Why you really need to drop ship

Let’s face it, no retailer’s marketplace will be able to compete with Amazon (or Walmart) when it comes to general assortment size. It’s also very difficult to compete in terms of shipping costs, membership perks, and delivery speed. So what other value prop can retailers who are considering opening a marketplace offer their consumers?

Should you open a marketplace?

A lot of retail companies are wondering if they should open a marketplace. Such models offer the promise of unlimited assortment without the need for upfront investment, inventory risk, or costly trading partner integrations. Additionally, marketplaces seem to be one of the reasons why Amazon and Walmart have seen amazing growth in their ecommerce, even during the recent pandemic.

Do you really need a marketplace?

Let’s face it, no retailer’s marketplace will be able to compete with Amazon (or Walmart) when it comes to general assortment size. It’s also very difficult to compete in terms of shipping costs, membership perks, and delivery speed. So what other value prop can retailers who are considering opening a marketplace offer their consumers?

Why Amazon Sells Books But Gives Bananas Away for Free

If you’re just starting out with drop shipping, it’s a good idea to begin by offering products from your catalogue that are more ecommerce friendly.

The logistics required to ship items similar to books is much less complex than bananas and can give you the necessary experience to later tackle difficult categories.

Marketplaces, Are they Worth it?

Besides weighing the various benefits and drawbacks, you must be comfortable with the fact that marketplaces are not just neutral platforms for selling products but competitors in their own right who will have access to your sensitive customer and supply chain data.

Four Takeaways From the D3 Conference in New York

As usual the sessions and panels were also top notch, with speakers from Target, Amazon, REI, and JD.com to name a few. In the coming weeks we’ll be writing a few in-depth blog posts based on some of the topics that were discussed. In the meantime, here’s an overview of important takeaways from the panels and speeches attended.

Unravelling the Supply-Side Data Black Hole

Expanding inventory data improvements to include suppliers is therefore essential for brick and mortar retailers to achieve success with digital consumers. It will require data technology that takes the complexity and cost out of inventory integration across hundreds of different systems while processing all that disparate data into a single source of truth in real time.

Enterprise Drop Shipping, Part 2: The Basics

One of the most significant trends in the ecommerce supply chain over the last decade has been the shift toward drop shipping and third party distributed inventory. A lot has changed since 2003. With such clear advantages, retailers and suppliers are being compelled to adopt drop shipping to be competitive with product selection, product penetration, and omnichannel. As we saw in last week’s post, those who fail to overcome the challenges associated with drop shipping and a more virtual supply chain will face far more severe disadvantages as ecommerce and omnichannel inevitably take up a larger percentage of retail.

Why I Keep Returning to Amazon

Nordstrom and other large chains such as Best Buy have been able to do so and this trend of modernizing supply chains to create great in-store experiences will be the saving grace of physical retail. That’s a lesson that even ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Wayfair are beginning to understand and it’s leading them to open their own brick and mortar stores.

Some experiences just can’t be virtualized.