By Liza Deyrmenjian, CEO & Founder of Fashion Accelerator 360
Every E-tailer I know is wondering how they can have a brick and mortar presence. When E commerce was in its infancy, speculators forecasted extinction for the physical retail store, but I didn’t see it that way. Shopping is a recreational activity, a social activity, an emotional exchange that happens with the consumer and the brands they love. While E-commerce certainly offers convenient shopping options, there is a interpersonal connection and tactile retail experience that only brick and mortar retailers can provide.
The future of retail is E-commerce, which is multi channel, meaning online platforms intersect with a physical retail experience. Not everyone has Venture Capital funding, so how do you create your own attainable Multi Channel Retail strategy? The solution is easier and more cost-effective than you might think.
Trunk Shows. This is when you partner with a retail brick and mortar store and have a ‘event’ or a party inviting your list of customers as well as the retailer invites their list of clients and the event is structured around featuring and selling your product line. This is the fastest and most effective way to get your brand in front of your consumer and sell. You benefit from hearing their direct feedback, while your customers are elated to meet the founders, designers, creators of the brands they love and support. Retailers are game to partner with brands for trunk shows—it draws traffic to their store, it creates sales, and it fosters community. Here, three steps to your successful trunk show:
- Create a list of the top 10 retail stores you want to be sold in.
- Call them, introduce yourself, make an appointment, do your homework on the types of brands they carry, their brand history and then show up informed and ready to win them over with your line.
- Promote it through your network and ensure your partner retailer will be doing the same.
- Have some inventory on hand to sell. That is the best thing about a trunk show—sales and awareness, all while establishing your brand. The cost; the average is 20% of total sales goes to the retail store owner.
Click to learn more about getting your product in the hands of stockists, consumers & media, enroll in our online course led by Naomi Hightower, Designer / Owner of NAO
Trade Shows. These are seasonal exhibitions organized so that the companies in the given industry can showcase, demonstrate and sell their latest product or collection. Trade shows are a great way to build your brand and get it into retail stores. It’s more costly, but the trickiest thing about a trade show is making sure you set up at the one that best suits your brand. There are hundreds of shows that vary in retailer attendance, niche markets and price points- you need to do the research to determine the best fit for your brand. Four steps to generating sales at a trade show:
- Do your homework and research the brands that are exhibiting at the trade shows you are looking to exhibit at. Are they comparable? Are you a good fit?
- Make a list of 50 stores and spread these stores out amongst different states. Call them personally to introduce yourself and set up an appointment for them at your booth.
- Have great line sheets for buyers to walk away with. This also gives you a reason to follow up with your new contacts after the show.
- Draw attention to your booth. For example, models walking around wearing your product and handing out flyers with your brand and booth number.
Click to learn more about mastering tradeshows, enroll in our online course led by Alli Johnson, Show Director of POOLTRADESHOW
Designer Markets. Designer markets are in every major city; they host local designers and craftsmen. The market’s job is to promote. Therefore most weekends, thousands of people are walking through any given fair. Table rental is cheap and you are selling direct to the consumer, making big margins. Again, like trunk shows you need to have inventory on hand to sell. Also be sure to offer items with varying price points in order to appeal to a wider array of consumers.
3 Great Designer Markets to explore in major cities:
And there you have it: Brick and Click baby- Brick and Click!
For additional information on brick-and-click solutions, or to sign up for a master class, please visit here.
About Fashion Accelerator 360:
Fashion Accelerator 360 is an online education platform for the fashion & lifestyle industry. Our unparalleled team of fashion and lifestyle experts and industry thought leaders will take your idea from concept to completion. Quite literally, making your fashion dreams a tangible reality.
FBA 360’s strength lies in teaching you all of the details involved in developing a fashion business, with a focus on getting it made, getting it seen and getting it sold. FBA 360 covers all the terrain through our extensive curriculum of online classes, ranging from how to produce physical goods to e commerce strategy and execution; from product development, sourcing and manufacturing to web design; from the importance of user experience, online sales strategies to content and social media implementation; from finance to funding.
We immerse ourselves into our students and bring a 360-degree approach to teaching fashion entrepreneurship.
See you in class.