Whether you’ll be attending MAGIC in Vegas, PROJECT WOMENS in New York or other major Spring/Summer womenswear trade shows this August, let these expert-approved, pre-show planning tips be your guide.
1. Review Your Order History
Use your B2B e-commerce platform to review your order history. One advantage of having your linesheets integrated with your ERP is the ability to seamlessly review order history with parameters, including specific styles from past Spring/Summer seasons.
Entering a new season armed with the knowledge of what sold well in the past will allow you to curate your assortments with greater clarity for each retailer you meet with.
“I think small, contemporary brands have to be as fluid as possible. They have to be able to respond and evolve, both with their customers and their big wholesale partners. If you don’t have that ability to flex and change — if you get stuck too far out there or too far in your ways — you’re going to get caught up.”
Janice Sullivan, President, Rebecca Taylor
2. Strategize Exclusives
Exclusives are satisfying consumers’ needs for differentiation and newness in a zeitgeist centered on experiences and Instagram. We’re seeing exclusives become a major point of focus at retailers from Urban Outfitters to MATCHESFASHION.COM as stores line up for exciting exclusives.
In fact, highlighting the importance of a unique product offering, Alexandra Willinger, Intermix’s Buying Manager of Designer Secondary, Sportswear, Denim and Outerwear, recently told Glossy podcast listeners that approximately 30% of their business comes from exclusives:
“We work with our vendors to create anything from one style to fill a void in the market, a collection or the natural cadence of how the brand is delivering its product, to a broader capsule that we do with quite a few brands to offer what our customer comes to us for. For example, we just did a jumpsuit capsule, because we noticed that our girl has always come to us for parties. So we worked with our brands to offer her a curated capsule of jumpsuits for parties or every day, and it was hugely successful. We didn’t see it in the market, and we felt it was something we could expand on. She really responded to that in stores and online.”
10 Corso Como, founded by Carla Sozzani (sister of the late Vogue Italia EIC, Franca Sozzani), also extols the power of exclusives:
“The industry is constantly changing and looking for newness. In some ways, it’s reflective of what we’re doing. Our pop-ups are constantly changing. We’re giving more designers a platform. The shifting of the fashion calendar may change how we buy, but it won’t change our ethos. We try to do exclusives and collaborations so that we avoid [markdowns]. They’re not healthy.”
Averyl Oates, Managing Director, 10 Corso Como New York
3. Produce Custom Spring Season Presentations
Use your B2B e-commerce platform to create custom Spring/Summer presentations for buyers of interest. Utilize insights gleaned from your order history, fresh color stories for the season, key product categories and silhouettes for the season and other strategic considerations for on-brand, transaction-focused results. Build custom linesheets for each retailer so you can make their shopping experience relevant to them.
4. Share Your Portal with Buyers Ahead of the Show
Update your portal with new imagery and build fresh linesheets that you can share with buyers ahead of the show. This way, they’ll be able to preview your collection and build draft orders before they peruse your products in-person. Your digital linesheets will also come in handy at the shows. Buyers no longer need to take notes on paper linesheets. Digital linesheet notes are lessening once-difficult trade show loads and empowering brands by capturing buyer intent (not to mention, going digital can also drive ROI after trade shows are complete)
"The fact is that you always have to be fresh and cool in this business – and product isn’t enough.”
Renzo Rosso, President, OTB Group (Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni…)
5. Schedule Market Appointments
Share your booth information with buyers and start scheduling market appointments ahead of the shows. Time is limited; guarantee face-to-face meetings with your most important wholesale clients and prospective accounts.
Brands on NuORDER see a 30% increase in trade show orders. To learn more, request a demo or speak to your account manager today.