As a wholesale sales director or someone with responsibility for growing your brand’s distribution and meeting wholesale sales targets, life is busy. But without an effective B2B fashion platform by your side, that responsibility can soon weigh even more heavily on your shoulders.
To perform at your best and meet personal and company objectives, you need the best possible systems to support the development and implementation of your wholesale strategy.
Processes need to be quick, streamlined, and primed to harness today’s technology. Yet many in your position feel like they’re operating with their hands tied behind their back—especially if their brand has not fully digitalized its processes. You could be:
In this article, you’ll learn how to use B2B fashion platforms to gain a competitive advantage. By using innovative tech to optimize processes and increase efficiency, you can:
Running a modern fashion brand without using the most up-to-date technology is like trying to win an Olympic medal without doing any training or preparation. You can try your best and vow to work harder than anyone, but you will soon be left floundering. There’s no getting around it: a modern fashion brand needs a modern B2B fashion platform to stand any chance of success.
Many brands operating on legacy or outdated systems have to complete at least part of their processes manually, like order management for example. This can be most starkly evidenced through a decentralized order process that involves traditional practices like emails and phone calls. As soon as that human element is introduced, the potential for errors increases significantly.
Correcting mistakes is expensive, costing both time and money, leading to an increased workload, reduced efficiency, and direct impacts on the bottom line. When no automation is present, errors can quickly cause backlogs.
Solution: B2B wholesale fashion software can relieve much of this pressure at a stroke. Designed to offer a centralized ecosystem that can integrate with other systems such as ERPs and POS, the digitalization and automation of order-taking immediately helps to significantly reduce the number of errors that need rectifying.
Brands can also access real-time insights on their incoming orders, enabling them to keep better track of both their orders and their linesheets.
They can see their orders in one place; view at-a-glance which orders are drafts, pending, and approved; and edit orders with just a few clicks – with the changes instantly synced across the entire organization as well as in external integrations with their buyers.
Finally, by managing all invoicing and payments within one centralized platform, a platform like this can make B2B fashion wholesale significantly more efficient and cost-effective.
“Before JOOR, it used to take the team a whole day just to place an order. We had to jot down notes and then painstakingly upload them into our ordering system, which often led to errors and mistakes.”
Emilia Malyon, wholesale marketing manager at Brodie Cashmere
When a brand operates on outdated systems that don’t integrate with their buyers’ technology, unnecessary friction is added to the order process. Eventually, this can lead to enough frustration with the overall experience of engaging with your brand, that a buyer simply chooses to source its products elsewhere.
Solution: Modern B2B fashion platforms make it easy for buyers to engage with your brand, wherever they are based. Styles and linesheets can be uploaded and updated in bulk, enabling the easy creation of digital linesheets that can be shared globally online.
Care is also taken to optimize the buying process, with platforms like JOOR providing free retail accounts that make it faster and easier for buyers to place orders with brands. This is particularly beneficial when a buyer makes a smaller first order (often called a test order) to gauge consumer interest and your brand’s ability to ship and deliver.
If things go well, and they decide to make a larger repeat order, they are much more likely to do so when they have the knowledge and experience of an easy ordering process.
These holistic fashion platforms also maximize a buyer’s Available to Sell (or ATS), accurately capture valuable buyer feedback, quickly communicate changes both internally and with your buyers, and expedite order writing.
If your brand hasn’t made an ongoing investment in its technology and internal processes, or you’re still in the early stages of your venture and you simply haven’t yet prioritized streamlining your processes, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by administrative tasks.
Poor system organization, such as decentralized order taking, different departments operating on disparate systems (in the worst cases, perhaps even on pen and paper), and manual spreadsheet management can all contribute to a disruptively high administrative burden.
Solution: Digital wholesale fashion platforms are essential for helping to secure operational efficiencies across all departments of your business. As soon as the platform is embedded in your brand, all data and information is centralized and everyone has the same line of sight in terms of orders coming in and going out.
APIs can also assist with making it easier to work with any buyer in any system. JOOR, for example, already has more than 100 pre-built APIs brands can use in partnership with their buyers.
When New Zealand brand Wynn Hamlyn embedded a B2B fashion platform into its business model, it was able to dramatically reduce the time its staff spent on creating linesheets, covering currencies, and updating style information. The result was a more efficient business with staff able to concentrate on what mattered most. Within six months, it had doubled its sales.
Getting your collections seen by as many buyers as possible is key to wholesale success. But for many brands, tech limitations mean the only possible way to do this is offline - and that can mean budgeting to attend expensive tradeshows and networking opportunities in different countries all over the world.
Starter brands in particular might find this a challenge. But there is a world beyond physical-only events.
Solution: Virtual showrooms built quickly, easily and without the need for external support are a hallmark of digital fashion platforms like JOOR.
They enable brands to connect with retailers at very little cost and enable buyers to view collections anywhere in the world at their own convenience, before then using their free retail account to place orders without difficulty or fuss.
JOOR Passport, for example, acts as a curated marketplace that also hosts virtual tradeshows, aggregating a selection of the industry’s best fashion events on one platform that enables buyers and brands to connect virtually and at speed.
UK brand Brodie Cashmere used JOOR to access a global network of over 600,000 buyers, with virtual showrooms and digital lookbooks proving perfect tools to spread the word.
If you’re looking to grow your wholesale business, investing in a B2B fashion platform like JOOR is arguably the single biggest step forward you can take. The value of using digital wholesale platform for brands aiming to drive efficiencies and increase wholesale revenues are clear:
Retailers also benefit, with almost two-thirds saying JOOR has increased their ability to discover new brands, 70% becoming more efficient by spending less time in buying appointments, and more than three-quarters saying digital buying has improved their business efficiency.