Less than half of the 34 foodservice wholesalers surveyed by the FWD have set aside a dedicated budget for e-commerce development despite all of them viewing it as important to the future of their business.
The survey, aimed at assessing these organisations’ appetite for digital transformation, shows an overwhelming recognition among foodservice wholesalers.
The results show there is a disconnect between what these wholesalers recognise as necessary, and the action they take or investment they make to implement e-commerce and their own marketplace.
Other key findings from the survey, carried out by the FWD, Foodservice Online and Mirakl, include, among others, that:
- More than 85% of foodservice wholesalers felt their business was disadvantaged if their competitors had a strong online presence.
- More than 65% of those foodservice wholesalers surveyed wanted to operate their own marketplace.
- More than 82% of foodservice wholesalers felt that demand from foodservice buyers for online services is increasing.
Marc Teulières, executive vice president, customer success B2B, Mirakl, said: “Online marketplaces are by now essential for any organisation looking to meet its customers’ ever-evolving needs. Wholesalers must accept that launching an online marketplace is simply the beginning of a new way of doing business – an opportunity to transform their business so it can both survive and thrive in the new digital-first world of eCommerce.”
Julian Owen, director of sales marketing at Turner Price added: “The marketplace model was a no-brainer in order for us to deliver the very best service to our customers. Like many sectors, catering experiences fast-moving trends and customers want to tap into these while also having a broader choice of products. By launching our marketplace, we are able to meet every new demand that comes along, quickly, cost efficiently and without risk. Our marketplace, powered by Mirakl’s leading technology and expertise, is unlocking greater revenue, better customer relationships and pushing our business ahead of the competition.”
Meanwhile, FWD chief executive said: “During the pandemic, the foodservice wholesale sector had to evolve at a rapid pace and those wholesalers unable to deliver digitally faced the very real threat of being left behind when a limited supplier network led to frustrating demand and supply balance issues. Those online retailers who were already equipped with an online marketplace of their own at the height of the pandemic were able to leverage the scale and flexibility of their platform to bring together more sellers with more buyers, faster and easier than a traditional linear value chain model ever could.”