- On-demand warehouser Flexe announced a new partnership with Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online sellers, at the Las Vegas Shoptalk conference Tuesday, according to a press release provided to Supply Chain Dive.
- The partnership will allow online sellers to use Flexe software to find warehouse space on one integrated platform between the two companies.
- Such an integration is ideal for sellers who don't want to work with Amazon (which tightly controls all supply chain and logistics affairs) and want more autonomy over their own supply chains.
The Flexe-Shopify integration could be the beginning of serious competition for Amazon — it provides an alternative for e-commerce merchants to retain control over supply chain and logistics affairs without handing over the reins to a third party, while also nabbing cheaper rates for unused warehouse space.
This kind of partnership could potentially allow smaller merchants to widen their profit margins and solidify their competitive standing, whereas if they sell on Amazon, they're more likely to incur greater costs due to Amazon's complete control of and strict demands concerning sales and operations, logistics and returns.
The Flexe-Shopify arrangement hands control back to the merchant and allows smaller sellers to handle their own affairs, an attractive proposition to disillusioned Amazon merchants (see the Amazon-Hachette dispute) on a platform where the consumer's satisfaction is king (this seller forum is just one example of how frustrated Amazon sellers can get).
Flexe is already catching up to Amazon with its refined logistics network and rapid delivery, but this new partnership could prompt similar partnerships and innovation to follow throughout the e-commerce industry, providing small businesses legitimate alternatives to working with Amazon.