Monday November 09, 2020 |Ecomloop Projects

Browser extension for direct shopping alternatives to major online retailers

Millions of consumers have moved online this year. Online retail has surged and some of the largest retailers have seen the biggest gains. Consumers naturally flocked to the most trustworthy brands at the beginning of the pandemic, as stores closed, supply chains were stressed, and general consumption largely shifted from commercial to residential means. Independent brands have grown this year, though often not to the same degree. Many digitally-native brands are yet unknown to new digital commerce consumers, and mean longtime consumers are unaware of the benefits of shopping directly with brands, rather than on marketplaces on major retailers.

To those operating independent brands, it's well known that marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart take a considerable chunk of every sale. The fees are high enough to make the sales nearly unprofitable to the merchants, while guaranteeing a profit to the marketplace provider. And when priority placement is virtually dictated by lowest price, it's not at all uncommon for Amazon to be the only one turning a profit as it collects on a percent of net revenue, a fulfillment fee, warehousing fee, logistics fees, and about a dozen others.

The substantial fees imposed by retailers are not as well understood by most consumers. Those fees often mean the difference between an independent brand turning a profit, or ultimately shutting down with a low price knockoff left standing. There are many consumers who may be swayed to make a purchase elsewhere, if they had an easy Amazon alternative available.

We are currently working on a browser extension to both show fees to consumers and suggest potential alternatives. It's in development now and will be released in the coming weeks. Sign up for the email list to get notified when the initial version is released.

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