5 Benefits of Attending a Digital Trade Show for Retailers
The last two and a half years have been anything but business as usual for the world of fashion trade shows. Just like every live event that was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of trade shows was thrown into question with the shutdown of essentially all in-person business. Zoom meetings replaced conference rooms and social media became a main point of contact between buyer and seller. The fashion industry, like every other one, had to reimagine and reinvent itself to fit this new, entirely virtual landscape.
While online versions replaced in-person shows at a time when it was necessary to keep a safe distance from one another, it is clear that the digital trade show is here to stay. Virtual trade shows and interactive events have proven valuable because they enable participating brands and retailers to easily connect online, allowing products to be presented digitally when it isn’t possible to happen in person.
Many wholesale fashion and design businesses around the world are embracing virtual solutions and hosting events, such as The Folklore Connect’s upcoming fall/winter 2023 Digital Market Week, that bring their products and vision to life with no need to cross borders or send files back and forth.
Along with brands and designers, retail buyers have also adapted to this new digital way of trading, meeting potential suppliers and discovering products where they are: on the internet. From browsing new product assortments to organizing video meetings and placing orders, digital trade platforms provide many benefits to all participants, especially retailers.
Get global access
All you need to attend a digital trade show is a laptop with a good internet connection. You can log on from anywhere in the world and instantly connect with multiple brands and designers across different time zones. At a time when many consumers and brands are considering their carbon footprint and their effect on our environment, virtual shows help alleviate any climate concerns.
Save on costs
When you factor in the cost of travel and hotels when visiting in-person trade shows in different cities, it often works out to be a very big expense. If your budget allows for attending multiple trade shows each season, it can all add up very quickly. Virtual shows are often free to participate in, or may require a nominal fee that is less the usual price of entry for a physical show. This can help to reduce the overhead costs of running your business and means you can allocate your resources to investing in your wholesale inventory instead.
Have real-time interactions
While a busy trade show tent that’s full of people may be a sign of success, it also means that productive interactions often get lost in the crowd. It’s not always possible for a buyer to get the chance or adequate time to speak with a potential supplier, and they may require several follow-up messages after the event. In the case of a virtual trade show, a one-to-one meeting is usually a built-in feature, where buyers can make appointments with brands at a convenient time, and get all their questions answered at once.
Experience seamless commerce
The digital trade show is an innovative wholesale solution that provides a frictionless experience for brands and retailers alike. From the beginning of the process (browsing products and placing orders) to the end of the wholesale cycle (payment invoices and order fulfilment), the entire business operation can be conducted seamlessly with technology without having to leave your home or office.
Gain valuable data
A conventional trade show relies on visitors navigating booths and stands at a high volume, which can make collecting data such as attendance, dwell time, direct sales and other metrics prone to inaccuracies. At a digital show, brands can easily keep track of the number of visitors in relation to those who registered, and retailers can discover products or receive recommendations based on their preferences or values, such as a sustainability, Black-owned or handmade designs.