How technology is transforming global wholesale markets

In 2020, wholesale management platform Joor launched Joor Passport – a digital destination for shoppers and retailers to connect with brands in an industry significantly disrupted amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two years later, Joor Passport has hosted 58 global fashion events, welcomed over 320,000 retail visitors from over 150 countries, and 5,200 participating brands have sold over 730,000 products through the virtual platform.

Joor’s wholesale management platform powers the B2B businesses of the industry’s largest conglomerates, LVMH, Kering, Richemont and Capri Holdings, and retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Harrod’s and Shopbop also leverage the platform for planning and the purchase of all their assortments. Joor is also present at fashion weeks in London, New York and Istanbul, as well as trade shows such as Cabana in North America, CIFF in Denmark, Ontimeshow in China and JETRO in Japan.

After closing its Series D funding round at $46 million last year, the company is seeking ambitious growth amid the industry’s continued digital evolution. Here, Joor CEO Kristin Savilia shares her thoughts on the technology innovations that will continue to transform global wholesale markets and the growth opportunities she sees there.

How is technology continuing to transform wholesale events?

The adoption of digital technology creates greater efficiency and a wider audience in the buying and selling process – on the one hand, it provides access to a global audience 24/7.

For example, last year we launched a virtual fashion event in partnership with JETRO – the Japan External Trade Organization – called “Showcase Japan”. This event was designed to showcase 31 emerging Japanese designers and introduce them to a global audience of retail buyers. During our Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 iterations of “Showcase Japan,” we attracted 25,000 retail visitors from 71 countries. Every order placed for these events is sourced from outside of Japan, establishing new relationships and distribution for these brands with retailers around the world.

In addition to providing 24/7 global accessibility, digital technology also multiplies more sustainable practices. Using 3D and digital samples decreases sample overproduction, and we’ve seen that Joor Passport reduces travel frequency while enabling new brand discovery.

86% of shoppers said they have a medium to high level of interest in discovering new brands. This desire was most pronounced in North America.

What wholesale trends are you seeing in different regions?

We have an extensive network of over 13,200 brands and 365,000 retailers in over 150 countries, giving us a unique global perspective. The majority of our business is split between Europe and North America, but our fastest growing region is APAC, primarily Japan and China.

Based on recent market research we conducted, there were key differences between the US, Europe, and Asia. About 50% of the total number of retailers on Joor’s platform have extended their shopping season for Fall 22 to place orders later in the season, which is more pronounced in North America with 54% of buyers. In EMEA, it’s 45% and in APAC, 37%.

Interest in discovering new brands is also high. Overall, some 86% of shoppers said they have medium to high interest in discovering new brands right now. Again, this desire was most pronounced in North America.

How can global brands capitalize on this interest in discovery?

To help meet the increased desire of buyers today to experience new brands in new markets, I think it’s important to work with a local partner in each market who understands the culture. This has been the key to our success.

For example, our partnership with JETRO gives us access to their expertise and knowledge of talented emerging Japanese designers. They have identified brands to feature on Joor that are ready for global expansion, bringing new products to our extensive network of global retailers.

An independent boutique in New York recently purchased from two brands featured in “Showcase Japan” – Upper Hights and Red Card – and has already placed subsequent orders with these brands. It would have been highly unlikely that this retailer would have traveled to Japan to check out an upcoming brand there. However, leveraging the localized knowledge and expertise of a partner who understands the market and Joor’s innovative digital platform has been a winning combination in connecting this retailer to new resources.

JETRO's Showcase Japan Joor Passport.  Jo.

What upcoming innovations are likely to have the next big impact on market operations?

This pandemic has changed the way people view their showrooms. People are looking for their virtual showrooms to not only be places of commerce, but also to provide a rich and engaging shopping experience.

With that in mind, we’ve worked with top technology partners to integrate 3D renderings and VR experiences on Joor, allowing shoppers to browse virtual showrooms. These products that we have added to Joor allow the public to capitalize even more on digital. We’re a bit ahead of the trend because not all brands are using 3D and VR yet, but we’re here to guide them.

What next-gen technology solutions are brands looking for today?

A key sticking point our partners have shared with us is, “We don’t have enough samples to deliver to all the different retailers that need them.” So a digital solution to that would be 3D and 360 imaging.

We’ve been supporting 360 degree imaging since 2020, which means if you have at least one set of samples in your showroom, photography can be done in your showroom, put on our digitalized platform, and shared with all your retailers so they can access it. contents. We have now added 360 video and 3D imaging capabilities – through partnerships with Orb360 and Vntana respectively – which provide even more opportunities to accurately represent products in a digital environment.

People are looking for their virtual showrooms to not only be places of commerce, but also to provide a rich and engaging shopping experience.

How big of a change is the introduction of 3D digital samples?

The real evolution here isn’t having to have a physical sample in the first place and that’s where brands are starting to move towards 3D. We see AI image attribution as another real game-changer that will provide the opportunity in the wholesale space to enable better image tagging.

When you think of B2B wholesale, people don’t spend a lot of time with attributes – they save it for the consumer side of their business. But if you think about what’s needed in B2B, in order to find items more easily, that’s stronger and more consistent attribution. Joor is working on a solution related to what we are passionate about.

How should brands and retailers make the most of technology to improve their operational capabilities?

Being digital across the entire wholesale ecosystem is by far the most transformative action brands and retailers can take to build operational capabilities, rather than focusing on digitizing just one segment. of this one. Then, when everything is digital, your access to data is real-time, allowing you to better predict.

Data and analytics are an important part of this operational process – they enable more informed decision-making by brands and retailers, such as more effective and immediate collaboration. For example, our The Edit feature allows brands to virtually collaborate with their shoppers and personalize assortments through to final selections.

Analytics also helps us identify where we can increase the efficiency of the buying process and add value for our customers. We could see that payments to brands took up to three and a half months, so we decided to introduce Joor Payments as an in-platform solution last year, which facilitates online bulk billing and speeds up the process of collection of payments in just a few days.

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