REI goes 'all in' on 'online'

Like a lot of retailers, REI is seeing the importance of their online customers.

REI Co-op is making it easier for customers to find a wider variety of products for their outdoor activities by beginning a major expansion of gear and apparel available on REI.com. This month, the co-op enables select brand partners to now ship orders directly to customers, expanding REI's curated assortment and giving customers access to a wider variety of products, colors, and sizes on REI.com.

The co-op unlocks this capability with a handful of brands including Danner, ECCO and Salomon, and will continue to add apparel and additional products to the program over the next year. Customers should not notice any difference when shopping on REI.com. Orders fulfilled directly from brand partners can only be shipped to home addresses.

"This functionality opens up so many doors for our customers and gives them access to new sizes and styles of products that we could not stock previously," says Curtis Kopf, chief digital officer. "Now it will be easier to support our customers when they are asking for extended sizes, new styles, or additional colors."

This capability adds to the co-op's suite of e-commerce solutions making it easier for customers to find the best gear to help outfit them for all their outdoor adventures. The co-op has also enabled buy online and pick-up in-store; store inventory fulfillment that allows the co-op to easily access inventory at any store location; and REI.com's outlet and used gear programs, allowing customers to shop for more outdoor brands at lower prices.

The co-op is working with DSCO, a drop ship distributed inventory platform, to bring this program to life. The collaboration allows the co-op to extend its curated inventory as well as streamline and sell new products, all while making it easier for customers to find the gear they need for their outdoor adventures.