169 – Jill Sherman of Modalyst – Dropshipping Automated

Dropshipping marketplace for ecommerce with Modalyst…

Jill Sherman (bio), CEO/Cofounder of Modalyst (a retail tech platform and dropshipping marketplace enabling ecommerce stores to source, list and sell products without needing to buy inventory, warehouse products or fulfill orders themselves) joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and Marc Raco .

The impressive path to Modalyst, dropshipping, and enabling independent brands

Sherman talks a path leading to Modalyst of starting with Vogue Magazine then Italian Vogue, then backpacking around Asia, then moved to Shanghai, starting and building a successful brand, then successes with Harvey Nichols and Prada and, then finally attending MIT for an MBA where she cofounded Modalyst. She discusses the substantial evolution of Modalyst from foundation to now, directing toward ecommerce, the retraction of brick and mortar stores, a dropshipping focus, the importance of complimentary goods on ecommerce vs. inventory in the store, providing metrics back to partners, Modalyst’s typical 700 suppliers, 15,000 stores, plus 100+ SKUs, mandatory great photography, and the integration of dropshipping. Working towards AI and other innovative solutions to field inquiries from suppliers, enabling the independent brands, the mission of how ones finds brands that no one else is carrying, and providing a network where two parties can converse, consume data and address each other’s needs.

Farewell to inventory, minimums and seasons, and developing via customer feedback

Discussion of the shifts in the retail marketplace being seen, the need for much education about dropshipping, how Modalyst established a standardized commission split between suppliers and retailers, and the opportunity for making more money per item via dropship that in wholesale. The primary motivator of having no need to buy inventory, following trending items, and ability to quickly swap then out of listing on ecommerce store. Allowing the simplicity of having to only be creating ecommerce, curating and marketing a store, with the rest handled by Modalyst. Being entirely B2B, how Amazon could be a great potential partner to sell warehouse inventory across thousands of stores, developing internally by customer feedback, responding to needs, and externally partnering with platforms as a more developed marketing plan, and how to get the brand known in the greater public. Data on location and product origins, how stores don’t have to deal with minimums anymore, being less efficient on shipping side, but more efficient on purchase/marketing side, seasonality is gone, and how distressed or past-season inventory can be put on the site and get a better margin.

TedX, Fish, and Highs and Lows

Off the Grid Questions cover living life in highs and lows, listening to oneself, public speaking, why FIYB is better than TedX, The Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and Fish, music as a savior, and following one’s heart with something new.


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