Outdoor Retailer (OR) is the country’s largest outdoor recreation expo and conference. So it was a natural fit for Envoy to be there, given that our clients are outdoor and lifestyle brands. And there was no better location than Denver to bring these brands and their buyers together.
We talked to a lot of people at OR, each with a different story. But after talking to so many attendees, we started to see certain patterns emerge in what they were telling us.
Here are Envoy’s three main takeaways from OR.
1. Plan for the future, because Shopify and/or spreadsheets won’t get you there.
Out-of-the-box e-commerce solutions like Shopify are fine for a tiny mom-and-pop operation or the guy selling t-shirts out of his basement. But it’s not a platform built to meet the demands of the footwear and apparel industry. It’s a one size fits all solution with limited wholesale B2B functionality that brands will inevitably outgrow.
Spreadsheets won’t work either. There’s too much manual work involved. One OR attendee told us that she spends six hours a day keying orders into a spreadsheet. Compare that with 20 minutes a day using a dedicated e-commerce platform specifically designed for footwear and apparel companies.
In short, if you’re only dealing with immediate concerns, then you’re not taking the long view. Do you want to stay small? Or do you want to grow?
2. Attending a tradeshow isn’t enough. You need to go beyond the booth.
We saw all sorts of great booths set up by brands delivering rich, interactive experiences to retailers. But now that OR is over, what are those brands doing to keep their buyers engaged?
More to the point, what is your brand doing to maintain a good working relationship with your retailers?
You need to take the experience that you gave your retailers at OR—interacting with your product and getting educated about your brand—and extend it all year long.
How are you planning to do it?
3. Retail isn’t dead. It’s just changing.
There were loads of buyers at the expo, and we kept hearing in our conversations about how strong they thought the show was.
And it’s not hard to figure out why. Buyers like being engaged; they like experiences.
Denver was a great location for OR—a real breath of fresh air. There was a real excitement at the show, and we’re looking forward to heading back again this summer.
We’ll see you there!
By: Jon Faber
Chief Executive Officer
Jon has specialized in pushing the Wholesale B2B landscape forward for the past 8 years by championing feature innovation and generating high volume, high value content for forward thinking footwear and apparel brands.
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Envoy B2B is a wholesale content and eCommerce platform for your entire team. Our tools and services are designed to help you create dynamic content, increase your speed of sale, and bring you closer to your retailers. Envoy B2B provides the technology you need to empower your sales reps and support your retail channel.