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  • newp
    replied
    Originally posted by barryooi View Post

    @newp: Point taken with brands with extremely low quantities produced. That said, if you visit these stores, you'll still see heaps of stuff on sale, some even from like 3-4 seasons ago. That's a clear inefficiency, part of which could be solved by opening up your supply through an online channel.
    I don't know any store with a lot of GBS, Deepti, CCP, even PH lying around, especially on sale.

    Leave a comment:


  • Faust
    replied
    Originally posted by barryooi View Post
    1. Yes, the designers have their own terms, but I don't understand why. It's a business, first and foremost. You should aim to have your products in the hands of your customers and fans as soon as possible. Exclusivity is a quaint idea, but it's an unforgiving industry.

    2. Paypal can be awkward, admittedly, but they do offer a layer of protection. Plus, some platforms like Shopify have their own payments gateways which are much easier to navigate.

    There are many more than 2 such stores. Off the top of my head: Darklands, Ink's hidden designers section, Hide, Frida, L'armoire, BBSNY.
    Really? You understand you are talking about selling fashion and not laundry detergent, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • barryooi
    replied
    Thanks, some interesting replies here.

    @darkart: Fast fashion probably isn't the right term you meant; it doesn't just mean getting the product quickly into the consumer's hands. But that's another discussion entirely. Interesting insights into the brands, and I can see their point of view, but it seems a bit superficial. From an economics angle, there's significant deadweight loss.

    @mamoon: very good explanation of the inventory angle, but platforms like Shopify have an integrated solution for POS and e-commerce, with integrated inventories. My own company runs on such a platform. Some apps can even separate inventories by store if you have a chain of stores. Anyway, these stores are so low volume, the chances of something being sold online while a retail customer is trying on the last piece is going to be rare. Returns and refunds can be solved with a small "restocking fee". Accounting issues should be minor, again considering the low volume of these stores. My small company handles high volumes of sales and returns, I don't see why it should be so difficult...

    @newp: Point taken with brands with extremely low quantities produced. That said, if you visit these stores, you'll still see heaps of stuff on sale, some even from like 3-4 seasons ago. That's a clear inefficiency, part of which could be solved by opening up your supply through an online channel.

    The most convincing argument appears to be the risk of scam, which can be very burdensome in terms of the time it takes to resolve them (especially Paypal disputes, fuck Paypal disputes.) However, with the infrastructure set up correctly (which doesn't cost a lot, mind), the risk of this happening is rather low.

    Maybe I'm just bitter I live in a city that doesn't stock enough BBS...

    Leave a comment:


  • newp
    replied
    Originally posted by barryooi View Post
    1. Yes, the designers have their own terms, but I don't understand why. It's a business, first and foremost. You should aim to have your products in the hands of your customers and fans as soon as possible. Exclusivity is a quaint idea, but it's an unforgiving industry.

    2. Paypal can be awkward, admittedly, but they do offer a layer of protection. Plus, some platforms like Shopify have their own payments gateways which are much easier to navigate.

    There are many more than 2 such stores. Off the top of my head: Darklands, Ink's hidden designers section, Hide, Frida, L'armoire, BBSNY.
    1. It's easy, low and limited stock and high demand. Geoffrey B. Small is a perfect example: if you produce 1-2 entirely handmade pieces for each garment of yours by valuing quality over quantity by a mile plus the nature of your garments is that it should be experienced and appreciated in person it's quite understandable you will try to limit the distribution to: 1) the limited amount of stockists when you can choose best of the best; 2) the brick and mortar model. Since the demand is already very high and you can't expand your means of production because of the very high quality of people working for you, limited amount of fabric produced etc. etc. it naturally comes to this.

    Still, even one item scammed from a small shop could result in a heavy loss. I don't want to describe scamming techniques here but trust me they do exist. They just don't take the risk.

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  • mamooon
    replied
    Originally posted by barryooi View Post
    I work in a women's fashion company that began online before moving to an omnichannel strategy, so I'm very aware of how important a good online shopping experience is. That said, why do practically all retail stores that carry avant garde brands stay away from a full e-commerce experience?

    E-commerce platforms have proliferated, and it's mad easy and affordable these days to start up an e-commerce store these days. (...)
    Basically even it might be easy and affordable to open an online-shop, still what we call 'omnichannel' isn't _that_ easy as the complexity of data which need to get transmitted in real-time is oven underestimated. In fact, i am working for a company providing an ERP/WMS for e-commerce and some of our clients also run a classic retail-store and most of 'em still avoid to introduce a full omnichannel-experience because this needs a complex architecture. Just to mention a few things which need to be thought of:
    - If you ship out of a point of sale/retail-location, the stock needs to get submitted in real-time to the online-shop, i.e. the pos-system needs to get synced 24/7 with the online-shop/shop's erp/backend to avoid selling items not on stock anymore as a local customer just bought it. Especially in the segment of luxury items you need to avoid that online-customers get disappointed because after they 'bought' the item you might have to inform 'em that the item is meanwhile sold out. In that case there's a chance you lost the potential customer forever, have to take care about a refund in case he paid already in advance, you might have to cancel the invoice your shop maybe has already created, i.e. there's a lot of work in case you have to cancel an already placed order.
    - Even the item seems to be on stock, maybe at the point of sale a local customer took the item and tries it, so meanwhile you try to pick the item and simply don't find it. So, you need to wait 'till the local customer decides for/against the item. On the contrary, maybe a customer ordered online and as long as you don't shipped the item, you need to block/reserve it, i.e. you might have to take it out of stock, but: for online-customers there's always a chance that they'll return it. So if you dealing with a local customer and of one item there's just one left, you need to make a decision to whom to sell the item to. To a loyal local customer? To a loyal online customer? You might want to take the risk an online-customer will return the item as especially over here in europe you usually have the right to return an item for whatever reason. So: You need sort of a logic to make decisions, i.e. this is something software doesn't do.
    - Stuff like click&collect or order online & return at a store brings up enormous difficulties concerning the invoicing and returns and refunds. Imagine, someone orders online, pays with his/her credit card, so the shop usually pays a transcation fee up to 3%, a few days later he visits the store to return the goods and asks for cash. That way you lost money, the POS's cash account book suddenly isn't "correct" anymore and if you're running different ERP (POS versus online-shop) your bookkeeping is going nuts because they finally have to match these kind of 'events'.
    These are just a few examples. The company i do work for provides whitepapers (in german language only, sorry) why 'omnichannel' COULD make sense and why still so many retailers give a s... about 'omnichannel' as it's not as easy as it seems.

    Darklands - for example - deals with prospects in a way they're trying to avoid at first instance returns of online customers, that way a huge part of their capital isn't get shipped around the world for 14 to 21 days. I dislike as well the way you have to be sort of a petitioner if you'd like to order at Darklands for the very first time and i had bad experiences with one of their employees, but i still can understand why they're avoiding to run an regular online-shop.

    So, setting up an e-commerce-store is just one part, implementing the dataflow (stock, payments, invoicing, reservations, returns, bookkeeping...) of the online-ERP and POS is usually what makes the omnichannel-stuff really complicated and so many still try to avoid this as connections of different systems is usually very expensive. ;)

    Leave a comment:


  • darkart
    replied
    They just dislike fast fashion. It should answer all your questions.

    I am a long time customer in Ink (In person) and darklands(online store)
    I think both of them have their own way of selling stuff.
    For example Ink, they hide Deepti, BBS, CCP, MA+ mainly.
    MA+ doesn't let them to post stuff online.
    BBS, They just unable to meet the local customers. To be honest, I think they have the best sales of BBS stock over the world. They used to sell few hundred waxed P13 in just one season online and instore. FEW HUNDRED. And due to the good lord BBSNY. A lot of small boutiques dropped BBS. I don't want to talk about this here.
    CCP, Design just hate fast fashion. Production of a pair of sneakers takes 9-15 months depends on the desire of model and colorway.
    Deepti, similar to CCP, they don't even want to show their collection. Not until they drop in stores. Why would they want to sell stuff online.
    Basically there are a lot of constraints between brands and retailers. As long as stuff sells good and retailers are happy. They don't want to do any big changes to piss anyone off.
    Big brands such as BBS, CCP, MA+, Geoffrey B.Small give good reasons customers to visit the store. And as long as retailers play by the rules, top designers could help enhancing their store status and sales.
    Last edited by darkart; 08-29-2017, 04:18 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • barryooi
    replied
    Originally posted by newp View Post
    1. It shouldn't be circumvented. Designers have their own terms and conditions, trying to avoid that is disrespectful (and I can name only 4-5 designers with this rule: Geoffrey B. Small, Deepti, Paul Harnden, Elena Dawson, partial m.a+).
    2. Sometimes it's just pure laziness and being conservative. Stores don't want to move on, also paypal payments could be a very big problem for small shops because of scammers.

    I myself know only 2 shops dealing with the model you described (inquiries and manual payments), so I don't think that's the case. Small shops are staying out of online sales, large shops do it anyway.
    1. Yes, the designers have their own terms, but I don't understand why. It's a business, first and foremost. You should aim to have your products in the hands of your customers and fans as soon as possible. Exclusivity is a quaint idea, but it's an unforgiving industry.

    2. Paypal can be awkward, admittedly, but they do offer a layer of protection. Plus, some platforms like Shopify have their own payments gateways which are much easier to navigate.

    There are many more than 2 such stores. Off the top of my head: Darklands, Ink's hidden designers section, Hide, Frida, L'armoire, BBSNY.

    Leave a comment:


  • newp
    replied
    1. It shouldn't be circumvented. Designers have their own terms and conditions, trying to avoid that is disrespectful (and I can name only 4-5 designers with this rule: Geoffrey B. Small, Deepti, Paul Harnden, Elena Dawson, partial m.a+).
    2. Sometimes it's just pure laziness and being conservative. Stores don't want to move on, also paypal payments could be a very big problem for small shops because of scammers.

    I myself know only 2 shops dealing with the model you described (inquiries and manual payments), so I don't think that's the case. Small shops are staying out of online sales, large shops do it anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • barryooi
    started a topic Avant garde retailers and e-commerce

    Avant garde retailers and e-commerce

    I work in a women's fashion company that began online before moving to an omnichannel strategy, so I'm very aware of how important a good online shopping experience is. That said, why do practically all retail stores that carry avant garde brands stay away from a full e-commerce experience?

    E-commerce platforms have proliferated, and it's mad easy and affordable these days to start up an e-commerce store these days. Most avant garde websites require you to send an email of inquiry, followed by back and forth email chatter before proceeding with a manual Paypal transaction. This is a process that is incredibly inefficient and needlessly invites suspicion and worry.

    The only reasons I can think of are:
    1. Some brands (Deepti comes to mind) are against the dilution of the exclusive luxury shopping experience. Hence why some webstores hide certain brands, or they put up a "Price on request" sign on those product pages. This can be circumvented with a simple private member login. You could even charge a recurring fee for this.
    2. The assumption that it's too much work/too complicated/would require hiring a developer etc. Bollocks. Magento, Shopify etc are dead simple to use.
    3. The store's insistence on personal touch and abhorrence of the impersonal nature of e-commerce. Nothing is more impersonal to me than having to wait for email responses to make a purchase. You're filtering out interest at the first and most important level, the impulse level. Leave the emails for more detailed inquiries and indecisive folks.

    Exclusivity is a weak excuse when the designs and prices alone are enough to separate them. Plus it's downright contradictory when they post their products on social media.

    Perhaps this reluctance to adapt to the evolving nature of demand and consumption is the reason why many of these stores (and brands, by extension) are struggling? Or am I missing something else entirely?

    Man, I hate inefficiency. I'd love to help some of these stores set up their e-commerce stores.
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