Merchant & trade counter trends for 2024
The merchant and trade counter industry encompasses a wide range of businesses involved in the sale and distribution of various products to professionals and businesses in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, and maintenance.
Several trends have been shaping this industry in recent years, and some of these trends may continue to influence it in 2024 and beyond. Here are some notable trends in the merchant and trade counter industry:
Digitising small merchants
The traditional barriers to getting small merchants to accept cashless payments have been removed through innovations like QR stickers and software point-of-sale (POS) applications. These technologies have made it increasingly viable for small merchants to accept card payments via mobile devices, simplifying the onboarding process.
Moving beyond processing
Merchants are no longer just processors but are evolving into software businesses. They are partnering with integrated software vendors to offer value-added services, such as back-end support, analytics, security, and loyalty programs. Additionally, access to credit for small merchants is now possible through an automated, hassle-free process.
Focus on sustainability
There is a growing demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable products in various industries. Many merchants and trade counters are offering a broader range of sustainable building materials, energy-efficient products, and eco-friendly solutions to meet customer preferences and regulatory requirements.
Regulatory compliance and safety
As regulations in various industries become more stringent, merchants are paying closer attention to compliance with safety and quality standards. They are often required to provide documentation and certifications for the products they sell.
Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce is becoming increasingly prevalent, with many merchants and trade counters offering dedicated online portals for their business customers. These portals may provide features like bulk ordering, custom pricing, and account management tools.
Diversification of product offerings
Some merchants are diversifying their product lines to offer a broader range of solutions to their customers. This can involve expanding into related industries or offering complementary products and services.
Last-mile delivery solutions
Efficient last-mile delivery and logistics are essential for serving customers promptly and reliably. Merchants and trade counters are exploring innovative delivery options, including local fulfilment centres and partnerships with logistics providers.
These trends reflect the ongoing evolution of the merchant and trade counter industry as it adapts to changing customer expectations, technological advancements, and market dynamics. Businesses in this sector must continue to monitor and respond to these trends to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers.