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I believe that offering greater online selection is increasingly important in retail.

Greater selection is important for many reasons including:
1. Giving shoppers more choices. More choices lead to more sales.
2. Helping stores be more competitive. Shoppers know that big online retailers like Amazon offer millions of products, and thereby millions of possible price points and features. Offering something similar is the natural route to get those orders back from Amazon.
3. Boosting a store’s Google ranking. With more products on a site, Google can crawl more pages. Also, when shoppers spend more time on a site, Google gives sites a higher ranking.

Bridge is tackling this selection opportunity in two ways:
1. We are outputting how many products a store offers at the top of its Bridge catalog. This clearly shows shoppers how many products they can browse.

For example, Babcock Gifts in Tennessee lists 41.6k items at the top of its Bridge catalog:

Since Amazon has millions of items online, Bridge has a long way to go to build our Smart Products database (we have 60k Smart Products). Yet, I believe if a shopper is given a choice between a million items on Amazon and a million on an indie store’s site, the indie store can win that order. Indie stores offer in-store pick up, better customer service, a real person that picks up the telephone, gift wrapping, and a smile.

2. Bridge created a new, free decal for stores to place in their windows. The decal says "Shop 1,000s of Our Gifts Online." This decal shares with the community that the store has lots of selection online--likely more than what can be seen in the physical store. It encourages the customer to join the store online. The decal also gives the store owner and staff some confidence that their store isn't being left behind in the rush to shop online.

The decal includes this tagline: Small Store ~ Big Site.

(Another tagline that I like that echoes this point is: One Store ~ Millions of Choices.)

I recently mailed this decal to our top 100 stores, and many of the stores e-mailed us back pictures of the decal. (Thank you, retailers!)

This leads to the question: How can stores increase their online selection? 400+ stores have chosen Bridge's Smart Products as one solution. I'm also pursuing other solutions to help stores bolster their online selection.

Learn more about Smart Products:

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selection amazon small store big site smart products

Shared: July 21, 2019

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Shared by Jason Solarek
at Bridge