Selling Your Fashion Collection: Is Wholesale or e-Commerce Right for Your Business?
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Fashion wholesale distribution and e-Commerce platforms are both great sales strategies for your budding fashion business depending on your business needs. Which sales channel makes the most sense for selling your fashion collection?
Wholesaling is a distribution channel where a wholesaler acts as a middleman between your business and a brick-and-mortar or online retailer who sells to the general public.
According to strategic advisor Ari Bloom, wholesaling is often a popular starting point for new fashion businesses, as it "requires less upfront investment in infrastructure and greatly reduces the financial risk associated with production and manufacturing costs." If you choose to wholesale, forming relationships with the right wholesalers is a crucial part of your growth, and there are a multitude of options right at your fingertips. Wholesaling can occur either through a brick and mortar distribution channel or through online platforms.
According to the Business of Fashion magazine, new online wholesalers are pioneering a new model which moves away from distributing to brick and mortar stores towards fully online platforms. Online services like FashionGo.net, and JOOR provide a convenient way for clothing manufacturers and wholesalers to connect and grow their businesses 24 hours a day. However, as a newer mode of distribution, online wholesalers can lack the strength of relationships built by more established wholesale businesses.
Selling your collections through your own e-Commerce platform is an easy, cost-effective, and convenient way to make and maintain connections with customers. Operating your own online store gives you the most control over how your inventory is presented and marketed. If you are not able to travel to a major fashion hub like New York, London, or Los Angeles, using an e-Commerce platform gives you broad exposure to an international audience which may not otherwise have access to your products.
Many e-Commerce platforms are available based on your company's needs. However, according to Bloom, when using an online platform as opposed to wholesaling, your business also assumes the most inventory risk if your products do not sell.