GELF/NRF 2019 Study: Digital Disrupting Global Retail Wholesale Distribution

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The Global Economic Leaders Forum (GELF) and the National Retail Federation partnered on this inaugural study, “Transforming International Retail Distribution: Global Ecommerce’s Latest Wave of Disruption,” to understand the evolving nature of global ecommerce and the opportunities and challenges it poses for brands, gloabl distributors and retailers today.

Digital commerce is significantly impacting the the global wholesale distribution ecosystem as large marketplace platforms like Amazon and Alibaba evolve into global distrbution platforms.  As more large global brands work with these and other international and cross-border ecommerce platforms to extend the reach of their brands digitally, traditional wholesale distribution partners must re-examine their traditional value-add in the global retail ecosystem. Those partners that continue to resist adapting to a digital-first, global ecommerce ecosystem risk losing their relevance.

The topic of this study emerged as GELF researched the state of Chinese ecommerce during the summer and fall of 2017. China’s ecommerce marketplace platforms were central themes in interviews with global ecommerce leaders. These executives also discussed marketplaces strategies in countries other than China. Branded manufacturers – especially those investing in direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce operations – were intrigued by international ecommerce marketplace opportunities.

This led to a deeper analysis of the role digital plays in global retail sales and distribution, especially as “the lines” between branded manufacturers and retailers continue to blur. The blurring of these lines is due to multiple dynamics that include

This report has spurned great fireside conversations and panel discussions at recent GELF events.  We welcome your feedback and than you for downlaoding this study.

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