Dr. Glenn Gearhart CEO of World Market Vendor Services, Inc. provides News and Commentary

Selling bland, non-exciting, merchandise

Selling bland, “non-exciting” merchandise is a challenge but if properly addressed can be very rewarding

Many products sold online are exciting and easily to draw the attention of women who are the lead buying decision makers and largest shopping group. From first-hand knowledge, I know that women love to shop for shoes, jewelry, apparel, food, kitchen utensils and bed and bath items. Men are lured to sporting goods, apparel and big boy toys. But moving bland merchandise such as “office suppliers” does not come under the “exciting” category of online products.

RetailersCan bland products be successfully sold online? Do World Market online consumers buy bland merchandise? The answer may surprise you, but it is an astounding – YES! In an Internet Retailer survey, Staples.com was second, Yes Number Two, in North America, behind only Amazon.com in eCommerce sales. The point is Staples sells “bland merchandise” and yet out of the thousands of US and Canadian online stores, Staples.com was Number 2 in online sales for 2011.

The answer is yes, a vendor can sell a heck of a lot of bland merchandise online. Boxes of copy paper, pens, ink cartridges and paper clips sell online. Staples growth is not limited to Canada and the US, they are finding that bland merchandise sells very well in the EU and are continuing to expand into other global eCommerce markets.

The retail sales data reports I have seen, indicates that Staples.com is not an abnormal eCommerce vendor. In North America, OfficeMax.com and Office Depot.com are hot on the heels of Staples.com in moving bland merchandise through online sales.

I think the message from these office supply store retailers is quite clear…. Bland merchandise can be a big player in eCommerce sales. Whatever you sell, the sales volume and your revenue can be enhanced by offering your products online.

If you already have a website and sell online then you are already established. To fire-up your online sales, add another separate and unique distribution channel, one that allows you to grow your global customer base at your pace and under your control.

World Market is providing many local and national Retailers, Wholesalers and Manufacturers (“vendors”), in nearly all countries, a safe and simple to use pathway to increased eCommerce sales and revenues. Join us and we can provide your business a clear path to growth and cross-country, cross-border and global online success.

Internet Retailer Magazine, December 2011