B2B marketplace Retail Universe tops 1 million products

About 7,000 retailers use the trading portal to find suppliers and order products across several categories, including home goods, apparel, high-tech electronics and sporting goods.

Paul Demery

Responding to sharp growth in demand from retailers for wider selection, SPS Commerce Inc. has expanded the number of suppliers and products available through its trading portal, RetailUniverse.com.

“Demand has exploded over the last few years, and retailers have been asking us to expand our product assortment because their consumers want 10 to 15 alternates” to choose among, says Peter Zaballos, vice president of marketing and product.

SPS Commerce also provides technology and services designed to help suppliers and retailers exchange product information and enter commerce transactions. Through Retail Universe, Zaballos says, SPS provides Internet or cloud-based services for managing and exchanging product data at the individual item level, enabling suppliers and retailers to more efficiently and accurately make wide assortments of products available through multiple channels, including web sites, social media and physical stores.

Suppliers on Retail Universe can also display their capabilities for fulfilling orders across multiple retail channels, including drop shipping on behalf of retailers directly to consumers.

"After completing our profile in Retail Universe, we were amazed by how quickly retailers were proactively reaching out to us," says Jennie Lynn Johanson, founder of The Bumble Company, a wholesaler as well as retailer of baby products.

Royce Leather, a manufacturer specializing in hand-made leather goods like wallets and carrying bags that recently joined the portal, was able to quickly build its profile on RetailUniverse.com featuring more than 900 items, says Bill Bauer, Royce Leather’s marketing director. "We've already secured new e-commerce business from three retailers from our membership in the Retail Universe community,” he says.

Marc Ashley, chief operating officer of Shop.com, a web-only retailer of general merchandise, says Shop.com is working with Retail Universe to "source new vendors in apparel, accessories, home goods, office products, and other categories for the upcoming holiday season and beyond.” He adds that Retail Universe offers several sourcing advantages, including the ability to quickly sign up with new suppliers and communicate with them through RetailUniverse.com.

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Bill Bauer, Internet Retailer 500, Jennie Lynn Johanson, Marc Ashley, Peter Zaballos, RetailUniverse.com., Royce Leather, Shop.com, SPS Commerce, The Bumble Company