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Ever wondered how independent retailers and wholesales are using technology to increase their business’ efficiency and performance? Well, now you can find out as we surveyed over 200 merchants to find out how they’re using technology to facilitate the success of their business.

The survey results revealed very interesting statistics around the importance of automation in order to improve efficiency, how multichannel selling leads to bigger business growth, and which sales channels are the most popular amongst independent merchants. 

Multichannel is essential for growth

Respondents value multichannel as 84% viewed selling on multiple channels as ‘essential’ to their growth. It turns out they were right as those selling on multiple channels experience a higher level of growth at 33%, compared to only 8% growth when selling on a single channel.

However, the industry average growth of the retail industry is much lower as the growth rate was only 2.0% in 2015 and it’s predicted to be 1.9% in 2016 and 1.7% growth in 2017.


“Go multichannel online. A retailer's own site is a must, but beyond that, there are so many options for them to get their products in front of more consumers.”

- Robert Gilbreath, VP of Marketing & Partnerships, ShipStation


Automated retail is the key to success

Many people argue that automating processes in the every-day life of a retail business can save time, make processes more efficient and save money on staffing. There are several pieces of software that can help you automate but it’s important to find the right retail management system for your business.

The survey backed-up the advantages of automation as the results showed that automation can improve efficiency with Brightpearl customers processing 53% more orders and missing orders fell by 70%.

Brightpearl customers save a whopping total of 57.5 days per year by saving 15 days when updating stock across ecommerce platforms, 21 days when processing orders from sale to shipment, and 21.5 days when updating financial accounts.


“Brightpearl’s automation and cloud-based applications gives us the ability to adapt and grow.”

- Mark Nicholls, Co-founder and Director of The Little Green Sheep


Most popular sales channels

The survey found that Brightpearl customers are selling through an average of 4 channels and unsurprisingly, the most popular sales channels included their own website (75%), Amazon (68%), eBay (58%) and a brick and mortar store (48%). Many independent retailers are also selling at trade shows (39%) and 37% have multiple own websites.

Interestingly, the popularity of selling on social media platforms is on the rise as 20% of respondents are using it as a sales channels. According to the 2015 Future of Retail Study by Walker Sands, 32% of consumers said they were likely to purchase via social.


Check out this visually appealing infographic to find out even more great stats!

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.