Endless Aisle refers to the ability of a retailer to sell specific items to their customers, even if the items are not in stock or not sold inside the store. Shortly, customers can browse through different items that are not available in the store, order them, and receive them at home.
This is possible with the help of external suppliers. After the customer orders a product, it can be shipped directly to the store or their own home.
Endless Aisle Types
An endless aisle can be implemented in several ways, but these two are considered the most important:
Dropship – One of the most basic approaches to an endless aisle, it refers to a store not keeping all of its products in stock. By dropshipping a product the store makes a purchase from an external supplier, and the purchased product is shipped to the customer.
Also called a “fulfillment method”, drop shipping can also refer to a product that might just be out of stock. Dropshipping allows a retailer to sell more products without having to worry about the physical inventory and the cost of it.
Interactive kiosk – This implementation allows customers to check different pieces of information directly on an interactive touch-screen, without making it necessary to talk to a sales representative. An interactive kiosk is very useful as it can show all the available products in the catalog, as well as the products that are available in the catalog of an external supplier.
The customers can browse through different catalogs and even choose products that are not available in the local inventory. Another plus is that the information is available in real-time, and there is very little room for error in terms of how many items are still left in the stock.
Why Is It Important?
The concept of an endless aisle helps bring more flexibility to brick-and-mortar stores, by adapting the online environment in its strategy. There are a few benefits brought by this concept, such as:
- It can help build brand awareness and ensuring loyalty, by making the shopping experience easy and pleasant, and offering a wide selection at the same time.
- It also prevents losing any revenue or clients that could be caused by an item not being in stock or being available in the online environment only
- It simplifies the shopping process by making prices and information more accessible to the customer, as well as the option to buy from a third-party supplier
- It encourages you to keep any extra stock in the warehouse and save more shelf space if your business uses both in-store and online options.