A Digital Movement from Paper to PresentationsIf we turn back the clock to more than a decade ago, most businesses were just winding down fax machines and fully transitioning to sending Word documents and Excel spreadsheets via email. When it comes to the merchandising operations of any retail business, this was also true. Buyers and sellers would first meet at trade shows, then follow up with an email, and dozens of PDF attachments, Word docs, and Excel sheets would follow. As Google, Amazon, and even Spotify continued to push the boundaries of the cloud, there is a natural progress to make work even more efficient, which also penetrated the retail world in all ways imaginable.
Today, when it comes to shopping for new products, more retail buyers are going paperless. Moreover, the more tech-savvy buyers are going one step beyond, and prefer a simple link to digital presentations where they can directly place an online order with their sellers and brands. This means moving completely onto the cloud without having to use local computer space to store PDFs or Excel line sheets. When surveying retail buyers, Brandboom found that more than 86% of them are more likely to open a Brandboom presentation link than downloading a PDF that’s sent from brands by their sellers. While Brandboom provides both options, it seems like more retail buyers are valuing the time they save from not having to download PDF files and organize them locally. Having completely free access to a web app like Brandboom proves to be a lot more favorable way to interact with sellers.
“More than 86% of buyers are more likely to open a presentation link than download a PDF from sellers.”
Faster and More Efficient BuyersFor decades, trade shows have been influencing the pace of the retail business when it comes to merchandising strategies, and they are still a formidable force in the industry today. Sellers and buyers would manage their respective businesses based on seasonality and trade show schedules with respect to their product categories. After all, that’s where buyers meet new sellers and reconnect with existing sellers and brands.
However, as technology makes everyone more comfortable with virtual connections, buyers are becoming more efficient and have started to use the extra time to harbor more ownership of extra responsibilities. Buying decisions are no longer mainly dependent on trade show schedules. While surveying our buyers, nearly 34% of them are now reviewing NEW brands proposed by sellers daily. When we include the additional 35% of buyers who are looking at new brands on a weekly basis, that gives us more than 50% of buyers who are actively reviewing products from brands they have never interacted with before during their regular work week. In contrast, only little more than 11% of buyers today are looking at new brands and products from sellers on a quarterly basis. This means the value of trade shows have drastically shifted for many of our buyers anywhere from small to large retailers.
“More than 50% of buyers are actively reviewing products from brands they have never interacted with before during their regular work week.”
Tech Savvy and Open to New OpportunitiesAs technology brings sellers and buyers closer together in a new retail ecosystem, the pressure to stay relevant due to the fast fashion growth has pushed all retail buyers to be on the lookout for newness. To satisfy the new consumer’s overnight change in taste and trends, buyers are starting to experiment with new buying strategies. In the past, the buying season follows the trade show schedule closely, and retail buyers would place large bets on a few dozen staple styles and buy deep.
Today, with retail giants like Zara turning their production line on a two-week design-to-store cycle, many retailers have challenged their buying teams to buy wide while keeping inventory very lean and flexible. This has become more of the norm with many retail buying teams, and it is now a strategy employed to diversify their risk.
“Many retailers have challenged their buying teams to buy wide while keeping inventory very lean and flexible.”
The great news is, this gives new brands and sellers more opportunities to catch their big break with a retailer that may have been out of reach in the past. From our survey we learned not only are buyers now reviewing new brands more frequently, they are MORE willing to view new brands and their products through Brandboom’s online presentations, over 96% to be specific. Why is this important? The answer lies within the makeup of brands selling their products on Brandboom’s platform. Here at Brandboom, we have one of the MOST diverse groups of entrepreneurs in the fashion space. Our brands cover all types of product categories, with business sizes ranging from brands that are just getting started with their wholesale business, up to brands that are sustaining multi-million dollar revenue with more than 75% of its cash flow coming from wholesale alone.
“More than 96% of buyers are MORE willing to view new brands and their products through online presentations.”
A Evolved (and Better) Retail ExperienceAs consumers, we sometimes forget all of the hard work that goes behind the scenes to get a product from a hopeful designer’s hands, all the way into our everyday lives. While we are blessed with the access that e-commerce have given us, allowing us to purchase almost anything with a few taps on our phones, the same hasn’t happened as quickly for retail buyers whose job is to curate the products we come to love in stores online and offline.
With technology like Brandboom filling that gap, retail buyers no longer have to wait until the next trade show to connect with existing and new brands to place new orders. In fact, nearly 97% of retail buyers on Brandboom place orders directly with their brands on our platform. The easier a brand makes it for retail buyers to do business with them, the more likely a retail buyer will consider reviewing new products from them. As the entire industry comes together to fight the retail slump, retail buyers are working faster, and making smarter choices when it comes to buying wider and leaner. As we see more of this new age retail buyer, we will definitely see a difference in our retail world in the next 3 to 5 years. We expect to see a diversified retail ecosystem where new businesses forge. Technology empowers us all to create not just more products, but a better retail experience for everyone.
“In fact, nearly 97% of retail buyers place orders directly with their brands online.”