What’s with All the Ecomm Waitlists?

An increasing number of direct-to-consumer brands have started to employ waitlists for their most popular products, leading Fashionista to wonder if the lists are actually driving sales and loyalty, or if they’re little more than a marketing scam.

“As drop culture continues its rise and businesses strive to emulate the outdoor lines and immediate sold-out launches achieved by brands like Supreme, online retailers are using waitlists to stir that same sense of excitement.”

By employing the tactic on some of their best-selling pieces, the story says, many brands are selling thousands of units before they even launch — whether it’s a pair of Everlane jeans, a minimally designed bucket bag, or a shearling coat.

But they’re not just driving sales. “For most brands, especially those in the direct-to-consumer e-commerce space, the traditional waitlist can also help inform a range of business decisions and practices… from merchandising and product development to boosting customer relationships.”

So though the “primary focus is servicing customers’ needs and wants,” according to the story, “a secondary benefit from waitlists is its breadth of data and getting a read on what colors, styles and trends are performing best.”

“The strategy is creating this desire, exclusivity,” one designer said, while also allowing companies to apply the “data behind [their] customers’ purchases towards future unit buys, inventory and the merchandising process.”

Sounds like a win-win for the brands – and, I guess, not a total loss for customers, too.

You can read more about it at Fashionista.

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