When facing periods of prolonged economic uncertainty, diversifying your business model is the smart way forward. When it comes to fashion brands, that means moving away from a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model and expanding into an omnichannel approach, one which includes wholesale. Adding wholesale to your distribution strategy builds your audience, raises brand awareness, and produces healthy margins.
As inflation rises, so do operating and production costs. Customers rapidly switch between brands seeking the best value, and free shipping and returns has become standard practice, rather than as a special perk. All these trends are particularly hard on small fashion brands, and good reasons to add a wholesale stream to their business model.
Our CEO, Kristin Savilia, offers this advice to brands considering adopting wholesale. First, it doesn’t have to be a drastic change. “Consider it an evolution, rather than a revolution.” Wholesale is not a replacement for retail, but an additional revenue stream, and the two methods work in tandem. A retail presence improves brand awareness and boosts wholesale sales; wholesale distribution allows you to try new markets and extends your brand’s reach to a whole new audience.
Second, choose your partners wisely. One of the compelling draws of wholesale is the benefit it confers by positioning your brand amongst others. “Brand adjacencies—who you’re sitting alongside—matter,” Savilia says. Being presented in a curated selection of other discerning brands makes your brand look even more desirable out of sheer proximity.
Finally, the technology you choose makes a difference. “Just like a sports team that needs the right equipment to play at its best,” Savilia explains, “brands should be equipped with the right tools to be successful.” You’ll want powerful, flexible technology that helps you collaborate with buyers to build the right assortments, and streamlines your process to move orders into production. Fashion is truly a global phenomenon: you want to be able to interact and do business with buyers all around the world. Plus, you want to use the data you collect in real time to drive the decisions that allow you to optimize your business.
Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically in recent years. Initially sparked by technological development then exploded by the pandemic, the way people shop has changed for good. The way fashion brands sell their products is changing too, leaving the siloed D2C model behind for a more wholesale inclusive approach.
Wholesale is not an obstacle to overcome but an opportunity to seize. Boost your brand awareness, grow your audience, and increase your margins by complementing your retail strategy with wholesale distribution. If you’re ready to explore the benefits wholesale can bring to your brand, request a demo from JOOR today.