When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, fashion brands and retailers scrambled to find new ways to ease the bulk buying process as showrooms closed. A B2B platform already had the tools in place to support this digital transformation and is not afraid to constantly reinvent itself.
With a network of over 12,500 brands and over 300,000 selected retailers in 144 countries, JOOR had a special focus on maintaining business continuity for all parties accessing its platform. But to add real value, the company has set itself a goal of not only replicating, but also reinventing the showroom experience, according to the CEO. Kristin Savilia |.
As a pioneer of the virtual showroom concept, JOOR is accustomed to facilitate connections at any time of the year, bypassing the traditional “buying schedule” to do so. The platform is designed to remove barriers in the wholesale process by allowing brands to work with any retailer they do business with. Access to the platform is free for retailers who partner with brands already present on JOOR.
JOOR, which is home to leading luxury brands such as LVMH, Kering and Richemont, as well as retailers such as Harrod’s, ShopBop, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols and Level Shoes, among many others, is No stranger to facilitating transactions either, managing over $ 1.5 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) each month and overseeing the sale of over 100 million products in 2020.
One of those luxury women’s footwear and accessories brands, Loeffler Randall, relies heavily on JOOR to streamline what is traditionally a laborious merchandising process, from producing line sheets to , create and process orders or collaborate with customers on their assortments during and after market meetings. .
Since the brand was already working with JOOR at the start of 2020, the company was comfortable moving to fully virtual market meetings within the platform once the pandemic took online meetings. , according to Jessica Peek, vice president of global sales and e-commerce at Loeffler Randall. .
“Now that our team and our clients have adapted to this new way of doing things, we are seeing more accounts using the platform for order submissions and placing orders earlier in the market timeline,” said Peek. “A positive aspect has been a simplified and accelerated ordering process, which allows us to react to the first market information. We plan to continue to develop these top-notch digital presentations and the additional efficiencies provided by JOOR, even when we are able to safely greet buyers in person.
When the pandemic hit, JOOR was in a good position to quickly add advanced features to its virtual showroom so that brands can develop personalized experiences. This included rich content such as realistic 360-degree images powered by ORB360, and a collaboration feature called The Edit, a styling feature where brands can visually collaborate with their buyers and edit assortments through to final selections. The changes were designed to make the platform more like a B2C e-commerce site that treated retail shoppers like shoppers.
“JOOR provided a simplified way to visualize the product,” said Jodi Kahn, senior manager, director of merchandising for the fine clothing division at Neiman Marcus. “There are generally great images of each style and the new video feature has been proven to be very effective in helping to see how the figure moves, drapes over the body, etc. The images allow us to put together style boards to see a cohesive image of what our purchase will look like. “
Kahn said the JOOR platform gave the luxury department store distinct advantages in the buying process compared to trying to manage the process without using a digital portal. On the one hand, the portal has maintained the link between the retailer and the brand even though the parties never meet in person.
“Relations with the brand are one of the pillars of success at Neiman Marcus,” said Kahn. “Our brands know customer Neiman Marcus very well and we are confident that while we may not be able to see the product in person, our brands will help guide us in the best direction. JOOR has helped streamline the process and is a great platform to work with our partner brands to find all the right styles to create the best assortment.
For brands and retailers alike, the journey to digital transformation has not been easy, especially as businesses have to rely almost entirely on digital content instead of accessing a showroom with clearly displayed products. Additionally, buying and selling teams are often stuck on long, repetitive video calls. Loeffler Randall’s Peek credits JOOR with the ability to provide sales and merchandising teams with access to real-time data and images and a respite from the monotony.
“Buying teams are tired of uninterrupted video calls, which is why we work each season to create the most compelling assets possible to capture the more convenient and tactile experience of in-person meetings,” said Peek . “For us, JOOR is what gets everyone to cross the finish line. The platform is the hub for keeping buyers connected to us at their own pace, delivering on-demand reporting, and ensuring all the assets and information we have created are accessible, digestible, and up-to-date.
To ensure that brands have all the data they need to grow their retail relationships, JOOR also offers a flexible reporting suite for brands that provides information on top-selling styles, number of orders, production volumes and stocks, all updated in real time. Brands can view current inventory available to meet immediate needs of retailers in the market.
JOOR Passport puts events online 24/7
In May 2020, the platform launched JOOR Passport, a 365-day-a-year marketplace responding to current conditions in the restricted travel market as well as the post-pandemic era where physical events are expected to resume. JOOR Passport centralizes the show and fashion week experience by creating a one-stop shop for users: one place to log in, one website to visit, one app to download and a full experience.
JOOR worked quickly to bring the market up to date with the digital events ecosystem. In 2020, the platform hosted 17 global events on JOOR Passport, attracting more than 140,000 visitors from 130 countries. On the brand side, more than 1,600 brands participated in a JOOR Passport event, with more than 500,000 items sold.
JOOR Passport now exclusively hosts 16 dynamic global fashion events during the current season, including London Fashion Week, Cabana and Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo.
“We expect that when the in-person shows return, they will retain a virtual component in order to extend the duration of the event and expand their reach,” Savilia told the Sourcing Journal. “JOOR Passport will be the solution of choice to enable a multi-week market, expand a show’s global audience, reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, and deliver the comfort brands and buyers expect.
In 2020, JOOR dipped its heels into a new area: payments. The market introduced JOOR payments to facilitate seamless online bulk invoicing and payment processing on the platform, adding even more ease and efficiency to the online shopping experience. This week, they announced the addition of SEPA and ACH to enable seamless bank transfers, which account for over 50% of wholesale transactions.
With a full suite of features on deck, JOOR is poised to take the digital wholesale experience to a new level, even in a post-pandemic world.
“Digital transformation is not something that can wait,” said Savilia. “Companies that were ahead in this area are showing resilience in the face of the pandemic; others are trying to catch up. Once brands and retailers join JOOR, they see the benefits of collaborative commerce as real-time data flows within a single ecosystem. So the biggest lesson for us is something we already knew as a business: choosing a fully digital ecosystem is best for the advancement of brands and retailers. “