In order for stationary retailers to be able to compete with vertical concepts such as H&M or Zara, the call for a more efficient and digital order solution is growing. Digital showrooms are on everyone’s lips, but the digitization of the pre-order process is also gaining momentum, not least thanks to Tommy Hilfiger’s entry. Fashion Cloud relies above all on hybrid models, which enable the pre-order process both through a web-based pre-order and through app-based tools. After all, not every showroom will become digital. The buyer’s decision as to whether to place a digital order or an order directly in the showroom will strongly depend on the product segment and the collection. For this reason, the order in the showroom will also become more digital. Buyers will use apps to pre-sort collections and synchronize them with limit planning. “The order data will in future be imported directly into ERP systems,” says Brücher.
However, the biggest barrier for digital orders will be the long change process. The result and the efficiency of the digital and data-supported pre-order must first convince the buyers. According to René Schnellen, one of the co-founders of Fashion Cloud, the switch to online pre-orders will not be a classic disruptive process, as some of the old structures will remain in place. The fashion industry is too people-driven for this.
The market for cross-supplier platforms is highly competitive. There is a lot of potential in supporting the stationary trade with digital products. Fashion Cloud can show off its network and the already existing integration in the industry. Brücher particularly emphasizes the neutral positioning, because all brands and dealers should profit from the efficiency of the placement of pre- and post-orders online.