CommerceHub presented key research findings at The Internet Retailing Conference on 10 October 2019 from its survey of 200 online retail decision makers and workers, uncovering their current mindset around using drop ship or marketplace models to cost-effectively expand product range.
When asked about plans for increasing product range, 75% of retail decision makers confirmed that adding more products or product categories to their ecommerce channels was a top priority for the business. In fact, retailers (on average) are planning to expand their online product range by 31% within the next year. 84% believe that expanding online product range will increase revenue, but perhaps more notably, 67% expect it to attract more visitors to the website, indicating that offering greater choice to customers is important for building customer loyalty and meeting customer expectations.
The survey found that nearly 50% of businesses are currently utilising drop ship and/or retailer marketplaces, and 20% of those surveyed that do not use drop ship today are planning to do so in the next 12 months. With a third of online business estimated to be generated through drop ship and/or marketplaces, it’s clear that increasing numbers of retailers are relying on these models as critical means of expanding online product range.
“With the world of retail ever-evolving to meet changing customer demands and the digital-first generation becoming harder to attract, retailers are looking for new ways to retain and entice customers,” said Philip Hall, Managing Director Europe, CommerceHub. “One way to achieve this goal without increasing operational costs is for retailers to offer more products via a comprehensive ‘direct-to-consumer’ strategy and a platform that puts the customer experience first.”