MEMBERSHIP SURGES 50% IN E-COMMERCE COMMUNITY Online Shopping Boom Drives Retail Industry to Team Up On Bridge
NEW YORK, NY, July 30, 2021 – Bridge, an e-commerce community, reported a record increase in membership as the pandemic continued to rattle the retail landscape. In the last 12 months, 275 retail stores joined Bridge, bringing the total membership to more than 826 stores—a 50% increase. Nine brands joined Bridge’s advertising platform, bringing the total to 117 partner brands.
New retail members include Contemporary Concepts in Pittsburgh, PA, Sassafras in Vicksburg, MS, and Sunpoint Pool & Patio in Dyersburg, TN.
"In today’s e-commerce world, updating products online is almost impossible," said Kenny Cohen, owner of Contemporary Concepts. “Bridge allows us to operate a website with current prices and current products. When we switched to Bridge Store, we cut our website maintenance costs by 86%. Instead of being forced to manage 35,000 products online all by myself, I only had to manage 5,000 products—Bridge helps me with 30,000 products. That’s big savings for an indie shop like me. And, Bridge helped me increase the number of products we offer online by 40%. We went from offering 35,000 products to offering 56,000. It's fair to say that Amazon.com hates Bridge.”
Bridge’s brand partners, which include Juliska, VIETRI, Casafina, Herend, and 100+ other home goods brands, were joined by nine new members, including Baccarat, Bredemeijer, Fissler, GEFU, Golden Rabbit, Maison Chic, Messermeister, Relish, and Samuel Lamont. The total products shared via the community reached 64,326 products as brands like GEFU added 245 products. The brands use Bridge to share their products with retail members in real time. This technology bypasses Dropbox and Excel sheets in favor of directly outputting the products online in the retailer's Bridge Store. A brand only loads a product once, and it will appear in all of its synced retailers’ Bridge Stores. When it changes a price, the price will change on the synced stores' websites.
Many retailers report seeing an instant boost in their sales. “I’m surprised at how fast we received orders after signing up for Bridge Store,” said Nancy Bullard, owner of Sassafras, which syncs 17,000 products from her premium brands via Bridge. “In less than a day, I could offer my bridal registry customers thousands of products online. I receive a new order every other day. Customers send us reviews saying how easy it is for them. We win. They win. Win-win.”
In addition to servicing stores, Bridge also saw its membership base grow among sales reps, interior designers, and even market buildings. 41 Madison, home of the New York Tabletop Show, opened a Bridge account that enables retailers to browse 25,000 products in the building.
Bridge is free for market buildings, sales reps, and interior designers. Retailers can choose a free or paid plan, and brands that choose the product sharing service can pick a plan starting at $19/month.
“E-commerce now makes up 40% of the economy,” said Jason Solarek, founder and CEO of Bridge. “It’s not just enough to have a website or have a website with a few thousand products on it. Amazon has taught customers to demand massive online selection. Our clients know this, and that is why they join Bridge. We help Main Street, mom-and-pop stores like Sassafras team up to show more products. Believe it or not, an indie store can show more products from a brand than Amazon.com. We include gift registry software in the offering—we’re the only software provider giving indies massive product selection and software to power it.”
“I can’t tell a retailer how to make a million dollars online,” said Solarek. “But, I can tell it how to lose a million dollars: try maintaining products online by itself. When indie retailers team up with their brands, that’s a recipe for success.”
Bridge, based in the East Village in New York, NY, is an e-commerce community that makes opening and running an online business easier. In 2007, Jason Solarek, a web designer, was thinking about his clients’ websites at a restaurant one weekend. He had an epiphany that stores could crowd-source their product maintenance. He drew his plan on a bar napkin, and this framework became the foundation for today’s Bridge network. Hundreds of businesses share products, news, files, and market-sensitive data. Each of the 825 retailers receives its own Bridge Store that sells to its respective consumer base.
All business types in the retail industry are invited to sign up for a free account at: bridgecatalog.com