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Point Products… What’s the Point of Using Them Anymore?

Chris Koeppel

In today’s fast-paced, always evolving world of ecommerce, retailers and brands are under enormous pressure to keep up with the endless demands of consumers. In the past, many depended on point products to address specific ecommerce technology needs These specialized software or applications are designed to address a specific problem or need. However, as ecommerce continues to evolve, point products have become more and more inefficient – wasting both time and resources for businesses. They are, quite simply, no longer working well for brands or retailers. In fact, it often takes multiple point products to solve a single issue a business might be struggling with, and many have become siloed within a particular team or function.

Integrating point products can quickly burn through time and resources and wreak havoc on budgets, vastly increasing your total cost of ownership. Why? Because they often need to be implemented multiple times within a stack system. This replication in the hours it takes to execute, train, and then manage point systems can have an enormous effect on budgets.

Take, for instance, a fashion retailer, who would like to ride a hot, new fashion trend and expand their assortment. If they turn to a typical marketplace point solution, it could take them from eight months to two years to get that solution up and running. In that amount of time, they could easily miss a very profitable fashion trend. And if that retailer needs a different type of program for their unowned inventory down the road, they will likely need to acquire yet another point solution.

Another issue with point products is they can be quite difficult to integrate.  Often businesses have to manually transfer data between different systems. Or worse yet, glue together data in spreadsheets, which can lead to errors and inefficiencies.

And when it comes to having a much-needed bird’s eye view of your business, point products can’t solve that for businesses, either. This forces them to use multiple systems to understand and monitor exactly what’s going on across the landscape of their business. Again, a time-consuming exercise that only leads to an additional increase in costs.

Instead, what’s needed is a powerful end-to-end platform that provides retailers and brands with much needed relief from all these point product headaches. A platform can seamlessly deliver all these solutions in one place.

For brands, this approach could manage all their sales channels globally, including public marketplaces, such as Amazon and Walmart; curated marketplaces such as Target; and drop ship. This eliminates the need for brands to integrate with each of those channels separately and independently manage them. In addition, they can promote their products in those channels via retail media through the platform to efficiently drive conversion and sales.

For retailers, the solution that could best meet their needs is a complete platform for managing unowned inventory. Retailers could then launch and manage any kind of third-party trade program that fits their business, from traditional drop ship to vendor self-service, e-concessions, and marketplace.

In the end, point products are a significant drain on time and resources for both retailers and brands alike. A better idea is a comprehensive set of commerce solutions built on one of the world’s most extensive commerce networks that can help retailers and brands streamline operations, reduce costs, gain insights into their business, and increase sales. It is time for a reinvention of how commerce flows.

To learn more about CommerceHub commerce solutions, please contact us.

Chris Koeppel

Chris Koeppel

Chris is the Vice President of Industry Strategy at CommerceHub. He has over 16 years of ecommerce experience, focused on designing and scaling future inventory models and partnerships enabling retailers to leverage their platform beyond traditional wholesale.