Shelf-space is dwindling. Due to the onslaught of shuttered bricks-and-mortar, retailers and brands are being charged with elevating digital commerce channels. This has resulted retailers expanding online presences to encompass marketplaces, in which third-party vendors are invited to sell product directly through a retailer’s platform.This is a quick fix. What may improve traffic and sales in the short-term will not translate to long-term consumer loyalty or preserved revenue gains. Shoppers will go where the best product — and deals — can be found.Instead, drop-shipping company, RevCascade cofounder and chief executive officer Josh Wexler and the company’s other cofounder, Andrea Tobin, illuminate the benefits that can be secured within the method. Under this approach, retailers only buy inventory from wholesalers once a consumer purchases a product. This heavily reduces overhead from warehouse costs to stocking brick-and-mortar shelves.Here, the executives discuss the pitfalls with marketplaces and how to enter a drop-shipping approach.WWD: Traditionally, mid to high-end brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled with limited shelf space and inventory issues, yet are trying to compete with Amazon, Wayfair, Farfetch and Rakuten. What are some of the opportunities for retailers and brands?Josh Wexler: Marketplaces are the dominating e-commerce business model. Amazon sells 400 million-plus products. Wayfair sells eight million-plus products. However, a true marketplace approach for mid to high-end retailers will erode your brand. The far better alternative is drop-ship, as it keeps the retailer in total control of the brands they work with and the products they sell. Curated drop-ship programs are a force multiplier for retailers and the brands they carry. A curated drop-ship program give retailers the ability to sell the right product to the right consumer at the right time, generating more revenue without carrying more inventory.WWD: What are some benefits of deploying a successful drop-ship program?Andrea Tobin: The biggest benefits start with more revenue and more profit for retailers and brands, as well as zero inventory risk for retailers. E-commerce growth is accelerating; stores are closing; there is less shelf space, and there is less open to buy. Drop-ship is low-risk innovation with major revenue and profit upside.Drop-ship also gives retailers the ability to test new brands and products, broaden product assortments in existing categories, and move seamlessly into adjacent categories and markets. For vendors, drop-ship deepens retailer relationships, is a great way to experiment with new retailers, and maximizes consumer reach by selling your products across a wider array of retailer e-commerce sites.WWD: What are the key differences between a drop-ship program and a marketplace?J.W.: In a drop-ship program, retailers stay in complete control of the brands they work with and the products they sell. World-class merchants curate the best drop-ship programs — just like the best brick-and-mortar stores. This is the key difference between a drop-ship program and a marketplace where retailers can enhance and extend what they offer to their consumers while staying true to what they have delivered to consumers via their traditional wholesale business.WWD: What are the benefits of a drop-ship program for retailers and vendors for holiday shopping seasons?A.T.: With many predicting that e-commerce holiday sales will eclipse brick-and-mortar sales for the first time this year, drop-shipping is a way for retailers to capture more revenue. There is a clear relationship between the number of products retailers have available to sell via e-commerce, the amount of traffic they generate to their e-commerce site, and their e-commerce revenue. A retailer who stocks 1,000 products based on their wholesale buying business model during the holidays can easily offer 10,000-plus products via their drop-ship program, which will result in doubling or tripling their e-commerce sales with zero inventory risk.WWD: How can retailers optimize their existing buying strategies, skill and expertise?J.W.: The best mid to high-end retailers are known for their point of view, and for their ability to find amazing products from great brands. Consumers show their appreciation of the inventory selection by purchasing from those retailers. Great merchants are great editors and merchants, which will drive success in drop-shipping — just like they have driven success via traditional retailers’ wholesale buying business model.WWD: What do you think will happen in 2018 as it relates to both drop-ship and marketplaces? Do you see widespread adoption? Why or why not?J.W.: In 2018 drop-shipping will continue to be the fastest-growing revenue stream for mid to high-end retailers. Retailers need to generate revenue and profits without increasing their inventory, and drop-shipping is the perfect solution to drive a brighter future for retailers big and small.More from WWD:2018 Retail Predictions: AI, Experiences, Pricing Transparency Set to IncreaseStrategy Overhauls Might Be Unnecessary to Draw MillennialsThe Social Media Channels That Deliver the Highest E-Commerce Conversions
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.