Skip to main content

How small business owners can play in the big leagues

(BPT) - Your customers live in a world where they can - and expect to - get products they order in a fast, seamless way. How important is quick delivery? Recent data shows that nearly seven out of 10 consumers list "speed of delivery" as one of the top five most important factors influencing where they buy products.

As a small business owner, how can you keep up with the retail giants in terms of speedy delivery? Staying up to date on the latest sourcing trends and options can help you shore up your supply chain - and keep your customers happy.

Online sourcing: A new way to find your perfect match

As more and more businesses take their operations online, why leave sourcing out? A recent survey by B2B platform found that two thirds of businesses plan to increase their reliance on online sourcing. This includes bigger, established businesses with more than 500 employees.

Why are these businesses choosing online sourcing, and why should smaller businesses like yours consider it?

  • More information, fewer questions: 31% of business owners cited availability of information in the online sourcing process as a top reason they're adopting the practice.
  • Faster to you, faster to your customer: As they work to meet consumer expectations for speedy deliveries, 29% of business owners listed speed of product order in online sourcing as a main reason for choosing that option.
  • Order visibility means peace of mind: 28% of respondents cited ability to track delivery status as a key reason for using online sourcing.

Adopting or expanding online sourcing can help you source more products at lower prices, with the ability to track your orders in real time. These benefits can help your business meet consumer expectations with quick deliveries and competitive prices on the products and services you work tirelessly to deliver, while letting you maximize your financial and physical resources.

More countries, more options, more price points

The U.S. certainly boasts a wide variety of sourcing options and solid price points, but that hasn't stopped businesses from going international for at least some of their sourcing operations. According to the survey:

  • 50% of businesses source from China
  • 36% source from Canada
  • 36% source from the United Kingdom
  • 20% source from the European Union

Why are these businesses looking to other countries for sourcing and - more importantly - why should you?

  • Save with competitive pricing from international suppliers: 39% of business owners said they were able to find competitive prices when exploring cross-border supply partners.
  • More options for you, more options for your customers: 32% of respondents indicated that they turned to international suppliers due to the wide variety of products available.

Incorporating international sourcing partners into your supply chain operations can help you find competitive prices for products you already offer, and also identify new products to add to your line. These advantages can go a long way in effectively managing financial resources, maintaining current customers and attracting new ones.

What about customs, delays and disruptions?

Whether they have concerns about logistics prices (27%), lengthy delivery times (22%) or not receiving products (19%), business owners have reason to be skeptical of international sourcing. And while healthy skepticism can benefit your bottom line, successful small business owners know when to adopt new tactics and tools for their toolbox.

Today, international sourcing is becoming a must for small business owners trying to navigate the ever-changing supply chain space and compete with big retailers, leading many to turn to online sourcing platforms as a smart, speedy way to better serve their customers.

Finding the right online sourcing platform to be your supply chain partner can help your small business with resources including tariff and duty calculators, real-time shipment tracking and delivery issues.

Some platforms, such as, are also introducing more guaranteed services such as fixed prices including shipping fees, promised dispatch of goods within 72 hours, delivery by the expected date and money back for order issues. All these tools can help you make informed financial decisions, know the status of your inventory and address potential delivery issues with the peace of mind that your business is protected.

In a world of instant gratification, it's more important than ever that small business owners use sourcing strategies to help them meet consumer expectations around fast deliveries. Online and international sourcing through the right platform can be a game changer for your small business as you look to stay competitive and thrive in today's consumer landscape.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.