Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
Curious why you don’t sell more online? Answer: selling online is brutally competitive. Just ask Brandless, a company with more than $100m in funding that just closed and laid off all 70 employees. Selling online often produces the opposite of what you’d expect: thin margins.
One bright spot in e-commerce: gift registries. Gift registry orders have higher margins, lower customer acquisition costs, and a built-in promoter for your site: the bride. Don’t think this has gone unnoticed: Zola, an online registry service, has raised $140m from VCs
to go after the online registry business.
Wholesale is another bright spot online because there often isn’t a price war for wholesale orders. That toaster’s wholesale price is $50, and very few outlets can sell a store that item wholesale—probably just the manufacture’s site, an official sales rep, and maybe a wholesale portal like Faire ($266+ in VC funding
). And soon: Bridge. Bridge will start offering wholesale ordering to retailers, brands, and reps this year. Unlike Faire, we’re ‘vertically’ integrated. We support the whole supply chain and can speed goods from ‘wholesale door’ to ‘retail door.’
Whereas Brandless closed, Bridge's retailers are thriving: sales via the platform are up double digit year over year. Bridge (and Zola) are in the right market, and soon Bridge's service will include wholesale like Faire's. Collectively, those two companies have raised $400m. Bridge is happy to be the small company without massive VC funding and publicity. We plan for this to be an advantage and help make us a brand that avoids common pitfalls and is 'brandfull.'
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