CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
As multichannel and web-only retailers make it easier to return products, Genco Marketplace is posting strong growth in processing sales of those items to other merchants and consumers, CEO Laurie Barkman says.
Genco Marketplace, which buys and sells excess consumer products online andoffline, is growing at a fast clip along as multichannel retail operations make it easier for consumers to return merchandise bought on the webor in stores, CEO Laurie Barkman says. “The customer-friendly side of the retail business is increasing the returns of merchandise, so the opportunities for liquidation are greater,” she says.
Genco Marketplace, a unit of Pittsburgh-based inventory management and logistics services company Genco, last year did about $3 billion in gross merchandise sales volume, a figure that is growing at about 20% per year, Barkman says. “We are a marketplace for surplus inventory,” she says. Genco is a privately held company and doesn’t report complete financial figures.
Genco Marketplace buys and sells merchandise through three channels:
● Its team of direct sales reps buys and sells full truckloads of goods, including products returned from retailers’ customers as well as other excess merchandise that merchants no longer want to try to sell or stock;
● GencoMarketplace.com, a business-to-business marketplace where it sells, through online auctions as well as at fixed prices, cartons and pallets of merchandise acquired from merchants in categories including apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, toys, auto parts, jewelry and home furnishings;
● NoBetterDeal.com, where it sells single items to consumers as well as businesses. Businesses that register for a reseller program can buy merchandise at a 12% discount from the site’s retail prices. Genco Marketplace relaunched NoBetterDeal.com in May on a redesigned e-commerce platform, providing such improvements as faster checkout and more complete product descriptions with more information on the condition of merchandise.
Genco Marketplace, which doesn’t publicize the names of its individual sellers and buyers, acquires products from major multichannel retail chains and specialty retailers. It sells that merchandise in bulk to liquidators that resell to merchants, and it sells in various quantities directly to merchants including sellers on eBay.com and other online marketplaces, regional discount store chains, flea markets and pawn shops.
Product categories that have been particularly strong of late in driving growth include consumer electronics, computers, sporting goods, cosmetics , personal care items, and baby products like strollers and diapers, Barkman says.
In May, Genco Marketplace relaunched NoBetterDeal.com on a responsive web platform, making it “more mobile friendly” with a new complementary mobile site that is being used by about half of NoBetterDeal’s customers, Barkman says. The company completed the web relaunched in-house with assistance from Pittsburgh-based digital design and development firm Agency 1903. A responsive web platform is designed so that web content renders well on multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets and desktops.
Genco Marketplace is also upgrading GencoMarketplace.com. In May, Genco introduced on that site the acceptance of credit card payments via the MasterCard, Visa and Discover networks, with buyers allowed to use credit cards to purchase up to $6,000 in goods per day.
The company plans to further upgrade the site this fall, improving the site search function and make the site easier to shop overall, Barkman says.
The Genco parent company also operates a network of 140 warehouse centerss throughout the United States, providing a range of logistics services including shipping, warehousing, and repairing and refurbishing merchandise and equipment. In addition to consumer products companies, its logistics customers include healthcare organizations, industrial products companies and federal government agencies.
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