Why The Future Of Wholesale Homewares Distributors Depends On People

The future of wholesalers lies in the hands of the people. These are the same people that have been advising you to sell everything from your mother’s house for as long as you can remember. The advent of the Internet has accelerated this process, making it easier for customers to find high-quality wholesale homewares distributors at competitive prices. But will this transformation be swift and painless? According to many experts, wholesale homewares distributors—and their customers—will soon see a dramatic transformation. The reasons for this upheaval are obvious: eCommerce is altering the way businesses connect with their customers. This leaves wholesalers high and dry. If they don’t adapt, they will die out. To be sure, not all wholesalers will go under because they can no longer compete with online sellers who are widely available and cheaper than ever before.

What will happen to wholesale homewares distributors?

The rise of eCommerce has drastically altered how wholesalers can connect with their customers. Traditional businesses that once relied on large-scale mail-order to service a niche audience are finding that their middle-class customers prefer to buy their products online. A survey by BrightLocal.com found that more U.S. adults now buy products online than buy from traditional retailers, including those who never previously purchased from a traditional store. This shift has been particularly dramatic among younger consumers, who are increasingly shopping online. Thus, the future of any given wholesaler is likely to be threatened by two forces: online sellers who are more accessible and cheaper than ever before and a young, online-savy population that is looking for alternative shopping experiences.

The E-Commerce Death Spiral

We’ve already mentioned one danger that wholesalers face in this regard: the death spiral. This phenomenon, which economists refer to as an “eCommerce spiral,” can occur when an eCommerce business uses up all of its inventory and then has to find another source of supply to meet customer demand. They then run into the same problem again, and so on. This vicious cycle can have a cascading effect on the entire economy as smaller businesses fall into a cycle of debt financing their way out of it. This can happen due to several reasons, including the inability to pay bills and the loss of a promising business strategy.

Offline Shoppers Will Dominate

Most consumers these days prefer to buy online, but that doesn’t mean that they want to remain online. A recent survey by BrightLocal.com found that more U.S. adults now buy products online than buy from traditional retailers, including those who never previously purchased from a traditional store. After more than two decades of steady growth, eCommerce sales are now growing at a faster rate than traditional retail sales. ECommerce saw a year-over-year increase of 26.1% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to a gain of 9.9% for total retail sales. This year, eCommerce will show further growth, as it did in 2015.

Online Sellers Won’t Be Harmed By E-Shoppers

Most eCommerce businesses, including retailers, have to deal with e-shoppers. These are people who want to shop online but don’t own a computer or smartphone. Luckily for wholesalers, this group is forecasted to grow at a rapid rate. 24% of eCommerce consumers report that they shop online but don’t pay for their purchases in full. This means that a wholesaler’s only competition will be from other online retailers, who are also likely to see rapid growth. In this scenario, however, retailers will have an advantage over wholesalers. Consumers are used to paying for their purchases online, and as more businesses join the eCommerce party, the more customers will expect this option. In the meantime, traditional retailers will struggle, especially as eCommerce continues to grow.

How To Succeed As A Wholesaler

Now let’s examine the different strategies wholesalers could employ to survive in this new landscape. Shop the Lowest Price Pains: To remain relevant, many retailers price cut their products to stay competitive. However, this is a huge mistake. As an eCommerce business, you don’t have to cut your prices to stay competitive. Low prices are usually associated with poor customer service and a failure to meet expectations. In the end, this could cost you more in the long run. Build a Brand With a Strong No-Hassle Returns Policy: This is probably the single most important factor that a wholesaler can employ in this new environment. Consumers are used to receiving products at low cost with no questions asked, and you can bet that word will get out if you have a no-questions-asked return policy.


Retailers that choose to stay in business will have to find new strategies to survive in this new environment. Some may have to shut down, while others may have to find new ways to connect with consumers on an individual level. Whether a wholesaler or an eCommerce retailer, success in this environment will require adaptability, innovation, and a highly customer-focused strategy.

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