.
The Crisis For Wholesale Businesses
While some small businesses seem to have weathered the storm, a majority of them remain in choppy waters, bracing themselves for the worst. In addition to that, with a spike of 6.2 per cent in unemployment, employees speculate that their income will take a hit as their place of business faces the threat of temporary or permanent closure.
Most wholesale businesses are struggling with sudden cash flow crises as direct-to-consumer sales take a hit. Moreover, wholesale businesses in Australia have reported that their wholesale revenues have steeply decreased.
Around 81 per cent of all wholesale businesses say that they expect a reduced demand for goods or services, which will have an adverse impact on their business. In addition to that, 27 per cent of wholesale businesses say that they expect reduced access to additional funds or credit, which will also harm their business.
If it seems like the universe has put a brake on your wholesale business, you’re not alone. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Here are a few strategies that wholesale businesses can adopt to weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.
5 Strategies You Can Implement To Ride The Wave Of The Pandemic
Help Out Your Retailers
If some of your local retailers are facing a cash crunch, you can help them out by lowering the wholesale minimums temporarily. If you have the capacity, start by reducing your case pack minimums by a unit or two, so they can bring in a broader assortment of goods with minimal cash outlay.
Consider Selling Your Products Online
Online shopping has increased substantially as people adhere to stay-at-home orders and practice social distancing. As such, selling your products online can reap great benefits for your business.
Start by taking professional-quality photographs of your products to post online. Allow retailers to upload them on social media platforms or their websites with product descriptions to expand online offerings and making it easy for customers to purchase your products.
Boost Your Wholesale Revenue
A great way to ensure a steady stream of wholesale revenue is to consider employing a drop-shipping program. This enables your retailers to only purchase those items that their customers have placed an order for. Not only does this system benefit the retailer because they can fulfil orders without having cash tied up in inventory, but it will also help your wholesale business by expanding your online presence at a time when the e-commerce industry is booming.
Other than that, you can ask your retailers and shopkeepers to avoid third-party services by placing orders directly with your company. This ensures that they place their orders directly with you and saves your brand heaps of money. A great way to encourage this behaviour is by showing your gratitude to your retailers by offering them a few incentives—like reduced shipping or extra product testers.
Automate Your SCM Process
Since more and more businesses are moving toward a remote working model to ensure the safety of their employees during the raging global pandemic, automation can take your business to the next level. It will get rid of clunky processes, reduce human error, and minimise the need for a large workforce to keep the business running.
Your wholesale business can substantially benefit from automation as it gives you an advantage of scale and resources over your competitors. You may think that it’s easier said than done, but here’s the deal—you don’t have to switch to a completely automated system and make yourself vulnerable to the risk of incurring higher costs and more losses. Automating a small aspect of your business can also go a long way in helping you out.
Start by investing in order management system software to improve data entry, stock monitoring, and order management. By streamlining the processes of order placement, order tracking, and communicating with the clients to update them on their shipments, you can focus your energy on improving the quality of products and strategise to market them effectively during the pandemic.
Invest In An Order Management Software With OrderTron
If you’re in the wholesale business and battling the unpredictable crises brought about by the coronavirus, adopting some of the strategies we’ve mentioned above can help your wholesale business come out to the other side of the pandemic relatively unscathed.
Partner with a trusted, reliable, and efficient small business order management software to improve service delivery and streamline the SCM process.