With brick and mortar retailers increasingly competing against online retailers for sales, there may be ways to combat online rivals on their own digital turf. One way is to list your available merchandise online. A would be buyer, for example, might be lured by picking up merchandise on their way home from work rather than waiting for (and sometimes paying for) shipping.
At My local Bike Shop (amlbs.com) recently launched a search site that lists available inventory for participating retailers. With a zip code and a product description, online researchers can find if the product they want is available at your shop.
Amlbs.com is a service of Vendor-Link Cycling which aggregates data, providing retailers with helpful analytics along with sell-through inventory levels to suppliers in order to optimize supply chain costs. MerchantOS customers can list with amlbs.com quickly at no extra cost. Sign up here.
We’ve always been very interested in services like this and have attempted but never completed integrations with both Google (Google shelved the project for now) and Milo (Purchased by Paypal) to perform similar functionality. We strongly believe that technologies like this should be embraced by retailers and over time inventory availability information from small retailers will be displayed alongside that of big box and online retailers in places like google product search.