Trending Sourcing Practices Help Make Swift Deliveries Happen

The integration of these increasingly efficient sourcing practices into supply chain strategies has enabled a more adaptable approach for small business owners to demand forecasting and inventory management

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Businesses are navigating an era increasingly focused on instant gratification, where customers crave convenience and speed with their purchases. In fact, nearly seven out of 10 consumers state “speed of delivery” as a top five most important factor for where they are buying their products. To meet customers’, need for speed, small business owners must stay on top of sourcing trends to maintain a robust supply chain and ensure customer satisfaction, especially when competing against larger retailers.

Going Global: The New Normal

Small business owners must adopt sourcing strategies that fulfill their customers’ need for quick results. In order to meet this increasing consumer demand, businesses are diversifying their product sourcing practices with solutions both domestically and internationally. However, even as the U.S. offers diverse sourcing options and an ease of convenience with domestic supply sources, many businesses (62%) still opt for international sourcing operations. In fact, according to’s recent survey of U.S. businesses, when it comes to international sourcing:

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

By leveraging international sourcing partners, business owners can not only discover cost-saving opportunities for their current product offerings but also explore new products to expand their line. These advantages play a crucial role in effective financial management, customer acquisition and retention, and expanded market access.

Successful small businesses owners know timing is key when adapting new tactics to their sourcing strategies. As such, small business owners are increasingly recognizing the necessity of international sourcing to foster greater agility and navigate the dynamic supply chain landscape, allowing them to rival big retailers. Utilizing international sourcing through suitable platforms can be transformative and empower more small businesses to remain competitive and prosper in the fast-paced consumer landscape of today.

Exploring Online Options

Along with shifting to international sourcing options, many businesses are also embracing online sourcing platforms as a savvy and efficient means of enhancing customer service. In fact, found that 90% of businesses are conducting at least some of their sourcing operations online. Here are three main reasons why businesses are choosing online sourcing and why more businesses should consider it:

  • More information, fewer questions: 31% of business owners cited the availability of information in the online sourcing process as a main reason for adopting the practice.
  • Faster to you, faster to your customer: As they attempt to meet consumer expectations for speedy deliveries, 29% of business owners listed the speed of product delivery in online sourcing as a main reason that they are adopting the practice in their operations.
  • Order visibility means peace of mind: 28% of respondents cited the ability to track delivery status, including being notified in as close to real time as possible if disruptions occur, as a key reason for implementing online sourcing into their operations.

Expanding online sourcing practices can help business owners find more products at better prices, while also providing them visibility, via real time tracking. These advantages ultimately allow businesses to meet customer expectations for prompt deliveries and competitive pricing on the products and services they are striving to provide.

Selecting the right online sourcing platform as a supply chain partner can offer crucial resources for small businesses. Platforms are expanding services to include things like fixed prices with shipping fees, guaranteed dispatch of goods within 72 hours, on-time delivery and refunds for order discrepancies. These resources are enabling business owners to make informed financial decisions, monitor their inventory status and effectively address any delivery challenges, all while ensuring the security of their transactions.

Adapting to Supply Chain Turbulence

As businesses adjust their sourcing practices, it’s still important to monitor for potential disruptions and plan accordingly. Despite the decrease in major disruptions on a mass or global scale, like the pandemic, ongoing developments and regional issues will inevitably introduce new challenges - such as the recent Red Sea crisis or Baltimore Bridge collapse. Events like these continue to compel businesses to enhance visibility within their supply chains to navigate these unforeseen events and establish contingency plans.

This shift toward proactive planning and bolstering supply chain resilience not only aids in managing disruptions but also enhances the ability to meet customer demands efficiently. In addition, harnessing the power of global and online sourcing empowers businesses to proactively plan for periods of heightened demand, ensuring the seamless provision of products to customers even amidst seasonal peaks like the holidays.

Shifting Practices Can Help Meet Demand

The overall shift to global and online sourcing has revolutionized the way businesses procure goods, streamlining processes and expanding access to global markets. With a heightened emphasis on speedy delivery, businesses are leveraging online sourcing and international suppliers to meet customer expectations for swift order fulfillment and shipping. Additionally, demand planning has become increasingly critical in this era of global and online sourcing, enabling businesses to anticipate customer needs, adjust for potential disruptions and optimize inventory levels accordingly.

The integration of these increasingly efficient sourcing practices into supply chain strategies has enabled a more adaptable approach for small business owners to demand forecasting and inventory management, to meet the demands of today's fast-paced market.