An increasing number of independent retailers are planning to plug into online portals to help raise their profile and drive online sales.
Premium businesses including, Hip in Leeds, Middlesbrough department store Psyche and London indie Browns have expressed an interest in signing up to Designerclothing.com, an online shopping portal which will bring together independent retailers into one online shopping community.
Designerclothing is scheduled to launch at the end of this month and has received letters of intent to sign up from more than 150 indies.
The website will host online profiles of each retailer and transactions will be directed to the retailer’s own transactional website.
The service is free to join at launch stage although a membership fee may be introduced at a later date. Designerclothing will take a 10% commission from sales made.
Retailers and their stock will be ranked on feedback scores given by users of the site rather than by price comparison of product.
Designerclothing managing director Richard Bendelow said: “We’ve received a fantastic reception from the fashion industry. The profiling facility is fundamental to its success and will serve multiple purposes. As well as providing statistical customer data to the boutiques, we’ll also be able to analyse brand synergies and fashion shopping trends. Most online boutiques don’t have the time or expertise needed to gather this kind of information, which can be crucial to successful buying, marketing and sales.”
Separately, online directory Findafashionshop.co.uk, which launched in April 2008, has reported a 98% membership renewal rate over the first and second quarters of 2009 from the 300 indies on its books.
The operation aims to appeal to those independents that do not have a transactional website and acts as an online advertising platform. It costs independents £52 per year to join the service.