By Mario Toneguzzi
Montreal-based etail21, an online B2B marketplace that connects retailers, influencers, and brands to facilitate sales in the retail industry, has launched a new initiative to help retailers have their own fully-connected, free e-shop during the challenging times presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
In these trying times, brick and mortar businesses are facing great challenges. Isabelle Racicot, co-founder of etail21, said the company can create in a few minutes ready-to-go boutiques for those who are not online yet and in a dropshipping model.
The boutique simply has to select the products they want to resell from the Canadian brands connected to etail21 in dropshipping – the brands will ship the products directly to the end-customers.
“We’ve had this etail21 technology for two years now almost. When COVID-19 hit and everything started closing for retailers and brands we quickly realized that etail could really come in and help amid all that’s going on,” said Racicot. “Because we all know that right now most of the country is on pause and even though we’re talking about getting the economy back it’s going to take honestly a year or two before things get really back to normal.
“So we thought that rapidly we could help and do our share in this situation. So the brands and retailers right now who really have trouble because they either have a lot of over stock and they can’t get to the consumer, the online is really one of the best solutions and if brands or businesses were reluctant in the last year and half to go online I think that now they see that they don’t have a choice. In order to survive in the next couple of years people are going to have to really see online as a prime solution.
“We really want to do our part in offering free onboarding for Canadian brands and helping businesses open up online or get them to have more products rapidly online with the solution that’s super easy and that really is automated and very simple to use.”
Here is where businesses can get an online shop to sell online with no cost: http://etail21-6326974.hs-sites.com/en-ca/free-ready-to-go-e-shops
Bianca Lessard, VP of marketing and co-founder of etail21, said the concept is a technology platform that connects selected brands with online retailers for wholesale.
It connects the brand product information and inventory levels to the retailer website. It allows instant wholesale using the dropship approach: a customer places an order on the retailer’s website and the brand ships directly to the customer.
A retailer can import their selection of products in one click to their e-shop without having to worry about lengthy product onboarding or inventory glitches and it connects the retailer e-shop with established Canadian brands like Privilege Clothing, Yoga Jeans, Celine Dion handbags, Pilgrim jewelry, etc.
Lessard said it takes five minutes to set up an account and it will earn a retailer commission on every sale.
“We call it the ‘Ready-to-Go’ boutique. It’s a fully automated solution from online shop creation, inventory management to order fulfillment. Nothing to set on their end,” said Lessard, adding that it’s easy to manage. A retailer will simply have to select products they would like to resell and promote their e-shop on their social media channels.
A Ready-to-Go shop looks like this: https://WearMyStyle.ca/BoutiqueB
“We, etail21, manage all order processes, all the tracking, everything, and the brand will ship the order direct to the end customer,” said Lessard. “We are the only company that has Canadian brands and Canadian retailers. If the retailer doesn’t have a website, if it’s a brick and mortar boutique, we can create a website in less than five minutes.”
Racicot said etail21 is focusing on Canadian brands and retailers but it really has international potential and international appeal.
“I think what etail21 wants to do right now is in the short-term period is try to help as many as possible as we can and then after that we’ll go with what’s happening in the world and in the market of course,” said Racicot. “From day one we’ve always been looking at our project as something that wanted to help retailers. We’ve always felt this. We want businesses to succeed. Let’s do a service that will enable them.
“We also wanted to as much as possible give a personalized service to anybody on etail21 and so far we’ve been able to accomplish that.”
Lessard said retailers and brands were already looking prior to COVID-19 at new innovative ways to import products and to sell online because it had been a challenging time for the industry.
“We believe that a solution like etail21 is one of the solutions of the future mainly for the inventory management. It’s very expensive for brands to support buying inventory and keep that inventory in their warehouse. It’s their cash flow that is there,” she said.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: email@example.com
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