Boxed.com, the bulk online retailer, is taking steps to further differentiate itself from Amazon in the consumables space. For the first three months of 2019, Boxed is reportedly serving as the exclusive seller of two new Coca-Cola products — 12 packs of Smartwater Alkaline and Smartwater Antioxidant — before they become available at retailers nationally in March (Figure 1). In return, Coca-Cola will receive Boxed sales data during this time. The two will also coordinate marketing and advertising as they promote this exclusive launch.
Figure 1. Smartwater’s newest products, now available on Boxed.com
Source: Retailer website
This move signals to suppliers that Boxed is open to forming a two-way relationship with brands, sharing valuable data in exchange for an exclusive offer. The partnership also comes at a time when Amazon is cracking down on unprofitable items, forcing manufacturers to rethink their Amazon product portfolio. Boxed is strategically capitalizing on the pressure suppliers are feeling from Amazon, using the opportunity to push its model of selling heavy, wholesale items online. With an average order size of between 7 and 10 items, according to Forbes, Boxed can afford to sell these bulk-size SKUs without losing as much margin on delivery.
What does this mean for manufacturers?
With 4% of U.S. households now shopping at Boxed.com, the retailer is becoming an important eCommerce distribution point, especially for Millennial families, according to February 2018 ShopperScape® data. While Amazon remains a key player in online grocery, Boxed.com serves as an alternative that enables suppliers to diversify their online assortment with bigger pack sizes. In turn, manufacturers should follow Coca-Cola’s lead, leveraging Boxed.com as a testing ground for product, pack size, and digital merchandising innovation as well as other exclusive offers for bulk-sized goods.
To learn more about Boxed.com’s approach to eCommerce, join us at Kantar Consulting’s eCommerce and Omnishopper conference, April 3-4 in Boston, for a fireside chat with the Boxed.com team.
For more information, please contact:
Kevin McCoy, Analyst