How Online Marketplaces are Changing the Way Retailers Approach Liquidation

It might be part revolution and part evolution but there’s no doubt that the online marketplace model is transforming the entire retail sector: retailers can offer more products to a larger buyer base while consumers enjoy a convenient one-stop-shopping experience. Just as online marketplaces have improved the sales process of A-stock, so have they revolutionized the way retailers approach the sale of their returned and overstock inventory, also known as B-stock.

Enter the B2B online liquidation marketplace: essentially it’s the same transparent transaction process, but swap out a single pair of shoes (or consumer electronic) for a pallet (or truckload) of them; and instead of selling to a consumer in the primary market, the retailer is selling directly to a business buyer in the secondary market. The result is an efficient, technology-based way to buy and sell bulk quantities of excess merchandise from anywhere around the globe.

While some retailers have opted to build their own customized, private liquidation marketplaces (using a SaaS platform), others are leveraging established multi-seller B2B liquidation marketplaces. Either way, retailers are able to make their inventory available to thousands of buyers from across the globe. Applying this type of online marketplace platform not only delivers the highest price possible, but it also automates the sales process and delivers a faster sales cycle.

High return rates will continue to be a staple in retail given consumer expectations of relaxed return policies and the explosive growth in ecommerce (one in three purchases is sent back). Considering the majority of returned merchandise doesn’t go back on store or virtual shelves as A-stock but instead is slated for liquidation, leveraging an online marketplace for B-stock should be the rule in retail.