Bridge for Retailers

What Problem Is Bridge Solving for Retailers?

There are millions of indie stores in the world who don't get to succeed online. They get ripped off by web designers and coders, have to pay local taxes unlike many Amazon sellers, don't have access to cheap money from Wall St. like, and get attacked by hackers looking to steal credit cards — all factors which prevent them from running their business, helping their customers, and servicing their communities. Because of these expenses and obstacles, their websites often don't survive for more than a few years. They may even give up completely, have no website, and just have a non-selling, informational page on Facebook. They won't be able to help their customers make purchases online, view past orders, and become a digital, omni-channel business. They are stuck in an analog world where they can only sell to customers in their neighborhood, a neighborhood filled with customers who increasingly don't want to shop in store and instead prefer digital. This sets the store owner up for failure because it's not where its customers want to shop. The small store owner and its employees who may take over the business are stuck in a cycle of 'digital poverty' and disadvantage. What if there was a way to fix this poverty, help level the playing field, and nurture indie businesses online?

Bridge is this solution.

How Does Bridge Work For Retailers?

  • You sign up online for a free Bridge account. All accounts (including the free plan) include access to:
  • You can add any product from any brand to your Bridge Store. In addition, it can be pre-populated with up to 60,000 products from 100+ Smart Brands.
  • With both free and paid accounts, you can use our software to quickly list all the brands that you sell. Bridge offers you a directory of 2,100 brands from which to pick. You can also add any brands to your site that are not in our existing master brand directory.
  • You can send sync requests to Smart Brands that you sell. Smart Brands have a partnership with Bridge and all their items may appear in your Bridge Store if you and the brand approve each other's sync request. Smart Products are updated for you and thereby save you time and money. You can also show more products than you'd normally show when you use Smart Products and this helps increase sales.
  • You can add your own products to your Bridge Store. For example, you can add one-of-a-kind items such as unique jewelry or antiques.
  • If you have a gift registry program in your store, you can use Bridge's gift registry software to show these registries. Family and friends can visit registries on your site and make purchases from them.
  • Customers can checkout via your Bridge Store. You'll receive an email with the customer's ordered item(s), billing information, shipping information, telephone number, and email. If you have real-time credit card processing setup with Bridge, your Bridge Store will ask the customer for his or her credit card information during checkout. The payment will appear in your bank account within a day or two. (Bridge does not take a commission/percentage of the order.) If you do not have real-time, online credit card processing setup, you'll use the telephone number from the order email to call the customer and collect credit card details via telephone. You will key the credit card number in to your in-store terminal.
  • In terms of fulfilling the order, you will view the order and determine if the purchase is a registry order or a general public (non-registry) purchase. If the order is a general public purchase, and the item needs to be delivered to the customer, you'll check if you have the item in stock. If you have the item in stock, you can ship it. If you do not have the item in stock, you contact the vendor or your sales rep to place an order. If the vendor drop ships, you may ask it to do this. If the purchase is a gift registry purchase, how you handle the order depends on if you give the actual item or a registry credit. If your store gives the bride registry credit, you can do this. (You do not have to immediately ship registry purchases.)
  • Using Bridge, your customers can shop from 1,000s of items and you save yourself 100s of hours and $1,000s on website maintenance.
  • You can use your Bridge to share news with your business friends as well as with the public. It's akin to a Facebook page but for your business.
  • You'll receive a weekly email with prices changes, new items, and best sellers.

How Will Your Retail Shop Use Smart Products?

You can use Bridge's Smart Products service a few different ways.

  • A Better Image Library
    For starters, you can use use your Bridge account as an image and product library to view and download product data from your most popular brands. Your account offers comprehensive product data from 110 brands on one site vs having to visit 110 different brand websites. You can download this data from your Bridge account. You can use this database as a 'one stop shop' to get all the current product prices, pictures, dimensions, stock, and descriptions. All of the different brands products will be formatted the same way in one Excel sheet and then you can then easily import this into your website or POS.
    Learn more about the data you receive when using the the Smart Products export feature »
  • A Pre-Populated Online Store & Gift Registry
    If you wish to skip downloading the Smart Product data and then importing it into your website, Bridge offers you an e-commerce website that is pre-populated with your Smart Product data in it. You can use this website to sell the Smart Products to your customers. The e-commerce store (which includes gift registry software) also allows you to add any item from any brand. As such, you can sell any item from any brand (even if its not a Smart Brand partner).
    If you have a website with a 'splash' page and/or that is just informational, you can add a link on this page that says, for example, "Gift Registry" and have it link to your Bridge's gift registry.

See examples of how retailers add Smart Products to their online
business »

Bridge works with all 3rd-party providers. » Learn more about adding Bridge to your retail platform

Don't have a website or platform? Wish to move to new platform? No problem. » Learn about the Bridge Store platform

Retailer's Average Percentage Increase in Sales

Do You Want to Sell 13% More?

Retailers reported that they sold 13.5% more product when they used the Smart Products service. In another study conducted by DeVine Corporation (which distributes Anna Weatherley, Royal Crown Derby, and Couzon), retailers that used Bridge also reported selling 13% more than those that did not use the program.
Married couple by sunset

How Do Smart Products Help Your Gift Registry?

Registry benefits:
  • More brides will register at your store.
  • Brides will add more items to their registries.
  • Your registry sales will increase.
  • You'll save time and money in your management of registries.

Learn more about Bridge's gift registry software »

Herend costing savings by using Bridges

How Do You Typically Add a Brand's Products To Your Website?

Most retailers receive a Dropbox link from a brand with an Excel file and images. What if there was an instant way to add these products to your website? There is: Smart Products. Smart Products let you bypass Dropbox and Excel. You can use Smarts Products to save time and cut costs.

Let's imagine your retail store would like to add Herend (a producer of fine tableware and giftware) to your website. Herend offers 4,000 SKUs. Using the Smart Products program, Herend shares these 4,000 products with its retailers instantly. If a store were to add these items manually without Bridge, it would pay someone $100s and require a week or more of time. With Bridge, it costs the store $0 and the items are online in minutes.

Bridge requires less time and less money than Dropbox and Excel.

Learn more about savings with Smart Products »

Smart Products vs Excel

Smart Products light bulb
You Sync with Brand's Smart Products Brand Sends You an Excel File
Fast. Products can appear on your site instantly. Slow. Often requires manual processing and uploading to a website.
Super cost efficient: $0.01 per item/month Expensive. Costs your business on average $2+ to add and maintain each item on your site.
Doesn't require more staffing. Maintenance-free product management. Requires computer savvy staff.
Accurate prices and product content because Smart Brands are maintain their respective items. Inaccurate. An indie store maintaining 10s of brands' prices and content is nearly impossible.

Smart Products vs Dropbox

Smart Products light bulb
You Sync with Brand's Smart Products Brand Sends You a Dropbox Link
Fast and cost efficient. After one-time sync, all data from brand is 'live' on your website. Slow and expensive. Requires constant downloading of Excel files and images, and then uploading this to your website.
Use one Bridge account to access content from 100+ brands. Brands often send files to multiple emails and accounts, thereby creating a mess of files in different locations.
Intuitive. Products appear next to relevant files. Eg: Waterford products appear next to Waterford files. Not intuitive. Files don't appear in context. Dropbox files are often unorganized and not organized like a website nor catalog.
Stores often display 100% of a brand's products online. The Smart Products program makes doing so quick and easy. Stores often show just a fraction of what the brand offers online. Reason: the stores have to manually download content from Dropbox and add it to their sites.
Herend costing savings by using Bridges

Which Retailers Use Bridge?

375+ retailers use Bridge including:

  • Tableware and gift shops
  • Florists
  • Jewelry stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Bedding & linen shops
  • Restaurant & hotel gift shops
  • Tableware and gift shops
  • Florists
  • Jewelry stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Bedding & linen shops
  • Restaurant & hotel gift shops

View retail businesses that use Bridge »

Is Bridge Right For Your Store?

Retailers that choose Bridge Store often have a few factors in common, including:

  1. A website or online presence that needs improvement.
  2. Little or no online product offering.
  3. Little or no budget for website development, operations, or maintenance.
  4. Little or no technological know-how.
  5. Little or no time to spend on website maintenance.

Thankfully, Bridge can fix all of these issues quickly. Most other online platforms require time, money, and digital savviness. Bridge is designed to help indie retailers bypass these barriers.