For retailers, being able to offer products for sale that they do not have to purchase or physically handle can seem like nirvana. For suppliers, having their products less limited by resellers as they put it in front of consumers is as close to utopia as it gets.
In short, the world is continuing to align to the consumer, and that is driving new integrated partnerships, omnichannel experiences such as BOPIS and SFS, and better technologies for seeing and selling all the inventory in a retailer’s ecosystem, whenever and wherever the consumer needs it.
Expanding your drop ship ecosystem can take a lot of time. Getting trading partners to agree to drop ship, onboarding them, and finally going live can take anywhere from several months to over a year per partner. This raises opportunity costs, hampers your ability to quickly expand assortment, and increases inventory risk when you’re forced to rely on wholesale buys to access the products you need.
Traditionally retail has placed priority on inventory ownership when processing orders. If you own a lot of inventory it makes sense to try to sell that first.
Around the world, companies hold onto stock they know nothing about, or worse, promise products to customers they don’t have. Typically, retailers and brands operate on data that is only 65% accurate, wasting $1.5 trillion of revenue opportunities.
If you’re like a lot of our retail partners you hate being unable to fulfill an order due to limited cross-channel inventory visibility. You also find it frustrating that different channels can’t access the same assortments, leading to higher opportunity and shipping costs. And though you wish there was a way to offer faster shipping, your legacy solutions are unable to efficiently route orders to inventory locations closer to customers.
Business to consumer technology companies make it a top priority to get their customers using their product as quickly and efficiently as possible. Take Google and Amazon’s smart home technology as examples. Within minutes you can have your home device connected to your wifi network and integrated with your Google or Amazon account. Beyond that, can you imagine if it took you weeks of back and forth calling Netflix support, just to set up your account and watch the latest episode of your favorite baking show?
Dropshipping is a business model that enables companies to operate without maintaining inventory. Customers place orders online or at a retailer’s store location (showroom). The order is automatically forwarded to the supplier and the goods are shipped to the customer in the retailers’ name.
For EDI to die, people need to realize that the only thing holding them back from adopting new technology is themselves. For my part, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the day I can lay the last 997* document at the foot of the EDI gravestone.
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.