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Digitalization in Wholesale - Online wholesale is growing in Europe

November 7, 2017

eCommerce has already revolutionized the business to consumer sector tremendously, and now the digitalization is slowly starting to change the wholesale sourcing process for retailers.

zentrada, the pioneer of Europe-wide online wholesale of consumer goods, reports growing revenues and increasing demand from all areas of the retail market. “We’ve observed a growing number in requests from bigger manufacturers, importers, and wholesalers from all over Europe interested in supplying on our platform. Additionally, more and more stationary retailers recognize the advantages of digital sourcing processes and platforms”, Ingo Schloo, zentrada CEO, describes the trend.


After Start-Ups, Pure Players, and Retail Chains have dominated the headlines in eCommerce in the last years and marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Priceminister, or allegro have fought for market share, these topics have not yet been popular in the wholesale world. 

But since the beginning of 2017, the market is on the move. The digitalization is now also heavily discussed in the wholesale sector. And with zentrada, a platform for the wholesale of consumer goods with Europe-wide transaction processing is already established.


Big Challenges for Suppliers

Compared to the B2C-Trade, the installation of a wholesale shop system, digital product catalogues, and an international order processing is a lot more complex. The IT-Infrastructure is often not up to the status quo and complete software solutions are rare.

Therefore, the implementation of an online-based wholesale distribution challenges many companies. But, the digitalization is also basis for the internationalization and offers great market potential, especially looking at the European domestic market with its low barriers and few additional regulations.

Small and innovative importers have taken advantage of this opportunity for years and have been able to generate high growth rates. Now, the big importers and manufacturers are catching up, but often get stuck in expensive projects. “Everyone knows: If you cannot follow, you will lose market share over time”, says Ingo Schloo. 


Huge Efficiency Potentials in the Distribution across Europe and Optimization of the Supply Chain

The modern supplier can strike great benefits from the digitalization of distribution and processes. Through the internet, the product offerings from across Europe are available to buyers with one click. The digital workflow saves costs in processing, decreases error rates, and over time, might even be able to replace much more expensive sourcing channels through an online order connection.

Digital platforms, which handle the marketing and processing to small customers, but also the connection to the big business groups, already exist today. Again: The first mover wins.


Big Advantages in Sourcing for Retailers

Online retailers have been using the internet for the sourcing of their products for a while. If you are familiar with the huge variety and easy order processing of buying online, you don’t want to do your business sourcing without it again. Meanwhile, the number of stationary retailers that use the internet to research products or suppliers, as well as buying online, is growing. Retailers have to include a wider variety and diversity in their assortments, as well as in their supplier structure. In the past, the number of suppliers was reduced to increase efficiency, but today sourcing platforms make it easy and safe to manage many different suppliers, orders, and reorders. Therefore, in the future, the internet will become increasingly important to more than 2 million retailers across Europe as a sourcing channel rather than a distribution opportunity. 


Advantages of Digital Platforms in Wholesale

If you are familiar to the advantages of marketplaces such as Amazon & co for buyers and sellers, you will quickly see the potential of such a platform in wholesale: Especially since there are few standards, but much internationalization. The benefits of a platform, which secures international business transactions, are huge.

The advantages include European-wide distribution, safe payments and business processing across borders, as well as international logistics and data integration.

The zentrada wholesale marketplaces with its transaction platform TradeSafe already drive the development in Europe today. Platforms such as Noor Access from New York, Buying Show, Le New Black, Tradebyte, B-Stocks, Contorion or Anatwine create integrations or industry solutions for the distribution, work flow and transaction processing. In addition to financial investors, Zalando invests in platforms for the fashion wholesale.  

The market is huge and ranges from consumer goods to brand products, over mass products to bargains of remainders and returns. The alone already has more than 300.000 commercial users and 500 mid-size suppliers from across Europe that are active in the Europe-wide wholesale business today. 


Most platforms clearly distinguish themselves from popular manufacturer portals from Asia such as Alibaba and Global Sources.

While they are mostly used as register or service to support the Import/Export network, the digitalization already penetrates most business processes much deeper.

By now, zentrada offers big suppliers the complete fulfilment of European-wide distribution to small retailers with zentrada.Distribution, which allows manufacturers to focus more on product development, key markets, and key customers.



About the

-“Independent retailers are really close to the customers, but often far away from the best suppliers-“. Therefore, more and more retailers see the chance to make their assortments more attractive and diversified through online sourcing, to survive the tough competition.  

The connects more than 363.128 registered and reachable retailers across Europe with leading assortments and brands of the big suppliers from Europe through the zentrada sourcing platforms and TradeSafe order processing system.  

Since 2005, zentrada added separate teams and marketplaces in France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, and an English EU version to its German headquarters to facilitate this connection. zentrada is pioneer, technology, and market leader in the free European wholesale sourcing for resellers.

More than 500 European importers, manufactures, and wholesalers offer almost 400.000 products, trends, and brand products, as well as stock lots, from all product groups of consumer good trade in their own zentrada-Shops.

The integrated TradeSafe order and payment processing allows retailers to handle orders across suppliers easily, with 100% buyer protection, and enables both parties to be part of international trade without risks and language barriers.  Since 2017, zentrada.Distribution offers central delivery and invoicing for product assortments of big international suppliers.

The zentrada Membership and TradeSafe are always free for commercial wholesale purchases. The membership can be extended for a small membership fee to add PREMIUM Services and the FreeD! Flatrate for free deliveries.

Press Contact

Ingo Schloo, CEO/General Manager
zentrada Europe GmbH & Co. KG
Friedrich Bergius Ring 32b, D-97076 Würzburg
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