Expanding Your Assortment The Right Way

By Anthony Stames, Director of Global Partnerships | March 15, 2023

Earlier this month, Logicbroker hosted our strategic partners Microsoft and McFadyen for a detailed webinar focused on best practices when expanding your retail assortment. In just under an hour, Steve Norris, Logicbroker’s VP of Digital Commerce; Mike Edmonds, Microsoft’s Sr. Director of WW Strategy, Retail and Consumer Goods; and Jeff Mikos, McFadyen’s Retail and Marketplace Strategy Lead discussed when retailers should consider owned inventory, drop shipping, and marketplace eCommerce solutions. 

The webinar is available on demand, but we wanted to take a minute to highlight the three key takeaways from such an incredible event:

1. When To Own Inventory, Drop Ship, and Create a Marketplace

Perhaps the most important topic of the hour, Norris, Edmonds, and Mikos highlighted the below graphic to discuss the unique ways each of the three primary eCommerce assortment models (Owned Inventory, Drop Ship, and Marketplace) could be better used in retailer’s operations. 

The key takeaway from this graphic is that eCommerce is no longer about sustaining just one solution. Norris and Edmonds agreed that to be successful, retailers need to embrace a hybrid solution. 

“We’ve seen a lot of retailers embrace a hybrid model where they say: ‘Hey, maybe not one of these strategies is enough. Maybe mixing all three of these together provides operation benefits, more customer convenience, better assortment, and more control over my margins,” Norris said during the webinar. 

The example given was that when you need to expand your assortment, it’s important to consider the types of products that move through your distributions. Items like toothpaste make sense to buy into owned inventory because it doesn’t take up much space, rarely changes, and are relatively cheap to buy;​ Items like furniture that are expensive to buy, store, and fulfill, all while having infrequent changes to color, size, or design are best to drop ship; and​ items like cell phone cases don’t cost a lot to own or fulfill, but change new with trends​ are best to host on a marketplace. 

2. Curate Your Marketplace

While considering a hybrid model, Edmonds highlighted the importance of a curated marketplace, as opposed to the Amazon, Walmart, and eBay models of hosting thousands of different kinds of items simultaneously. 

“There are very few companies that have the scale to do that effectively. Only companies like Walmart are able to grow specifically beyond the products they serve because they serve thousands of other verticals,” Edmonds said. “The concept of curation cannot be overstated.”

Jumping in, Mikos said that while it can be daunting to embrace a marketplace, the level of growth achievable is off the charts. 

“It can be scary too to go from managing one category with 125 products to managing thousands of sellers and tens of thousands of SKUs,” Mikos said. “However, no other model can represent that level of opportunity.” 

3. Generative AI

Asked during the Q&A segment, Edmonds gave an impassioned response when asked about how generative AI, like ChatGPT, impacts the retail industry. 

“We will have an opportunity to engage with brands in more innovative and experimental ways,” Edmonds said. “We look at things like asking ChatGPT for unique ways to interact with customers and brands. It’s almost like a superpower in the hands of merchandisers.” 

Edmonds also mentioned that ChatGPT and Microsoft’s new Bing search tool utilizing Open.AI, allow merchandisers and retailers to explore new and innovative ideas around customer segments, predicting consumer trends, and generating product descriptions for target verticals. 

For Our Customers

Logicbroker has always had world-class partners and customers. From The Vitamin Shoppe through Orangetheory Fitness, Samsung, McFadyen, and Microsoft, our network of thought leaders, industry veterans, and eCommerce experts continues to expand. As we looked at the retail landscape, and the evolving priorities that brands and retailers must embrace, building a webinar like the one held on March 8th with Microsoft and McFadyen about expanding retail assortment was a no-brainer. 

Ultimately, our open communication with our customers is what guaranteed the involvement of these great partners. By combining our feedback loop with general market trends, we create webinar topics that resonate with our customers, not just with our own organization. 

We pay attention to what our customers would like to see, what trends they study, and what data they need to make informed decisions and create webinar topics that will reach them before critical decisions need to be made. 


Logicbroker was founded on the idea of face-to-face business. Obviously, the global pandemic shifted our focus, and, ultimately, realized the value of a well-crafted webinar. Today, we embrace a hybrid events strategy, allowing you to interact with our team in the medium that is most comfortable for you.

Logicbroker attends events that our customers have already earmarked as the best events of the year—NRF, ShopTalk, eTail—and provides insights and expertise while opening ourselves up for discussions on the show floor. These discussions are where Logicbroker finds the most value. Hearing from our customers as they learn, network, and discover new and innovative ways to tackle eCommerce problems helps us develop solutions, webinars, and products that meet their needs. 

While hundreds of emails, virtual meetings, and webinars are held throughout the year, these in-person events give Logicbroker the opportunity to not only grow with our customers face-to-face but also as a network of partners. We’re a hands-on organization that knows each of our customers on an individual basis. Our customers can expand their network of technology, eCommerce, and social platforms by meeting and leveraging the entire Logicbroker family and partners. 

Connected Commerce 2023

While the industry’s largest events are front-loaded at the beginning of the year, Logicbroker holds Connected Commerce each year in September to provide an exclusive, invite-only event to culminate our growing network for one last hurrah of the year. The hand-selected group that attends Connected Commerce each year are the thought leaders, industry experts, and partners we know will shape the industry for years to come providing our customers with the insight they need to make the right decisions. 

Whether it’s NRF, a detailed webinar with Microsoft, or at Connected Commerce, Logicbroker’s goal is always to provide our customers with insights, knowledge, and expertise. We are an experience management organization not only for your customers but for ours as well. 

To view our previous webinars or to discover more articles focused on solving the world’s largest eCommerce problems, visit the Logicbroker Insights page. For organizations looking to partner with Logicbroker and join our network of hundreds of top eCommerce organizations, email me at [email protected]

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