by Camille Chin | May 26, 2020
The ability for retailers to access inventory from your vendors worldwide and sell it to shoppers without ever purchasing, transporting or storing any of it is extremely powerful. In addition to bolstering your inventory levels, having access to stock beyond your enterprise walls expands the assortment of your offerings. It’s an easy way to extend additional merchandise to your customers without requiring any immediate money and/or space. The benefits don’t stop there. Here are five ways a global reach into your vendors’ stock via an Endless Aisle benefits retailers.
1. Capitalize on In-Store Buyer Intent to Foster Satisfaction and Loyalty
Nowadays, foot traffic in your retail stores often means that the people there have done their research and want something specific. Encourage shoppers to experience your products. If a desired item isn’t in stock, the ability to access your enterprise and vendor inventory via an Endless Aisle will save the sale.
Note: Endless Aisle retail sales typically occur because they were assisted by a store associate for an enhanced customer experience. Also remember, this is an opportunity to cross sell.
2. Achieve Bigger Product Assortments with Smaller Storage Demands
Your store shelves are not infinite, your warehouse does not go on and on. If only. Consider using your floor and shelf space for popular, in-demand items, and offer the rest of your product selections — like higher margin items, perhaps — through your vendors. By offering an almost limitless digital selection (think Amazon), you’ll decrease the chance that shoppers will go elsewhere to spend their money.
Fact: Amazon Prime members are 52 percent more likely than other shoppers to take out their phones and buy what they need from online stores when they can’t find it in physical stores.
3. Save on Shipping Costs To and From Physical Stores
Endless Aisle solutions deliver a one-two punch when it comes to shipping. When out-of-stock items or items that are not sold in all stores are ordered from your vendors, and your vendors then dropship the ordered products to customer homes, the benefits are twofold.
First, retailers save on transporting the ordered products to stores, be it the original store or another store for pickup. Second, retailers save on then having to deliver the order products to households. Win-win.
4. Eliminate the Overstock Versus Out-of-Stock Tug of War
It’s one of retail’s biggest conundrums: order too much inventory and some items will inevitably go stale. Order too little, and a customer will waltz in, looking for the precise item you don’t have. Overstocks have cost North American retailers as much as US$123.4 billion annually in past years; out-of-stocks have cost them US$129.5 billion.
Endless Aisle strategies give retailers access to virtual shelves so their vendor and enterprise-wide merchandise are always within reach. It resolves the conflict of wanting to have an assortment of inventory always available for purchase, and not wanting to transport and store too much.
5. Empower In-Store Sales Associates and Strengthen CRMs
Endless Aisle solutions gives store associates the ability to sell what they don’t have. Talk about empowered. It also helps frame associates as problem solvers rather than salespeople.
Associates, interactive kiosks, mobile devices and an online store should all complement each other to provide shoppers with the best shopping experiences. An Endless Aisle and other similar solutions should deepen relationships and strengthen CRMs.