Building on the surging popularity of e-commerce sales, Nationwide Marketing Group is getting set for the launch of a new endless aisle feature for members with e-commerce-enabled websites. Supported by the Nationwide eXchange platform, the endless aisle feature allows a retailer to quickly and easily add product to their online catalogs.
The eXchange platform is Nationwide’s exclusive marketplace where members go to shop hundreds of brands and thousands of items from the group’s key vendor partners and core distributor partners. With the endless aisle feature now active, eXchange represents more than 150 brands and thousands of potential SKUs that members could add directly to their websites for their consumers to shop.
“Every retailer would love to have the opportunity to adjust their product mix frequently and on the fly, and that’s exactly what endless aisle will allow our members to do on their websites,” says Randy Derr, director of distribution and eXchange for Nationwide. “By opening up the endless aisle feature, our retailers can now test certain product lines and brands, experiment with entirely new product categories, adjust their mix for seasonality and availability, and more — all with a few clicks and with no physical inventory requirements.”
The endless aisle experience follows right in step with what an online shopper would expect in today’s e-commerce-first world. The customer visits a Nationwide member’s website, adds the product to their online shopping cart, heads to the checkout page, and selects how they’d like to receive the product — either via BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) or delivered directly to their home. Once submitted, the retailer receives, and is credited for, the customer’s order and can place that order through eXchange, just like they would with any other stocking order for their store.
To test the waters with the endless aisle experience, Nationwide worked closely with Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) to run a program with 16 members in July. Using the endless aisle feature, those retailers were able to add three Serta bed-in-a-box SKUs to their websites for customers to order. Those orders were shipped directly to customers’ homes by Serta.
“Bed-in-a-box accounts for roughly 30 percent of the mattress industry right now,” says Jeff Rose, senior director of furniture and bedding for Nationwide. “By opening this endless aisle feature, we’re providing our members with the perfect avenue to insert themselves into this growing space. And the simplicity of the endless aisle experience on the eXchange platform will give our members’ customers the online-first experience that’s critical and expected in today’s retail environment.”
In partnering with Nationwide to help launch the endless aisle feature for retailers, Serta Simmons Bedding showed its continued commitment to the independent channel. SSB is the first vendor partner to sell direct to Nationwide dealers and their consumers through the eXchange platform.
“We are looking forward to showcasing the strength of the Serta brand and building on the strong partnership we share with our friends at Nationwide,” says Gary Melder, senior sales director of buying groups for SSB. “Direct-to-consumer sales continue to grow in the bedding industry, and we want to help Nationwide and their valued members capture their unfair share of this growing channel. The program we are launching with Nationwide in 2021 will set us up for mutual success in 2022. I want to thank our partners at Nationwide for their support and partnership as we work to bring this important program to life.”
With the test run of the endless aisle experience complete, Nationwide will now work directly with its roster of distribution partners to expand the feature to the rest of the eXchange catalog. Products already on the platform are regularly reviewed and selected based on consumer demand, their relevance to Nationwide’s current offerings, and new and emerging categories.