Battle of the Furniture E-Commerce Retailers

We are in an age where people opt for e-commerce retailers versus physical locations. It’s more convenient to shop online. For one, you can browse hundreds of products and compare them to similar styles with the click of a button. Amazon, Walmart, and Wayfair are three that stand out when it comes to furniture and home décor. Each has their own operating system, but a manufacturer may have trouble deciding what’s best for their product. Most importantly, how does the system even work? The following takes a closer look in to each retailer and their benefits.

Amazon Vendor Central

Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites to date with the variety of products that they sell. While they sell just about everything, they have a plethora of furniture and home décor. Notable brands that sell on Amazon include Ikea and Ashley Furniture. To sell on Amazon you have to go through one of three channels. These include: Vendor Central, Vendor Express, and Seller Central. Vendor Central requires an invitation. Amazon handles everything once the products are added. That includes pricing, shipping, and returns. In addition, distribution options are through Amazon directly or dropship.

Amazon has a vast customer base and people instantly buy from Amazon based off their reputation. They have perks for customers such as Amazon Prime in which they have free two-day shipping. Amazon Vine is a part of Vendor Central. People want to read reviews before purchasing. Amazon Vine is a hand selected review program. The reviewers are known as Vine Voices and are chosen based on their reviewer rank.   Furthermore, these reviews are highlighted with a green stripe to separate them from regular reviews.

Walmart Supplier Center

Walmart has over 200 million customers that shop online. Moreover, there are two options in becoming a seller on Walmart.com, Supplier Center and Market Place. The first step in the Supplier Center is applying. The selection is based on reputation, sales, and alignment with Walmart’s values. Once approved, you will be able to add your items through one of the integration methods. Approved suppliers have two methods of getting products to the customer. The products can be shipped to the Walmart Fulfilment Center where Walmart will house the inventory and ship it to customers. There is also the option for the supplier to ship to the customer as a Dropship Vendor.

To compete with Amazon’s Seller Central, Walmart created Marketplace. Candidates are select third-party retailers. These items are noted in the search results, online shelves, and on item pages. To enter the marketplace, you need to apply for invitation. Furthermore, selection is based on experience, scale, and reputation. This reputation includes: product assortment, fulfilment process, and integration preferences among other factors.

A supplier checklist is available. It pinpoints all information needed in the registration process. There is also a Supplier Support Center. This three-step process includes: online product submission, supplier questionnaire, and supplier agreement. Additionally, this resource helps avoid delays to ensure your brand and product will be listed.

Wayfair Extranet Advantage

Wayfair was created in 2002 and by 2011 it was a fully-equipped one stop portal. Their operating system is Extranet Advantage. With this system, manufacturers add products to the catalog. They also have the ability to process orders and create shipping documents. They manage inventory and access performance dashboards.

Wayfair’s approach is different in connecting to their customers which can be beneficial to suppliers. Storyboards for the pieces of furniture engage the customer. Additionally, a specialized team is in place to execute the mission. Selling on Wayfair differs from Amazon and Walmart based on product selection. Not to mention, Wayfair’s product selection completely gears toward the furniture and home décor. This site has a niche that has changed the landscape of e-commerce retailing.  With implementing a different way to connect with customers, the reach for suppliers will increase in the long run.

What’s Next

Getting an invitation to one of the e-commerce retailers is just the first step. Utilizing them to their full potential is a learning curve for some more than others. You may want to ask for help to analyze and see the best return on your investment.

If you are looking for a smooth onboarding and maximizing sales potential, seek an expert. Skilled professionals help to set up the accounts, input the product, and manage the success. In addition, having someone manage the e-commerce retailers allows you as a manufacturer to direct your focus elsewhere. This would  include  making your current product selection better and ultimately expanding. A company helping in this setup is great for those suppliers that may not know the proper channels of getting their product online.  Even those that do can benefit.

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