People now demand same day delivery or pick-up of goods
of retail revenue is is influenced by digital
of retail inventory is consistently out of stock
smartphone shoppers use mobile in-store to help with shopping
DISTRIBUTE believes the future of commerce is retailers catering to consumer demand at the exact moment of purchase intention, both online and offline. This future is enabled by two things: speed and flexibility. Retailers need to have the speed to stock their stores and online properties with just enough inventory, and yet be flexible in how consumers actually take possession of items they purchase.
We call this future “Dynamic Distribution” and we’ve spent the last two years building software tools that help power it. To make it happen, we’re bringing retailers together with wholesalers on a single platform where they can to connect, learn, and transact—all with the speed and flexibility they need to power modern commerce.
The implications are huge! If retailers can connect with wholesalers and quickly order new products right when they need them, the entire shopping experience can be reimagined to better fit shifting consumer behavior so retailers can win more sales.
So how’d we get here?
In the world of retail commerce, changes in consumer buying behavior have caused big changes in the way retailers need to manage the inventory of products they sell. Consumer demands are driving this change, but in order to remain competitive, retailers need to change too. Or die.
Modern consumers have become conditioned to expect that everything they want is available to them right away. And in many categories, everything they want already is. Consumers can grab a cab, book a place to stay, get food delivery and more, all from various apps on their smartphone, all instantly. That’s the lens through which consumers now assess every company. They want what they want, right now, and if your business can’t accommodate them, they’ll find someone else’s business that can.
The physical retail store is still a valuable experience for consumers to discover and experience products. Indeed, that’s why consumers want to walk through the door in the first place, and they can’t get this experience online. But this value isn’t enough for consumers to buy products from you anymore. To get a sale, retailers need to not only provide a great physical shopping experience, but also have the exact item available for purchase at a competitive price, right now. If not, consumers are happy to discover and experience products in your store, but then buy from Amazon.
This behavior change is well-documented, but many retailers haven’t adapted to it yet. They know the future of retail will be different than the present, but aren’t sure exactly what the new version of retail will look like, let alone how it will all work.
Dynamic Distribution brings these ideas together. For consumers, it blends the best of retail experience with online shopping and desire for instant gratification. For retailers, it lets them carry less inventory on their shelves and move toward a leaner ‘just-in-time’ purchasing model.
Retail stores will be reimagined to feel more like a showroom than big box retail, with decreased inventory on premises. Visitors will discover and experience products in a store, and can buy some of them there, but will often have them delivered to their home same-day instead of carrying them out to their car.
Hyperlocal warehouses will hold inventory previously stored on shelves in retail outlets. When consumers purchase products—either in-store or online—these warehouses will deliver them directly to consumers, same-day. This will satisfy consumer’s desire for instant gratification, while at the same time allowing a faster and leaner flow of inventory.
Modern software tools will allow retailers to manage inventory much more acutely by connecting them directly to wholesalers, and making purchasing simple and fast. The days of purchasing products via sales reps, emails and excel sheets are over. Instead, purchases will get done instantly—even automatically—and palettes will be shipped in hours not weeks.
While retailers and wholesalers might be able to imagine their future with Dynamic Distribution and the transformative effect it will have on their businesses, none of it works at all without the right software, and most retailers have no idea how to build it.
DISTRIBUTE exists to build the software layer powering Dynamic Distribution. We’ve spent the last two years perfecting the tools that allow wholesalers to market their wares directly to retailers, and retailers to rapidly complete purchases from wholesalers, all through a modern web interface, all available right now. The end result is a model that allows retailers to be leaner and more responsive to consumer demand, and rapidly reorder products at the exact moment they are are needed.
As we’ve said, we believe the future of retail commerce is retailers serving consumers ‘on-demand.’ To power that belief, wholesalers need to serve retailers on-demand too. DISTRIBUTE is working to make that vision—and indeed the entire On-demand Retail Economy—a reality.
It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. We are.