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BUSINESS BRIEFING: Profiting from virtual inventory

Morphic and Breed

Resultco has been growing its network of retail partners around the world thanks to its unique way of helping retailers to sell a wide range of watch brands and styles online without ever needing to invest in stock, images, descriptions or the infrastructure to handle fulfillment of each order. Company director Jeff Freedman explains how.

WatchPro: What do you say are the key benefits of virtual inventory to a watch retailer in today’s market?

Jeff Freedman: Virtual inventory creates several important opportunities that every retailer can use. In fact, without it, the retailer will not satisfy the buying habits of the consumer. Every bricks and mortar dealer must show an online presence to remain competitive. Virtual inventory allows the retailer to offer more product and enhance their creditability. The consumer feels better making a purchase online if the retailer offers a greater selection. Plus more content on the retailer’s website provides a greater chance to be on the first page of the search engine.

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WP: Does it matter that select brands are not instantly recognizable?

Jeff Freedman: Today’s consumer is getting tired of the same product in every major retail shopping location. Today’s retailer can offer unique product online with zero investment. Consumers shop online to find something different than in brick and mortar stores. Once the shopper selects the product, the consumer will always price compare before the actual buying process starts. When the consumer price compares and sees AMAZON and EBAY selling that specific item, additional credability and brand recognition are automatically revealed.

WP: What happens when a dealer sells a virtual item listed on the site.

Jeff Freedman: The retailer normally receives payment via a credit card. The retailer forwards the order to the distributor who in turn ships the product to the consumer. The retailer collects the payment and then, with agreed terms, the retailer pays the distributor. Thus, virtual inventory also provides a cash flow with zero investment.

WP: Can the dealer stock inventory that is positioned as virtual?

Jeff Freedman: Yes, the retailer offering virtual inventory will discover the best sellers. If the product sells well online, it will sell well in store. Virtual Inventory removes the retailer issue of poor selling stock as the retailer discovers its best sellers.

WP: What about the discounting that we see online?

Jeff Freedman: Yes, that is a major concern of brick and mortar dealers. I cannot speak for other brand owners or distributors, however, our RESULTCO program protects internet pricing 100%. In fact, our ability to control online pricing is unique to the watch business as we guarantee profit for the dealer if listing our inventory on their internet site. Our retailers never lose a sale due to a lower retail price from another seller.

WP: What sort of online retailers are perfect partners?

Jeff Freedman: All retailers can be partners and take advantage of our program. However, we are selective regarding the retailers we offer our program to. We look for retailers that want and need to expand their internet business.

WP: What other actions are needed by the retailer to find success.

Jeff Freedman: Resultco performs all marketing actions and sets the correct retail stage for sale. We provide web enhancement and brand specific lifestyle photography, and a visible social media platform. We can even produce an email campaign with our brands and direct a visitor to the retailer’s website. All of our services are at zero expense to the retailer.

WP: What happens after the sale, such as warranty, defectives or returns?

Jeff Freedman: At Resultco we cover the warranty, all defectives, and returns. The dealer is not involved with the normal functions of selling product. The sole function is to collect the money and forward an email to the shopper with a tracking number. Resultco performs all functions of a retailer as the retailer processes payment.

WP: How big can the virtual inventory market become in time?

Jeff Freedman: The concept has been around since the beginning of the retail internet. Amazon, a bookseller at one time, built a business of selling other products in addition to books. Amazon did not stock or inventory the product. They provided a vehicle for all types of categories to promote their inventory via Amazon.
Resultco changed the programme and offers all dealers an opportunity to offer product like Amazon. We market our products in North America and Europe. We have a facility in the UK that fulfils the orders from our present European retail dealers. We are opening a facility in India to compete in that market as we already have multiple retailers in India that await our launch.

WP: Where do you see the concept of virtual inventory in 3 to 5 years?

Jeff Freedman: Internet retailing is constantly changing to satisfy the demand of the consumer. In 3 to 5 years virtual inventory will be included in all marketing of a successful retailer. Those retailers that do not embrace the future of retail will fade.

WP: What makes Resultco unique?

Jeff Freedman: If you are asking what is our ‘secret sauce’, we control internet pricing. We offer a level retail playing field for all retailers. Our ability to control pricing and direct consumers to a retailer’s website is our key benefit. Plus, we guarantee profit and provide the retailer with a wider audience to close sales at zero expense.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

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