DollarDays is an innovative online wholesale distributor on a mission to level the playing field for growing businesses. By taking manufacturing and distribution to the digital marketplace, the site provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and nonprofits with the economic security necessary to take on the challenges of 21st-century entrepreneurship.
SMEs have always been the backbone of North American industry, but, in recent years, vast changes in the domestic economy have threatened the livelihood of small businesses everywhere. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the last year alone, over 470,000 U.S. businesses died, with only 400,000 new ones created. Despite these daunting statistics, the reality is that many small firms are still fighting the good fight, and, today, DollarDays may just be the solution.
The firm’s hybrid business structure blends the accessibility of the Web with the professional tradition of personalized service, an approach that has propelled the site to the forefront of the sector. With 3.5 million registered users and an average of over 1,500 new customers a day, DollarDays has emerged as an unlikely competitor in the high-stakes world of manufacturing and distribution. With statistics showing over 50% of customers ordering from DollarDays.com four times or more, the website is an example of not only how to gain, but to keep customers coming back for more.
The website’s ongoing growth has garnered widespread attention internationally, but, according to Marc Joseph, the CEO and president of DollarDays, this success is more than accomplishment; it’s a pursuit of passion. “I am very passionate about making sure we support growing businesses. It’s our mission to support them in any way we can to keep them alive and growing.”
DollarDays was created in 2001 as an answer to an evolving sector and a changing global economy. Soon after the global recession hit, the significance of DollarDays.com grew even more apparent.
“We always put ourselves in our small-business customer’s shoes, and we ask ourselves, ‘What do they need to compete?'”
As many small businesses felt the pangs of economic disparity, financially driven changes in the manufacturing and distribution sectors made commercial success harder than ever.
Traditionally, manufacturers and distributors relied heavily on salespeople. Following the downturn, many of these companies moved to diminish their operating overheads by limiting the number of sales representatives on staff. This seemingly small change had a significant impact on the ability of SMEs and nonprofits to source quality products. This change, paired with the price of shipping and increasing credit restrictions, pushed the cost of operations so high that there was little chance of any small firm surviving in the monopolizing marketplace.
This is where DollarDays comes in.
Leveraging the Internet as a new channel of distribution for wholesale and closeout products, the company’s Web-based platform became a hotspot for SMEs and nonprofits seeking an alternative route to sourcing stock. “We felt the Internet would give us the ability to level the playing field for these small businesses, giving them a chance to compete, survive and thrive against the chains in the area.”
It brings to the table several major benefits [that] are based on the company’s unique hybrid approach. From a product standpoint, there are few companies with the range and affordability of DollarDays, which carries over 300,000 products at any one time.”We are [a] one-stop shop in terms of products [businesses] can promote, products they need and products which show their customers that they are relevant with the trends.”
The site is easy enough for clients to navigate quickly and independently, as high-resolution images and descriptions provide customers a clear view of products. As the site is a favorite for many nonprofit organizations, the range of back-to-school essentials and seasonal goods [is one] of the most diverse and affordable on the market.
One of the primary benefits of using this Web-based supplier is its uniquely accessible format. Any business owner knows running your company is an around-the-clock responsibility. For thousands, the company’s 24-hour accessibility is a priceless, timesaving asset that accommodates those who simply cannot take time out of the workday to browse and restock. Often, one of the site’s busiest times is the early hours of the morning, when thousands place orders from the comfort of their homes.
“I am very passionate about making sure we support growing businesses.”Marc Joseph, CEO and President, DollarDays
When it comes to serving growing businesses, the price point is inarguably the most important factor. The cost-saving benefits of DollarDays are twofold, as both the starting price and order minimums are substantially lower than the typical manufacturer or distributor.
It gives smaller businesses a chance at buying power that has typically been reserved for powerful multinational firms. “Closeouts help businesses buy more with the dollars they have.” The company provides unparalleled closeout deals throughout the year, which spell[s] serious value for companies looking to increase inventory or offer deals.
Most manufacturers and distributors require companies to order products by the truckload, which can be a very expensive or risky move for those with smaller budgets. These requirements make it difficult for businesses with less working capital to expand their range and test out new products. DollarDays has a minimum order of one case, which enables customers to grow their businesses sustainably with peace of mind. “We want our customers to try stuff so they can see what works for them,” said Joseph.
Sometimes, in Web-based businesses, customer service is the last thing that comes to mind, but DollarDays has worked relentlessly to change that, and customer service has remained a primary component of [the] firm’s success. The tradition of door-to-door sales may be dying, but the company has found a way to bridge the benefits of the Web with the appeal of personalized service. “The thing that really separates us from other businesses on the Internet is our customer service in sales.”
The site has an extensive team of inside sales representatives, many of whom come from a background of small-business ownership themselves. “We are able to maintain the backbone of our business, because our inside salespeople are really working with our customers to help them grow their business.”
Buying products is a very personal business, and the company takes this commitment very seriously. Although thousands of customers access and place orders on the website with no assistance, a substantial number of clients choose to work closely with the in-house sales team. The sales team moves through the site with customers, providing insights and tips on everything from regional popularity to the price point of similar goods.
“The company’s Web-based platform became a hotspot for SMEs and nonprofits seeking an alternative route to sourcing stock.”
Similar to SMEs, the nonprofit sector has faced the very real threat of severe losses. In an industry predicated on helping others, the importance of a dollar extends beyond the cost of goods. Nonprofit organizations are an increasing portion of DollarDays’ business, and assisting them to grow is a primary mission for the firm.
As a substantial part of the company’s client base comes from the nonprofit sector, the in-house sales experts are experienced in providing the insights and sensitivity necessary to help novice buyers make economically strategic decisions. “It is as important with our nonprofits as it is with our businesses that they are working with people who understand their budgets and business. Nonprofits aren’t professional buyers—their mission is to help people—so, as experts in how nonprofits work, we can offer exactly what they need.”
The site’s Wishlist Program (similar to a bridal registry) is a free initiative that allows nonprofits to register a list of desperately needed items online. Through this registry, patrons can purchase and ship tangible donations with the click of a mouse. DollarDays also has a Give-Back Program, which enables customers to donate 5% of the overall value of their purchase to a nonprofit organization [of] their choosing.
What really sets it apart is a corporate culture that starts with dollars but is driven by something much bigger. The firm’s relentless commitment to U.S. development is practical, but, at the core, it is ethical, and, in the end, it is this mission that has made DollarDays a company to watch.
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