What is a Pure Play Retailer? A Comprehensive Guide for eCommerce in 2024

It is very common to hear that an eCommerce seller with no brick and mortar store that is selling their products upfront, generates a huge number of sales and earns a handsome amount of money. The reasons for choosing this route can be many, like lack of capital, having fewer resources, operating other businesses, small manufacturing units, etc. The retailers who operate under these circumstances in the eCommerce space are called pure play retailers. In this blog, we will go into detail about pure play eCommerce and the differences between eCommerce sellers and physical store owners. 

What is Pure Play Retail?

Pure play retail refers to a business that only sells through one channel or only sells a single line of products instead of selling multiple product mixes. In the context of the eCommerce industry, pure play retailers only sell on online channels and do not have a physical store

Many business owners decide to concentrate on a specific kind of good or service, which means that they run a pure play business. For instance, Boat only focuses on making earphones and electronic products like charging cables. The phrase “pure play” can also refer to huge organizations and eCommerce businesses that focus on a single industry like coffee or home furnishings.

WareIQ – Amazon-prime Like Logistics for Modern Brands in India

WareIQ, an eCommerce fulfillment company, empowers online brands with a superior-tech platform to compete with Amazon like service levels by bringing their average delivery timelines from 5-10 days to 1-2 days.

"With WareIQ, UTH is able to consolidate common inventory for all platforms and get much closer to the customer through access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, and last mile & hyper-local courier partners. We are excited about being able to offer same day delivery in several pin codes due to WareIQ."
- Samit Mehta, Founder, UTH Beverages

Pure Play Retailers vs. Omnichannel Retailers

ParticularsPure Play RetailersOmnichannel Retailers
Website Experience A pure play retailer can afford to invest a lot of time, money and resources into optimizing their website because it is their primary source of selling their products so it must be of extremely high quality to attract and convert customers. Pure play retailers do not have as much infrastructure to maintain as traditional retailers do. As a result, you can anticipate that a pure play company's website would be more user-friendly, have better search functionality and give more in-depth assistance than other websites.This is not to imply that omnichannel retailers cannot operate top-notch online shops. However, because they also need to maintain other channels as the majority of omnichannel businesses decide to put their efforts elsewhere and choose an effective and functioning internet experience.
CostingThe expenses associated with maintaining an online store must be borne by both pure play retailers and omnichannel eCommerce companies. This comprises the following:
Web Hosting: In order for customers to access your eCommerce site, it must be hosted on a server. This may cost you ₹4000-5000 per year which is less than ₹500 a month. Your hosting costs will rise in tandem with the growth in site traffic. In addition, plans for all-in-one eCommerce systems like Shopify and BigCommerce include hosting.
Web design: It will be challenging to convert visitors to your store into customers if your site isn't aesthetically pleasing and simple to use. As a result, money needs to be invested in making it look professional and ensure that it runs smoothly.
Order Fulfillment and Other CostsPure play retailers can anticipate higher shipping costs, but by employing an order fulfillment service rather than purchasing their own warehouse space and equipment, costs can be reduced.Businesses that use omnichannel eCommerce must additionally cover the costs of their physical stores' rent and utilities as well as the salaries and perks of the people needed to run them.
Customer ExperiencePure play retailers need to ensure that their website and online purchasing experience is up to the mark in order to provide customers with a good experience because they cannot physically interact with them.Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, many consumers prefer an omnichannel strategy and want to browse products both online and at nearby stores. This is so that they can benefit from a few things that pure play eCommerce cannot provide, such as the ability to interact with and test-drive products in person before making a purchase and get immediate satisfaction.

Advantages of Pure Play Retail over Omnichannel Retailers

Lower Costs

Pure play eCommerce can be substantially less expensive than multichannel shopping as long as your company has a robust order fulfillment service. The only significant expenses for pure play retailers are website maintenance and order fulfillment as there are no shops to operate. With the appropriate order fulfillment provider, you can reduce shipping costs and avoid investing in your own warehouse, personnel or infrastructure.

Scope for Better Customer Experience

Pure play retailers can focus all of their attention on enhancing the consumer experience through the channel they operate on because they only have one channel to maintain. Addressing customer issues, troubleshooting problems and creating a checkout and post-purchase experience that excites and retains customers can be given more time, money and focus.

Disadvantages of Pure Play Retailers over Multichannel Retailers

Lower Brand Visibility

It might be challenging to promote your brand in front of customers without a physical presence and the touchpoints it offers such as signs, shop floor employees and shopping bags. Even if your digital marketing strategy is effective, pure play retailers may find it challenging to obtain loyal, repeat customers and capitalize on branding opportunities.

Returns May Cost More Money

In brick and mortar stores, the client needs to invest their own time and money to physically transport the product back to the shop it originally came from and they are responsible for covering any in-store return transit fees. For pure play shops, in-store returns are not an option and if a consumer wishes to return an eCommerce order, you can end up paying freight twice. This could gradually reduce your profit margins, especially if you sell a product that is frequently returned after being purchased online.

Importance of Fulfillment Companies to Run Pure Play Retail in 2024

Ability to Offload Key Procedures

Pure Play Retail is run only online without a brick-and-mortar store. They only have a virtual shop that is run through their website or a third-party selling channel. So if they are focused on eCommerce selling and get orders from across the country/world then they surely need a fulfillment company to manage their inventory in multiple locations, forecast demand, deliver the product after order placement and other necessary procedures.

Access to Optimization

3PL companies will optimize your fulfillment and shipping processes if you want to take advantage of the cost savings and ease that pure play eCommerce offers. Online merchants of all sizes can manage inventory with the aid of third-party fulfillment which completes orders quickly and affordably, and satisfies consumers.

Ability to Save on Expenses

When partnering with a fulfillment company, pure play retailers can get access to a bunch of features for relatively cheap prices. They also do not sell products offline so they can reduce the expenses needed to keep extra manpower because ultimately, these resources will be underutilized. The money will be better utilized in giving extra discounts, marketing and positioning and investing it back into the business.


Pure play eCommerce comes with multiple advantages, especially for retailers that have newly entered the eCommerce industry and don’t have access to large amounts of investment and resources. Thus, if you want to sell products on online marketplaces without needing to invest in a physical store, it could be a good option for you, If you need best fulfillment service partner, you can opt to partner with WareIQ.

pure play retailers_WareIQ services

When you delegate fulfillment tasks to WareIQ, you will get access to a large number of strategically, well-chosen, decentralized fulfillment center locations across the country. Merchants can significantly save on shipping costs by storing their products across our fulfillment network, allowing them to store their inventory closer to their customers.

In order to smoothly and automatically send online orders for delivery, WareIQ’s WMS can integrate with more than 12 eCommerce platforms. Through WareIQ’s dashboard, retailers can keep an eye on inventory levels, fulfillment processes, monitor orders and have access to other crucial information in real-time while also analyzing data to grow their business.

Additionally, WareIQ’s comprehensive B2B suite enables retail distribution for businesses as soon as they are ready, in addition to facilitating online expansions into online marketplaces and social channels, when you ever decide to expand into omnichannel retailing. WareIQ also equips you with an RTO shield which will protect you from the negative impacts of returns.

Pure Play Retailers: FAQs