New report highlights how dropship can urgently help retailers embrace online range expansion
A new report issued by Virtualstock, the fast-growing technology company providing digital solutions for the retail and healthcare sectors, highlights how traditional retailers can fight the decline in physical retail footfall and can effectively compete with the online behemoths such as Amazon in order to recapture market share, avoiding failure.
With the inexorable rise of ecommerce, consumers have become increasingly discerning and demanding. The key battle grounds for retailers have become focused around product choice, convenience and speed. Whilst almost all retailers recognise the urgency to improve their multichannel offerings, only a few are effectively delivering. Most retailers, in trying to make the online shift, find themselves hampered by outdated and turgid systems which are hindering their ability to keep up with the competition.
The effects of those struggling are all too evident with a recent PWC report finding that almost 2,500 shops were lost from the top 500 high streets in 2018, a 40% increase on 2017 and the number of retail businesses entering into administration has increased by 30% since 2015 according to data from the Centre for Retail Research.
Virtualstock’s report analyses how retailers can satisfy consumers and compete with the ecommerce giants by looking at dropship as a risk-free solution to increase ranges and grow sales. The risk-free element to this range expansion comes from the fact that this stock need not be held in inventory; it is instead distributed direct from the supplier, thereby improving working capital and reducing the costs associated with stockholding and shifting bulky and slow-moving items. By working with dropship suppliers to provide extended product ranges, retailers can reclaim market share and become specialists in their core ranges.
It is an often-overlooked solution, but retailers could be generating 30-50% of online sales from dropship. The benefits are manifold. Virtualstock’s retail customers have seen numerous advantages, including customer satisfaction increases of 30%, a 50% improvement on the number of customer recommendations, and extended range revenue increasing by 150% in two years.
“With the rapid evolution of ecommerce, many traditional and specialist category retailers have been caught off guard and are desperately playing catch up,” said Ed Bradley, CEO of Virtualstock. “Some are succeeding but plenty aren’t. Retailers that aren’t implementing dropship will find themselves losing ground to their competitors. As the high street continues to struggle, and ecommerce becomes ever stronger, the time is ripe for retailers to make dropship really deliver for them and subsequently increase their customer retention rates.”
The full report can be downloaded here. The guide draws on years of experience helping leading retailers develop, implement, and fine tune their dropshipping operation to gain maximum benefits and take the fight back to the e-tail giants.
Simon Hockridge/ Alistair de Kare-Silver/ Florence Mayo
Tel: 020 3128 8742
Virtualstock is a fast-growing technology company providing digital solutions which enhance routes to market and supply chains across the retail and healthcare sectors. The business works with three of the top five UK online retailers including Sainsbury’s Argos, John Lewis & Partners and Dixons Carphone Group, as well as with Kingfisher plc.
Virtualstock’s cloud-based platform, The Edge, provides retailers with centralised management and visibility of their entire order, inventory and product data, enabling them to offer extended product ranges, more efficient systems and more flexible delivery services – ultimately driving better customer experience. The business, founded in 2004, has utilised venture capital investment to scale its operations and to prepare for international expansion.