As buyers become more comfortable with online shopping, the medium keeps expanding to more and more options. Need a computer? Click. A new phone? Click. New clothes and shoes? Click and click. But the online market is no longer limited to fashion and electronics; now consumers are also buying big-ticket items like furniture.
The challenge with purchasing furniture online is shoppers want to make sure it’s perfect before they commit, and it can be difficult to know whether something will “fit” a space until it’s actually in the space. Sure, that teal coffee table looks amazing online, but will it go with your orange walls and shag carpeting? In order to keep up with consumer demand and compete with brick & mortar stores, digital retailers like Wayfair and Amazon are now leveraging features like artificial intelligence apps that allow shoppers to “see” what an item will look like in their home.
Still, online purchases carry a higher return rate (30 percent), so what can retailers do with furniture that’s returned? Having a giant yard sale may help, but it’s not enough. That’s why it’s best for online retailers to have a recovery-generating secondary market solution in place.
This is exactly the strategy that B-Stock employed with Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor. At the time we connected, Wayfair was experiencing a high volume of customer returns and other excess inventory due to explosive growth in sales. The inventory—consisting mostly of truckload-size amounts of home goods—was being resold only to a small group of purchasers. As the volume of inventory skyrocketed, so did the need for more qualified buyers. Wayfair needed a more effective liquidation process that moved inventory as quickly as possible in order to maintain—or even increase—recovery rates.
B-Stock launched a customized, private-label B2B solution for Wayfair, enabling large numbers of approved business buyers from across the United States to bid directly on inventory via competitive online auctions. Our flexible and scalable online marketplace introduced Wayfair to thousands of new business buyers, easily managing a 138 percent increase in inventory volume and raising the brand’s overall recovery rate by 31 percent. By working with B-Stock, the digital-first Wayfair was able to bypass traditional liquidation methods, creating consistently higher recovery rates and a much faster sales cycle.
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