E-commerce is constantly changing the retail game and Dallas-based Kibo has shifted the paradigm again with its latest invention.
The omnichannel commerce platform obtained a new patent for software that collects inventory data from retailers and provides it to manufacturers, allowing the brands to sell directly from their websites for the first time.
Consumers can now shop for products on the brand’s own website and choose to reserve or buy it, then pick it up or have it shipped from a brick and mortar store, said Jennifer Sherman, Kibo’s senior vice president of product and strategy.
“It’s an amplified scale of convenience by giving the manufacturer an expanded opportunity for sale,” Sherman said. “Any manufacturer could sell online and offer pick-up in any store that carries the inventory. We think that it’s really going to open up omnichannel buying for brands that don’t have physical stores of their own.”
“We think that it’s really going to open up omnichannel buying for brands that don’t have physical stores of their own.”
Kibo handles all of the fulfillment to give clothing brands, sports apparel and equipment, health, and houseware brands their own omnichannel.
The inventory tracking software even works for mom and pop retailers.
The brand knows exactly how many of each item the stores have in stock, down to the colors, features, and styles. That way, they can direct consumers to that product.
Competing brands do not get inventory information on other manufacturers, Sherman said.
The sales transaction could happen entirely online, but Kibo will make sure the brick and mortar store gets reimbursed.
“Our goal is to make that transparent,” Sherman said. “We will handle the transfer of funds between the retailer and the manufacturer.”
CHANGING RETAIL MINDSET
E-commerce was slow to catch on at most big-box retailers and it has historically been unheard of for the brands themselves.
The exceptions have been tech brands such as Tesla and Apple.
“There was a genuine fear of upsetting the retailers that you traditionally sell through,” said Sherman, who has more than 17 years experience in the software industry, the majority at Oracle. She also worked at Aptean and NAVEX Global before joining Kibo.
This month, she was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as one of 25 Women in Technology for 2017, an award recognizing prominent female technology leaders in North Texas.
“There’s no reason to shut manufacturers out of that data.”
Over the last decade, traditional retailers have adopted omnichannel sales platforms that give customers a plethora of choices. They can buy online and have it shipped to them or pick it up in-store. They also can reserve online and try it out in-store before buying it.
Now, Kibo has taken the omnichannel full circle, letting manufacturers sell directly to the public.
“There’s no reason to shut manufacturers out of that data,” Sherman said.
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