Showrooms: The Next Frontier in Wholesale Revenue Growth in 2022

2022 is looking a lot like 2021 with regards to fashion and wholesale. Investment in digital remains strong, yet brands aren’t immune to the global supply chain issues and still face problems running sales seasons. How is this possible? Shouldn’t digital have alleviated this? For brands with large revenue contributions coming from wholesale selling, the answer may lay right at the center of it all: Showrooms. While many brands have now adopted new B2B tools, their showrooms are still sample filled and the teams still rely on sample delivery to start the sell-in season. As brands redefine their distribution model to strengthen their positioning, can the wholesale channel remain relevant without looking into its showrooms? What may seem like a luxury, can be the key for growth in 2022. Here’s how digitizing your showrooms can support your wholesale goals in the new year.

#1 Leverage Storytelling to Increase Average Selling Price

Current pressure on supply chains have 67% of fashion executives expecting an increase in retail prices for 2022. In today’s markdown-eat-markup world, this is big news. In order to keep margins intact, positioning will be key. More than ever, brands will need to leverage storytelling and content to elevate how they are perceived across all sales channels, including wholesale. Traditional showroom sales often favour product over brand, packing physical samples in one space. This can distract buyers during the sales process, leading them away from your key styles. A Digital Showroom provides brands with a platform to tell a story around their collection. The more you invest in crafting that story (digital content), the more confident buyers will be in choosing items based on the brand value instead of price.

#2 Optimize the Distribution Mix with a Curated Brand Experience

Self-Service doesn’t serve all. Digitization is helping sales teams and buyers connect when travel isn’t possible. With marketplaces growing year on year, brands must stay a relevant partner for them and a catalog pdf or a B2B portal won’t be enough. Specially for those that buy in showrooms (and those are typically the most important ones), the buying experience hasn’t changed that much. In fact, it still suffers from ongoing supply chain challenges due to the reliance on physical samples. Sales teams spend considerable time dealing with these challenges which ultimately hurts the buying experience. A Digital Showroom will bring the benefits of digitization to the physical space, while providing buyers with a more curated brand experience. The better the experience you provide to buyers, the better they will understand the brand, and the more aligned their selection will be to your brand goals.

#3 Reduce Operational Costs by Utilizing 3D

While Web3 and the metaverse are making today’s fashion headlines, the industry hasn’t scaled 3D yet. One of the challenges the industry face is bringing 3D past the design process. Digitizing your showroom can enable this by making 3D samples possible in the physical space. This reduces the need for physical samples, expands the lifespan of a 3D sample beyond design and offers a real life scenario to test, gauge and optimize your 3D workflows. Showrooms are what 3D needs in order to scale and 3D is what showrooms need to reduce costs. While change management must be accounted for (sales teams must feel confident on selling with 3D samples) 3D can help reduce costs to a minimum, from needing less space to display collections, to starting a new season in days (the time it takes to render samples) instead of months.

The Future of Wholesale Needs Better Showrooms

Wholesale revenue won’t fully recover if showrooms struggle to operate. With many B2B tools available in the market, brands need to turn to their showrooms and run them more like flagship stores and less like a back office. In a year where supply chain challenges will continue, digitizing your showroom will keep you in control of your costs, ready to adapt to the unexpected and top of mind with your customers.
You can’t be an A-brand without providing an A-experience.

Visit HATCH to learn more about the role of showrooms in transforming the future of wholesale.


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