I know this may sound like the most asinine thing folks have ever heard but retailers are soon going to have to cave in to the consumer and function like a third party platform to compete in this market. But before I breakdown my statement , let me first expose a couple of problems.
1. Dead Before Arrival
This is mainly an issue with general release sneakers, I wrote a post in which I discovered that most GR Jordan retros ( unless limited) lose 20% of their value before their official release date , see link below , it explains it all
And the main culprit for this situation is Stockx; folks are able to purchase the shoe at a 20% discount (sometimes even more than that )before it even hits retailers. The million dollar question to answer here is-who is sending and selling those shoes via StockX ? In The link above, I attempted to create a few scenarios to answer that question. Now let’s look at the second issue.
2. Poorly designed websites
I have mentioned this in many of my previous posts and I will do it again. My only reason for visiting regular retailers ‘s websites is to gather information from their release calendar to write a post. On very rare occasions, I may visit a retailer’s site for purchase purposes. Other than those two instances, you’ll seldom find me surfing footlocker’s website for the sake of it. The release date is a good attraction and retailers need to build within their websites more allures; there are tons of sneaker materials available that can be broken down into frivolous and solid contents to keep consumers coming. Basically this has to do with the customer’s experience, see link below for more details on that
Those are the main problems that I wanted to bring to your attention, and each one has a lot more wrinkles that I didn’t mention in the post. But as important as the consumer’s experience is, sneaker steals and cheaper prices will always be the biggest enticement. And that brings me to a potential solution- for retailers to be able to compete with StockX or any other third marketplaces, they have to become StockX. Let me explain. They have to be able to turn their e-commerce shop into a marketplace that gives some type of control to the consumer. And the best way to do that is to incorporate the “best offer” option on certain items ( those commodities that are not performing well). Instead of marking them down, allow the customer the privilege of feeling in control. I pause, let me explain. When I used to be a merchant on eBay, I always had a hard time selling my sneakers when the “buy it now” option was the only one I had. As soon as I incorporated the “best offer” option, offers were flowing like honey. And that’s because the customer feels a sense of control when he/she can impose his/her price- and StockX has created the perfect marketplace to fill that void. Now I understand that traditional retail doesn’t operate like that ( because of possible restrictions from brands) but the time has come for them to consider this option.
I’m sure many may think this is a ridiculous idea but think again. Check the screenshot below and understand where I’m going with this
What if the retailer in question had incorporated a best /counter offer option. Don’t you think that would be a better catalyst to drive more sales? Before you dismiss the idea , think again how this would revolutionize the way retail functions. And guess what, the retailer is still in control since they can choose to either accept or reject the offer.
And retailers have an advantage over third party marketplaces. Again I pause, let me explain. What is the one thing that customers are always worried about ? The one question that I always get from folks that come to my website is this- Are my shoes fake. If you don’t believe me, read the post below in which I broke down what articles get the most traffic on my site.
Retailers don’t have to deal with this problem since the consumer doesn’t have to question the authenticity of the shoe he she is getting from an authorized retailer. Stockx, eBay, Goat, kixify on the other hand are receiving their merchandise from non authorized sources and have to be very vigilant with every shoe that is leaving their warehouse. Retailers don’t have that issue so honestly they have all the weapons in their arsenal and just don’t know how to use them.
Third party marketplaces have understood this and are thriving while retailers continue to use old methods to try to get the customer to bite their stale baits. I’m not going to continue to repeat myself in this matter, I’ll end here.
As french people say A bon entendeur salut.
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