One of the things that I keep seeing over and over again in the apparel/ retail industry is the importance of ecommerce.
Many big brands are shutting down stores in favor of pursuing a digital platform. This is because of the lower costs associated with ecommerce- if a brand can be successful online they can retain a higher profit margin compared to selling wholesale.
Allen Schwartz of ABS by Allen Scwartz is just one of several big brands that is choosing to refocus its business model on e-commerce. In a brilliant move the company is pulling away from department stores and is now focusing on specialty stores, international retailers and e-commerce according to a report by California Apparel News.
Schwartz said dealing with department stores “wasn’t profitable”.
In working with my clients I have heard many say they aspire to build their brand, get carried by (insert store name here) and then sell the company for a profit. Many beginning designers are eager to have a big name chain carry their products. Francis Harder of the Fashion Business Inc (FBI) repeatedly warns many start-ups against getting in bed with the chain stores too quickly. She often says that one bad deal with them can kill your brand. And she’s right. I’ve seen it time and time again.
In today’s market place ecommerce is changing the way that consumers are shopping. It might be even more important now, then ever to weigh the costs of pursuing a wholesale channel versus having a digital footprint. While both are important aspects to a small brand- it seems that the appeal of the big box retailer has lost its charm. Many times the chargebacks associated with a big box retailer outweigh the benefits.
The recent pullouts from standard brick and mortar stores (BCBG being another one expected to close stores and focus on ecommerce) in favor of ecommerce shows how the landscape is changing for apparel. Brands need to be flexible in order to keep up with the dynamic environment that the digital marketplace is made up of. I encourage small and medium sized companies to explore digital to help drive the bottom line. Many say that they cannot afford it. With the changes taking place in todays marketplace I say you can’t afford not to afford it.
Digital is a MUST HAVE in your marketing plan.
There are so many options out there that you can have a beautiful customer-focused website and social media experience that helps drive sales without it being complicated or expensive. Allowing your customers to find you and engage with you when they are ready and where they are active is important to driving repeat sales.
So… what challenges are you experiencing in the digital marketplace?
Are you just starting out and have no idea where to start? I can help you with that.
Have you tried the social media thing and it just “didn’t work out” and you didn’t see the results you were looking for? I can help you with that.
Are you a seasoned brand who has a great following but just needs more time in their day to manage things other than digital marketing? I can help you with that.
If you are serious about getting ecommerce and digital marketing right make an appointment with me to discuss how I can help.
In the meantime, what challenges are you experiencing in the digital marketplace? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to offer some free tips.