November 17, 2020Features
DIGITAL SHOWROOM: an innovation imperative for the B2B fashion and apparel industry
Digitization of wholesale has been on the rise with businesses trying to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 which is affecting the industry.
The average market capitalization of apparel, fashion and luxury players dropped almost 40 percent between the start of January and March 2020.
While online B2B management platforms have been available for years, a large part of the buying experience has continued to happen offline. But in order to keep up with their seasonal releases and flow of media, an increasing number of brands are opting to shift towards innovative B2B practices and specialist tech platforms.
Fast-forward a few months after the start of the pandemic, digital showrooms have become the new norm to showcase upcoming collections for most brands.
The restrictions in place have made it difficult for brands and businesses to carry simple working practices while maintaining a safe business environment with buyers going from one place to the other to meet designers and visit showrooms. Yet, new habits are already being put to the test across the fashion industry, from an 84 percent rise in remote working to a 79 percent uptick in video conferencing and a 58 percent increase in flexible working hours.
For its part, the digital showroom innovation is transforming social distancing into an online experience. Buyers do not need to rush anymore from showroom to showroom. They can view a collection, make notes and place orders remotely and securely around the world.
Launching new collections and expanding overseas are important parts of a business’s plans for growth but doing so has proven to be difficult for brands in the apparel industry. This is especially the case since the Covid-19 recession, although things have not come to a complete halt.
Chinese businesses, for instance are continuing to explore opportunities in international markets, despite difficulties caused by the pandemic, according to a report by advisory firm Brunswick Group.
A Chinese brand, for instance made use of digitalization during Paris Fashion Week to reach buyers in China and engaged double the number of people who would normally travel to Europe. Resulting orders, 95 percent of which were placed digitally, hit 80 percent of the brand’s sales targets.
By using online B2B platforms and digital showrooms, brands willing to make longer term innovation investments to launch their collections abroad or tap into new markets can easily do so while staying cautious.
At Trasix, we have been working for years on enhancing our Virtual Showroom and B2B platform and stand ready to assist your organization in its digital transformation journey.
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