Are We Getting into A New Age of Distribution?
In response to the growth of digital consumers, distributors have needed to evolve the way they operate with their retailers. The EDI Here In:fluence 2017 breakout session “Are We Entering A New Age of Distribution?” took a deep dive into what distributors are doing to help retail partners drive growth in physical stores and support online marketplaces.
In the early days of online retail, distributors were sitting comfortably in the drivers seat. They decided where a consumer could shop and how they interacted with them. Today, the retail landscape is noticeably different and it’s forcing distributors to drastically shift how they operate.
Dennis McTighe, vice president of electronic sales at O’Rourke Sales Company, offered three steps he thinks will usher in a new age of distribution and help distributors and manufacturers become a powerhouse in retailing.
- Don’t be a retailer, act like one.
Distributors are now spending more time determining which products could do better in store vs. online. McTighe recommends working together with retailers to determine a strategy that will ultimately benefit the consumer the most.
- Avoid sitting in the middle.
Manufacturers and distributors have to be either really big or highly specialized – don’t be stuck in the middle. Trying to be both large and specialized is not scalable in this new era.
- Understand and work closely with your partners.
Distributors must shift their retail relationships into a more collaborative environment. This includes offering insights into current trends, product lines, online assortments and anything else that will help power growth. Don’t be afraid to share information with your trading partners.