As buyers began to cancel or shorten their shopping trips to Milan and Paris last February, on the brink of the global coronavirus outbreak, Kristin Savilia, CEO of Joor, knew the sales industry in wholesale and fashion buying should adapt. In this case, that finally meant embracing a fully digital way of working. What she didn’t know at the time was that these changes would become permanent. As London Fashion Week starts tomorrow, this is the third time since June 2020 that the omnichannel digital shopping service has been its exclusive partner. While this is the most prestigious online shopping event, it is far from the only one Joor has gotten since launching his event-driven passport service amid the pandemic of the year. last.
“As soon as the Fashion Week trips started to be canceled, we noticed major activity on the site’s virtual showroom feature,” said Savilia. She admitted a windfall in a little used feature on the site. “Full disclosure; the feature was there but not really used by brands, and suddenly our brands called us for a refresher course on its implementation.” It became clear that for brands using this aspect, events and purchase periods could also be extended and reach a wider audience.
As usage skyrocketed, Savilia and her team quickly upgraded virtual showrooms to include ORB360 degree imaging technology in collaboration with a partner ORDER, addition of videos by style to optimize the search as well as an editing function. A standard aspect of the IRL buying process is to look at a rack of merchandise to buy and assess whether the assortment was sufficient. The edit function could show subscribers on the business platform the purchase in the store by style, location, item type, etc. for real-time brand forecast. Currently, some of the retail partners using Joors’ enhanced pro paid service include Harrod’s London, Selfridge’s, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Shopbop, Level Shoes, Liberty London, Dover Street Market, Forty Five Ten, Intermix and Samaritaine, the soon to reopen the retail and hotel project belonging to LVMH in Paris.
“I told my team, ‘the shows and fashion shows are not going to be in June, let’s be the platform that enables business continuity for this market,” Savilia recalls saying at the time that she thought it would be just this season. London Fashion Week then engaged with 50 brands that coincided with the Premium and Seek shows. Now in its third season, it has blossomed to 120 brands. The idea It coincided perfectly with Passport which was in development at the time. Initially intended to complement a physical show, the idea turned to a virtual format. But LFW was only an event. Passport centralizes trade shows in a one-stop shop for users, in the form of a single login, fully integrated website, application and service. In its first year, it hosted 17 global events that attracted over 140 000 visitors. Savilia said that with more than 1600 ma participating rques, more than 500,000 items sold. “Think about it for a moment.” The CEO said the platform is “democratizing the industry in a good way.”
DIVERSE GLOBAL REACH
Together with LFW, they have supported events in countries for the first time by organizing trade shows and non-profit fashion week events in China, Turkey, Colombia, Japan and Brazil, with a shoe salon about to kick off the morning I spoke with Savilia. Currently, Passport hosts Show Room Canada, Liberty Fairs X LA Men’s Market, Brazilian Footwear, Joor Showcase, Destination Italy alongside London Fashion Week in its preview phase, and Premium and Seek shows which appear in tandem each season.
Another event launched on February 22nd is the RAISEFashion event that supports black-owned businesses, which has partnered with the new organization to help black entrepreneurs and Harlem Fashion Row. “With many retailers such as Nordstrom
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE AND TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE
Now, a year later, Savilia is confident that digital trade shows will continue to improve and, for some, replace physical trade shows. Likewise, some predict that the parades will continue after the pandemic. “We’ve traveled too much, been to too many events,” she said. Industry needs to change its carbon footprint by traveling less and grouping events together. She argues that physical shows are still crucial but will involve less travel to attend. She notes that some stores already set up purchase levels for an in-person visit; for example, at Selfridge an account must have levels purchase of 250,000 BP. “The industry is 20 years behind,” she said, “we will not be purely virtual events, but will work in a more harmonized manner. But the reach of your show has become greater and your events may last longer online. ”In some cases, when a buyer only had three days, it wasn’t possible to see everything. With online events that can last a month or two, the remaining purchase is purchased online.
Like many companies in the fashion industry, Savilia said the first two months of the pandemic were sometimes difficult and uncertain. But as more brands and retailers have gone 100% digital, the need for the Passport feature and virtual showroom has led to a boon for Joor. The New York-based service, which has twelve offices around the world, including London, Paris and Shanghai, China, which is currently being opened, found that the biggest challenge was staffing. Savilia moved from questioning whether layoffs were imminent to hiring thirty new staff to accommodate the influx of brands and events on the platform. “We hired and trained new staff over the summer; we offer a point of contact service because we know that it can be scary for some brands to go digital, ”said the CEO. While many aspects of the fashion industry have turned to digital platforms, for example, shows are online; every retailer usually has a website, collectable lookbooks, and even creative portfolios exist digitally. Savilia said the wholesale purchasing industry is mired in manual order forms that are paper-centric and loaded with Excel spreadsheets.
Joor outperforms the competition in the industry by being not only the first, but also the biggest. Joor operates worldwide and has around 75% of luxury brands, including those owned by LVMH, Kering and Richemont, and has 30 exclusive retailers using their enhanced service versus three for a similar but newer service. “Our biggest differentiator is that we are a global, fully digital ecosystem enabling synchronization, interaction and collaboration; that’s Joor’s magic,” said Savilia. Regarding the outdated system and the competitors on the ground, the CEO said, “It’s good to have competition, but the real enemy is the lack of digitalization. When brands and retailers are on the same platform, same space and same timing are at their best, nothing beats this scenario. “
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