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Endless Aisle

What does endless aisle mean?

In retail, an endless aisle is essentially the integration of physical products and virtual merchandising. With endless aisle technology, brands can present their full catalog of products and accessible content online, so customers can order from them at any time. In response, retailers often host their greatest product selection to provide consumers with an ‘endless aisle’ of options on their site (rather than risk losing the sale to a competitor who has the content). 

3 advantages of endless aisle

If a product is out of stock in your store, shoppers are likely to look elsewhere for what they need, which often means turning to Amazon or similar marketplace to purchase that item. When this happens, brick-and-mortar stores tend to lose a significant amount of revenue, which can largely impact whether they stay in business. But with the help of in-store kiosks and endless aisle solutions, customers can shop a much wider product assortment wherever they are.

Drives impulse purchases

Impulse purchases can really add up to create significant sales for retailers, and yet, this strategy has traditionally been utilized only in physical stores (right before the checkout). But impulse buys can also translate to the digital landscape, by way of endless aisle. When consumers are browsing a website, they can see a broad selection of SKUs and might decide to add-on a few smaller items. What’s more, sellers can price goods in a way that best appeals to the consumer — i.e. helping them attain free shipping or volume discounts.

Offers access to unlimited inventory

Regardless if they’re shopping at home from a mobile app or using a specialized kiosk in-store, consumers can have access to unlimited inventory thanks to endless aisle. Stores who implement endless aisle services give customers access to tons of products that are always available. For example, if a customer is looking for sneakers in a specific size and color (but the store they visit doesn’t have any in stock), endless aisle can help prevent a lost sale. With endless aisle technology, sales associates can search their unlimited inventory and send the item to the customer’s doorstep the very next day.

Showcases user behavior insights

Endless aisle presents a great way to stay connected with online shoppers and understand their unique user behavior. With this information at your disposal, you make thoughtful product recommendations to upsell or cross-sell and drive your revenue even further. Plus, when customers know they can place online orders as their schedule allows, they're more likely to stay loyal (and stay out of competitors’ content). This is especially true if your endless aisle is convenient to navigate, and can be accessed via their preferred mobile device.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the impact areas of endless aisle?

    The quality of the customer experience is often the deciding factor in where (and how often) shoppers spend their money, which is why ecommerce retailers need to find ways to win new customers and keep them coming back. An endless aisle strategy helps shop owners avoid stockout situations and secure otherwise lost sales. Generally speaking, endless aisle maximizes profit margins, increases inventory visibility, and optimizes customer satisfaction.

  • What are examples of endless aisle?

    Endless aisle uses mobile touchpoints and technology to help customers (and store associates) enjoy greater inventory visibility and functionality. One example of endless aisle in action is using an iPad to order products that are not available in-store at that time. Another popular option is using interactive kiosks where customers can look up items independently.

  • What are the challenges of endless aisle?

    Even though an endless aisle retail strategy has numerous benefits, there are some challenges associated with this approach, as well. Common roadblocks to successfully implementing endless aisle include having to update real-time inventory, and having to centralize orders so product quantities can be tracked and managed across all sales channels.

More terms and formulas

Other Owned Media See definition and examples
inventory Work in Process (WIP) Inventory See definition and examples
Other Detail Page Views (DPV) See definition and examples

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