Distributors across the board struggled online and offline during the pandemic, but a new survey of more than 600 companies provides a new look on where they were hardest hit.
The survey from ecommerce services provider Sage Group Plc finds that global events (81%), supply chain disruptions (75%), and rising costs and margin erosion (75%) were the biggest problems distributors dealt with during COVID-19.
Other chronic problems included:
- Unpredictable or fluctuating customer demand (71%)
- Increased competition from Amazon, eBay (68%)
- More regulation, legislation, and compliance (70%)
- Internal challenges to cybersecurity (67%)
- Managing cost and profitability (67%)
- Accurate forecasting of sales and demand (67%)
- Supply chain visibility (64%)
- Increased online ordering and procurement (63%)
“Distributors are questioning which direction they should go in with their digital transformation and what their end-goal is, while they respond to huge shifting trends such as direct-to-consumer, on-demand, and competition against hyper-scalers like Amazon and Google,” says Jessica Groopman, industry analyst and Kaleido Insights founding partner. Kaleido provided data and trend analysis for the survey.
The survey, which includes global respondents from across North America, Europe and elsewhere, finds that distributors are making changes to their ecommerce plans and investing more in new technologies, such as cloud computing, to stabilize and grow in a post-COVID-19 world.