The world of retail has been undergoing a major evolution in recent years, as companies seek to streamline their logistics and expand their product offerings while keeping costs down. One of the ways that they’re able to do this is by turning to new business models like drop-ship and marketplace, which allow them to scale back on the inventory they purchase and warehouse, but still offer more curated products to their customers.

With these unowned inventory models, third-party brands take ownership of manufacturing, storing, and shipping most of the retailer’s inventory, freeing them up to focus on other aspects of their business like sales, marketing and customer experience. This approach is more efficient and cost-effective, allowing retailers to expand their product offerings quickly and respond to specific market signals in an agile and flexible way. But it’s not just about cost savings. The extensive commerce network that powers drop-ship and marketplace models generates massive amounts of data that can be used for predictive consumer demand modeling. This enables retailers to forecast demand spikes and adapt their offerings to changing patterns of consumer behavior more quickly than ever before, based on data rather than intuition.

Read the full story at Retail Today.