prodotti ufficio

Selling Stationery on line: what are the peculiarities of this sector?

As we know, there are many categories sold online and a very interesting sector is the “stationery and office”, i.e. all products such as notebooks, pencil cases, pens, highlighters and office materials in general. 

But what is essential to know before facing the online sale of this category on marketplaces? 

The sale of these products online has some peculiarities:


The selling price, i.e. the retail price, of these products is a weak selling price if we take as a reference the large giants within Amazon’s strong categories such as electronics, small household appliances, etc., which are very high-performing categories on the marketplace.

The low selling price represents a peculiarity and complexity of the sector, and therefore the fundamental work that must be done for this type of product category is to oversee the entire value chain: this means having attention to all the cost items that participate in the sales process to Amazon (Vendor model). [read the article dedicated to Amazon Vendor Central]

For this business mode, the more traditional B2B distribution and sales model, a series of costs (logistics, order management, relationship with Amazon, etc.) must be taken into account, monitoring and controlling them. 


Another key aspect of marketplace success is presiding over key moments within a sales year.

Key moments can be purely related to the marketplace or related to seasonality.

For the reference product category, Stationery and Office, it is very important to highlight a seasonal event: Back to School.

The “back to school” is the seasonal time that runs from the end of August to the end of September, where children return to school, parents use marketplaces daily to shop and these ones take on a key connotation, becoming important drivers of sales.

Presiding over key moments does not only mean planning appropriate promotions at peak times within a sales year, but above all it means having a clear understanding of the main performance indicators (KPIs) to operate in the online world:

  1. Never go out of stock with top-selling products
  2. Have proper promotions with the market
  3. Stay ahead of competitors 

During this period, traffic increases, audiences are greater, sales accelerate, and consumers expect to find a certain product available to respond promptly to their seasonal needs, of the Back to School.

A company, a brand, or an operator in the category, must necessarily plan the supply and stock necessary to be present with the leading products.


Another fundamental aspect that contributes to the sales success of all operators who enter the online world is the focus on product selection .

The product mix, precisely the selection of products that is offered, in this case, within online marketplaces, is fundamental because what performs in the traditional world does not necessarily also perform in the digital world.

The on line consumer tends to be younger and much more informed; he is bombarded with messages from operators who want to win his trust (the so-called re-marketing); he is surrounded by countless competitors and overloaded with information.

So the marketplace, unlike the physical store, is overcrowded and it’s easy to lose potential customers.

For this reason, a focus on the selection of products that could be more performing, for from a format and also for price and assortment, is essential to try to gain an advantage in the competitive landscape of the world of online marketplaces.


The last aspect we talk about is related to the management of the conflict between channels. 

A hybrid approach, in which managing a relationship with Amazon both as a Vendor (B2B) and as a Seller (B2C – direct sales to the end consumer) allows companies to maintain a certain competitiveness. [read the article dedicated to Amazon Vendor vs Amazon Seller]

In fact, going back to the first aspect discussed (low selling price), with the seller model it is possible to define and manage the price of products to the end customer, positioning exactly with that price point that the company has established and thus trying to maintain competitiveness in the market and a balanced value chain.