It’s no secret demand for headphones and other high-end technologies is growing. Last year, Futuresource forecasted worldwide shipment of headphones would grow to 381 million units. The headphone market alone will generate 10.7 billion dollars annually by 2019. That’s just headphones, this study doesn’t include other high-end accessories. Realistically, the potential is endless but unfortunately, shelf space is not.
Space in retail can be limited -- stocking your shelves with slow moving, high-margin products can be a bit of a gamble. These products have a higher stocking cost and also run the risk of becoming outdated inventory. Not stocking them means possibly missing out on a sale or a customer. Technology like endless aisle and dropship services eliminate that risk. It’s sort of the metaphorical equivalent have having your cake and eating it to.
By virtually showcasing products that may be available online or through dropship partners, retailers never have to turn anyone away. This gives them the opportunity to become the store of choice.
Once customers are in the store, endless aisle will also help increase the opportunity to sell, and facilitate the purchase process. It’s the ability to gain the margin without investing in the inventory or in-store space.
Beyond the profit margins, endless aisle is also an opportunity to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Displaying lifestyle features gives the customer a chance to discover what products actually suit their needs. After all, what could be worse than selling an avid runner a set of headphones that aren’t sweat repellant? Or maybe they could finally discover how cutting the wires and moving to a wireless headphone is probably the better choice for their active lifestyle.
Essentially, it’s an endless opportunity for retailers and brands to expand their sales channel and offer high-margin products to the customer. It’s also an opportunity to align new product categories and verticals with retailers. A brand is no longer restrained to just one type of retail space, the ability to showcase a product line virtually gives brands the ability to go anywhere. For example, for a brand like Monster, headphones don’t necessarily need to sell their product in a mobile wireless store. They can easily expand their reach with little to no risk. It would be easy to imagine an endless aisle display of Monster headphone in sporting goods stores, computer stores, or even a campus university store.
At the end of the day, customer expectations and shopping behaviors have already changed. It’s a world of instant gratification, everyone wants what they want but they want it now. If you can be where your customers are when they make their purchasing decision, you won't only get their sale but also become their brand of choice.