Online marketplaces and B2B e-commerce platforms are fueling a wholesale renaissance

After a few years of destabilizing the industry, the retail sector is experiencing a complete revitalization fueled by innovative B2B e-commerce solutions. With these new tools, brands around the world can continue to reach new shoppers and sell seamlessly online, while enabling retail partners to buy the way they want.

The advent of the internet has certainly changed the way consumers browse and purchase products. In this context, the emergence of e-waste (e-retail) has given brands and retailers the opportunity to sell their products online directly to consumers, potentially eliminating middlemen. As brands now have more options than ever to reach consumers and sell their products, some might think that this marks the end of online marketplaces, wholesalers, and B2B e-commerce platforms. Moreover, many are wondering if all of these channels have a place in our new reality. But it would be wrong to think so.

Photo: NuORDER

Recent research highlights the benefit of using direct-to-consumer (DTC) models as well as wholesale partnerships with e-commerce platforms and B2B marketplaces. While some brands have avoided the wholesale route, confident they can only succeed with the DTC sales model, as it generates higher margins, studies from Coresight Research have shown that wholesaling provides access to a larger customer base and more effective marketing, though. Although it provides lower margins. In addition, BMO Capital Markets analysts found that selling through the DTC model alone does not guarantee higher margins. In fact, among a group of major apparel brands studied by BMO, four of the five largest merchandise margins were equivalent to sustainable wholesale revenue. According to a BMO report, brands Gap Inc and American Eagle Outfitters, which invest little in wholesale, have lower merchandise margins than PVH and Ralph Lauren, two brands that focus heavily on wholesale as well as direct selling.

“Using a platform to improve your reach and efficiency within your sales organization is critical to achieving profitable sales” – Eric Olin, Vice President of Markets at NuORDER, a leading B2B e-commerce platform In addition, BMO found that the DTC channel does not guarantee Increase sales too. In its report, BMO notes that brand sales can remain stable despite the expansion of the DTC model, as it is difficult to scale. Even if revenue per unit is likely to increase, this does not mean that the company’s total revenue will do the same. As confirmed by NuORDER data showing a 53% increase in adoption of B2B e-commerce solutions over the past two years to maintain strong relationships with their retail partners, it is clear that the steady growth brands continue to invest in wholesale along with direct sales. Brands that take advantage of the DTC platform, B2B e-commerce platform, and wholesale marketplaces can attract new customers online and find potential consumers in multiple locations, allowing them to expand their customer base with minimal marketing effort. While DTCs are ideal for brand identity, wholesale channels will continue to play an important role in reaching a larger customer base.

“Leveraging market access helps generate leads and business opportunities from regions and targets that might not have been targeted otherwise” – Eric Olin, Vice President of Marketplaces at NuORDER, a leading business-to-business e-commerce platform.

Therefore, the importance of wholesale presence in brand business development should not be overlooked. That’s why a successful and growing business must strive to strike a balance between attracting new retail customers and fostering partnerships with existing customers. Fortunately, many wholesale platforms today offer integrated B2B e-commerce solutions. Most of them specialize in mid- and entry-level prices, such as Ankorstor, NuORDER, and Faire. But how can brands determine the right product for their business? “It is important to understand how different markets work with different brands,” says Eric Olin. “Factors such as price level, product type, logistics configuration, distribution sensitivity, and service pricing itself are all critical to understanding your identity as a brand and organization in order to find an effective approach.”

Photo: NuORDER

Another key aspect to consider when finding a wholesale partner is the degree to which brands have control over the digital space in which shoppers interact with their brand and products. In fact, the ability to project the vision and visual voice of the brand remains the key to success. “The way the shopper wants to experience the brand is fundamental to our solutions. Thus, the virtual showroom allows you to tailor the experience to your liking. It is important for the buyer to know who you are as a brand and what your customer is so that there is a good fit and a good foundation for a long-term business relationship Olin adds. In an age where shoppers have mastered all the intricacies of technology and are searching for self-service options to find new products without the help of a salesperson, having turnkey solutions is essential. NuORDER data revealed that two-thirds of B2B customers prefer digital tools over physical sales. In response, NuORDER built its solution around a product and order management system. Buyers can easily manage and analyze their product portfolio to make better decisions about customization, sales, and future design direction.

“The Marketplace allows you to showcase your brand to NuORDER’s vast network of buyers browsing and searching for new brands and products every day,” says Ulin. Through its connections with its active base of 150,000 buyers worldwide, NuORDER introduces them to new categories and brands that experience a 30-40% increase in potential customers. For example, the Danish brand

Samsøe Samsøe established significant accounts in Central Europe through its market exposure and US beachfront brand Surfside Supply connected to a retailer that has since become its largest account,” notes Olin. These two brands, which cater to different parts of the market, are proof that the NuORDER market lead to success.

NuORDER differentiates itself from other B2B e-commerce platforms by allowing brands to plan their sales and personalizations across all channels. It is imperative that brands embrace integrative solutions and help simplify business processes. NuORDER joined with Lightspeed last year to advance its vision of creating a fully integrated B2B2C solution for more connected commerce. Brands and retailers can work around a single, trusted source of product data and order management.

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