Luke Thomson, Co-founder of digital fashion wholesale platform ReChannel.
As fashion becomes less seasonal and moves towards monthly collections and increased deliveries, managing the wholesale chain has become a constant struggle. But the endless admin-juggling of last-minute samples, lookbooks, buying appointments, orders and cancellations is about to change.
Despite the difficult economy, fashion houses and brands invest vast sums in their brand image: runway shows, trade shows, imagery, press events, lookbooks and showrooms. Yet brands still use inelegant paper linesheets and cumbersome lookbooks as the final exchange between brands and their buyers. Fashion has long accepted the value of ecommerce to sell business to business (B2B), yet it has been slow to embrace B2B technology.
The lack of an off-the-shelf solution has made forward-thinking brands build their own, at great expense. But an influx of new technology has seen the advent of new off-the-shelf solutions. These brand-to-buyer interfaces integrate directly into stock systems, allowing buyers to place live orders against real-time stock counts. Powerful new tools like these reduce fashion brands’ admin burdens, which could make the difference between growth and stagnation.