There are a lot of different ways to double your wholesale revenue. Which strategy will you choose for your fashion design business?
Boosting your wholesale revenue is one of the best ways to grow your fashion design business. But if you just try to do twice the work, your goal may never become a reality.
Take a look at these tried-and-true strategies. Only choose one (unless you have sales reps or a showroom on your side), and dive deep.
It’s tempting to do a lot at once, but it can be problematic. Let’s take expanding into new markets for an example. It’s a lot of work to implement a new market entry strategy. So if you do that while you’re trying to gain new independent fashion retailer clients back home, things can get chaotic fast.
The Two Faces of Wholesale
There are two ways to look at wholesale:
- Large accounts making large volume orders
- Many smaller accounts, amounting to a large total volume of orders
Smaller doors tend to be really kind to startup fashion brands. A small independent fashion retailer only has a couple of racks; they’re more receptive to the fact that you have less pieces. And they’re only going to carry 3-10 styles per brand because they just don’t have the space. But small can be great. In the beginning, those smaller retailers show the larger ones that others believe in your product.
But when you’re ready to scale up, you have to be able to support your scale with a lot more SKUs.
Expand Your Product Assortment.
Most startup fashion brands launch small and start with smaller doors- big independent fashion retailer clients usually require a wide assortment of SKUs. So if your strategy is to land a big retail client, make sure your assortment is wide enough to capture their business. Do note that having more SKUs also means having to invest more dollars into sampling and design.
Prepare to invest in more samples. Nordstrom and Saks may carry many of the same brands, but not the same SKUs. They buy differently for their different customers. So if you have 150 SKUs, make sure you produce 150 samples. Or if you have three shirts in five colors, think about sampling out 30 SKUs to show other bodies and shapes. It’s hard for a buyer to make an order without seeing the finished product. They want to touch, feel and see your designs. It’s an expensive but important step and it won’t commit you to having tons of inventory. A lot of startup fashion brands miss this crucial step.
Look to New Markets.
Another way to double your wholesale revenue is to move beyond your existing market. For example, let’s say you launched in the U.S., expanding into another country is one way to boost your fashion design business.
Produce More Collections.
The more collections you have to offer throughout the year, the more opportunities you’ll have to sell additional product to your wholesale clients. Don’t go overboard. Make sure the collections you choose and their cadence make sense for your target market and brand. Let’s say you currently produce collections for Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. You may want to introduce a Resort collection or even a couple of special capsules throughout the year.
Build Business with Pre-Existing Clients.
Startup fashion brands, your existing independent fashion retailer clients can present some pretty tempting low-hanging fruit. For example, let’s imagine your brand is sold at Barneys. You have a well-established relationship with them but you’re only in one of their doors. This isn’t uncommon at all. Larger retailers love to test brands at one store before rolling them out to others. Now could be a great time to leverage the success of your brand at that door to gain wider distribution with them.
Negotiate Better Deals.
Sometimes doubling your wholesale fashion design business is as simple as increasing your minimum order value. For newly launched startup fashion brands, there can be a lot of desperation when it comes to minimums. However, once you’re more established, you can make a move from let’s say a $1,500 minimum to $5,000. You’ll weed out retailers who aren’t ready to be more committed to your brand and get others to instantly level up their orders.
Launch a Diffusion Brand.
Offering a diffusion line presents another wholesale revenue stream for your brand. However, do note that this is a longer-term strategy- you’re going to have to spend. So do the research and build a list of current and potential independent fashion retailer clients who could be interested if such an offering.
Rethink Your Internal Sales Team.
What does your current wholesale team look like? You may want to pivot to using a showroom or sales rep instead of building an internal wholesale team of your own. However, external support means you’ll have very little control and little guarantees.
Excited to dive into action? We hope so! And if you need help choosing the best strategy for your brand or even support with the execution, give us a call. The global retail talents on our team are ready to take your wholesale fashion design business to whole new heights. Call 310-957-5264 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.