Buying Show reinvents the traditional trade show order processes, allowing retailers and brands to find their perfect match.
The rise of fast fashion, a shifting season cycle and the increasing sophistication of consumers’ needs means retailers are facing change. “Out with the old and in with the new” is the new credo for stocking stores. Collections must not remain static, because for many customers, there is no such thing as the seasonal shopping trip any more.
Shopping to refresh one’s wardrobe has become a recreational activity – and is not comparable to “need” shopping such as filling the fridge. Browsing clothes, whether online or in a bricks-and-mortar store, is quality me-time, intended to discover “wants”. Retailers should aim to trigger these wants at every shopping occasion. Fulfilling this demand for surprising and desirable products raises the challenge of presenting desirable new items as frequently as every two weeks.
This diversification affects the order process gravely and leaves the traditional wholesale principle questionable. So far, orders have been placed once a season at trade shows taking place twice a year. That single order constitutes the main supply of a retail store for a whole season. Therefore, retailers are restricted to a narrow timeframe in which to pick their lines, decide on the volume and place orders – months in advance of distribution.
Even as the fashion industry has pioneered advancements and technological improvements to meet consumers’ needs, the wholesale framework has left the retailers without appropriate progress. That lack of adaptation places the retail side of the market in a precarious position.
Trade shows oblige independent retailers to rapidly make a decision that will affect their performance for a whole season. These conditions are not conducive to a well-thought-out decision. How can all possible products be considered – not to mention new brands be discovered – within a period as short as 72 hours? A rapidly changing fashion industry and a standstill wholesale model are not wholly compatible.
This is where ecommerce comes in. Imagine a single marketplace presenting all the brands that were previously showcased at trade shows, available to order from anywhere in the world, at any time. It would grant the ability to make considered decisions about ordering, potentially lowering the retailer’s risk by allowing them to order smaller volumes with greater frequency and flexibility.
Berlin-founded Buying Show has established the concept of digitalising trade shows, offering the possibility of post-trade show follow-up. Brands can display their entire collections and make them accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Retailers can revisit brands they saw at trade shows, and are provided with in-depth information such as quality of the garments, stock data, delivery time and more.
Furthermore, it provides the opportunity to pre- and reorder at any point, improving certainty over stock levels and improving cashflow for both retailers and brands. Not only is the online platform free of charge for retailers, but it also offers them its expertise, guiding them through the jungle of products, brands, and trends. It matches brands and retailers via a curator – an expert who is at the retailers’ disposal. This aspect tips retailers off on new and promising brands that have not been in its portfolio yet. Around 600 retailers and 120 brands already market on Buying Show, including Italian etailer Luisa Via Roma and German department store KaDeWe. A concept to advance conventional trade shows that was long overdue has arrived.