For months now, pundits and press have been predicting the start of a new “roaring 20’s” for fashion. On the heels of the late-April Oscars, the red carpet is back. This comes as welcome news to brands and retailers alike, and it begs the question of how we will return to in-person buying and selling. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Showrooms may look the same - but they’re better than before
Last year, we saw a huge shift as brands and retailers realized that they needed technology to do business with one another, not just with their consumers. During the pandemic, the industry discovered a huge amount of efficiency from doing business virtually, and adoption of virtual showrooms skyrocketed. At JOOR, we’ve always believed strongly in innovation and the opportunity that digital technology affords, both in a virtual and physical environment. That’s why we partnered with ORB360 to integrate lifelike 360 high resolution imagery into our platform, and why last summer we teamed up with PVH backed HATCH to offer brands exclusive access to HATCH's Digital In-Showroom software.
2. Plan ahead, and bring your technology!
When I was a buyer in the 90’s, it wasn’t acceptable to wear sneakers to market: advance planning was key to avoiding sore feet at the end of every day. Today we face different concerns, like social distancing and post-vaccine etiquette. Digital tools like JOOR help brands and buyers prepare and make the most of their time together. Leveraging our Appointment Hub, JOOR brands can schedule meetings in advance, or send personalized showrooms to buyers and host walkthroughs via video conference. And remember, digital is a key tool on the showroom floor! JOOR’s iPad application offers a set of robust functionalities including real-time order capture and reporting, as well as creation of POs with a few simple taps. With JOOR, buyers and brands have an up to the minute view of their wholesale business no matter where they are.
3. Collaborate through the buying cycle
Based on the pandemic-related business disruption, buyers and brands began clamoring for more ways to collaborate, which led JOOR to launch the Edit last July. With this tool, brands present custom styleboards and digitally collaborate with their buyers to parse their assortments down to their final selections. Buyers in turn get the ability to visually build their assortments and envision them with images before placing an order. We also heard that the last mile of a transaction was a pain point for many brands, so early last year we introduced JOOR Payments to foster seamless online bulk invoicing and on platform payment processing, and recently added SEPA and ACH payment capabilities.
It’s thrilling that physical markets and shows are on the horizon. The world has changed, and that’s not a bad thing for an industry that historically traveled an excessive amount. We expect that showrooms will maintain a virtual component to appeal to globally distributed and environmentally conscious audiences. And we look forward to seeing more red carpet style as the world emerges from lockdown. Let the new roaring 20’s begin!
By Kristin Savilia, CEO, JOOR