Can a factory-to-consumer experience be a quality one?
The CEO of curated the cross-border, online marketplace Browze sees factory-to-consumer shipping as a way to circumvent pandemic-era supply chain problems, and has a sourcing model in place that he claims gets rid of the quality concerns often associated with this method of fulfillment.
In an interview with Forbes, Browze CEO Izzy Rosenzweig said that the Browze marketplace has both minimized consumer wait times and kept business costs low through the use of airmail. While sea freight shipping costs have skyrocketed, airmail costs have remained consistent for months.
At the same time, Browze purports to address the problems often associated with overseas factory-direct marketplaces. Products sold on the website go through quality control testing, there is a no-frills refund policy and customers can return products domestically to Browze’s warehouse rather than having to deal with an overseas return.
Browze has taken other steps to improve its customer experience (and customer service score) as well. It recently implemented live 24/7 customer support chat and an improved self-service customer experience platform, according to a press release.
In June, Browze received an additional $5 million of Series A funding. The company is also receiving investor and advisor support from a former vice president of Chinese factory-direct marketplace Aliexpress.
Browze is not the only newer company that sees promise in cutting down on supply chain costs using a factory-to-consumer model.
Quinze, an eco-friendly factory-direct apparel company, sees not having to hold inventory as a path to creating more affordable clothing using higher-end organic materials, according to Forbes.
While these marketplaces aim to overcome the shipping and quality control problems that have long dogged this type of online retail, the most popular marketplace leveraging this model in the U.S., Wish, continues to face these challenges.
Wish customers still complain of long wait times and receiving counterfeit or low-quality knockoff products, according to The Motley Fool.
Wish does not appear to have smoothed over concerns about the viability of its business model with investors, either. Wish IPO’ed in December of 2020 with a share price of $23.55, and is currently trading around $3.
- The Future Of Retail Is Factory-To-Consumer – Forbes
- Browze Raises $12.5M Series A Funding to Revolutionize Cross Border E-Commerce – Browze
- Browze Garners Second Customer Service Accolade in Two Months – Globe Newswire
- New Online Fashion Brand Aims To Get Eco-Friendly Clothes From Factory-To-Closet At Affordable Prices – Forbes
- 5 Red Flags for Wish’s Future – The Motley Fool
- ContextLogic Inc. (WISH) – Yahoo! Finance
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Browze realistically being able to meet the quality control challenges and other problems cross-border factory-to-consumer marketplaces like Wish and Aliexpress allegedly face? Will we see the factory-to-consumer model expand beyond niche/novelty/buyer beware products and into a mainstream business model?