Dig­i­tal Dis­rup­tion

JOOR’s Kristin Sav­ilia shares in­sights into the re­tail in­dus­try’s need for smarter tech­nol­ogy.

WWD Digital Daily - - Content -

Adig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has taken hold of the re­tail in­dus­try, mak­ing use of tech­nol­ogy ta­ble stakes and ac­cess to data crit­i­cal. And dig­i­tal busi­ness-to-busi­ness whole­sale man­age­ment plat­form busi­nesses, like JOOR, are ini­ti­at­ing that trans­for­ma­tion by cre­at­ing so­lu­tions for brands and re­tail­ers that pro­vide im­me­di­ate in­sights for smarter, in­formed busi­ness de­ci­sions.

JOOR’s plat­form con­nects over 8,600 brands with 200,000 re­tail­ers across 144 coun­tries, uniquely shar­ing data be­tween trans­act­ing par­ties and cre­at­ing an ecosys­tem of col­lab­o­ra­tion. Par­ties are able to ac­cess busi­ness driving met­rics to lever­age trends and see de­vel­op­ment - It is a process in which the com­pany sees ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Here, Kristin Sav­ilia, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at JOOR, talks to WWD Stu­dios about JOOR, re­tail’s dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, and what brands and re­tail­ers need to con­sider when mak­ing the in­vest­ment.

WWD Stu­dios: Tell us about how a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is crit­i­cal for brands?

K.S.: There’s never been a more crit­i­cal time for brands and re­tail­ers to use tech­nol­ogy as a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. The world is big­ger than ever, with ev­ery re­gion around the globe par­tic­i­pat­ing in the whole­sale ecosys­tem.

Brands want and need to en­able 24/7 shop ac­ces­si­bil­ity to buy­ers, and go­ing dig­i­tal is what fa­cil­i­tates this. And the real-time in­sights de­liv­ered by a dig­i­tal plat­form mean brands and re­tail­ers can work smarter and re­act quickly to op­ti­mize their busi­nesses.

WWD Stu­dios: Why is it im­por­tant for brands to have a com­bi­na­tion of in-store and dig­i­tal plat­forms?

K.S.: On the consumer side, re­tail has made huge strides in dig­i­tal: e-com­merce, per­son­al­iza­tion, ma­chine match­ing, and Kristin Sav­ilia, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, JOOR. drop ship - just to name a few. In re­sponse to a grow­ing num­ber of on­line com­peti­tors, tra­di­tional re­tail­ers have started their own e-com­merce busi­nesses. And at the same time, on­line-only re­tail­ers have re­al­ized that cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion costs are much higher with­out the scale of brick and mor­tar. So the win­ning an­swer is a com­bi­na­tion of the two.

WWD Stu­dios: When you are talk­ing to brands and re­tail­ers what are the top con­cerns they face in grow­ing their busi­nesses?

K.S.: How to keep grow­ing is al­ways top of mind. Be­yond that, they want to be able to fore­cast trends more ac­cu­rately, and re­act quickly as new ones emerge in the mar­ket. Many of our cus­tomers are also very con­cerned about cli­mate change and want to iden­tify ways to be more sus­tain­able.

WWD Stu­dios: What de­mands are re­tailer IT man­agers hear­ing from buy­ers and share­hold­ers are they work­ing to meet?

K.S.: Re­tail chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cers are look­ing for part­ners who can sup­port them 365 days a year, any­where in the world. Their jobs are com­plex and re­quire them to bal­ance a host of com­pet­ing needs within their or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Buy­ers de­mand ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, whether they’re in the of­fice, at a tradeshow or in mar­ket. In­creas­ingly thin mar­gins mean man­age­ment wants real-time ac­cess to data to en­sure costs are be­ing man­aged across the board. All of this must be de­liv­ered with the high­est lev­els of ac­cu­racy and in the face of ever-grow­ing con­cerns about data se­cu­rity and pri­vacy.

WWD Stu­dios: What is hold­ing brands and re­tail­ers back from mak­ing in­vest­ments in whole­sale tech­nol­ogy?

K.S.: I’m con­tin­u­ally amazed at how many brands and re­tail­ers are still us­ing spread­sheets, and even pen and pa­per, to man­age their whole­sale busi­nesses. For all the hype about consumer-fac­ing tech­nol­ogy in our in­dus­try, the busi­ness-to-busi­ness side of tech­nol­ogy has been largely ig­nored.

While rolling out a whole­sale data man­age­ment plat­form can ini­tially feel oner­ous in terms of cost and ef­fort, it pays back div­i­dends in growth. Brands on JOOR saw a 21 per­cent in­crease in their av­er­age or­der size from 2018 to 2019. And re­tail­ers en­joy time sav­ings av­er­ag­ing 33 per­cent in man­ag­ing their whole­sale busi­ness. What other ini­tia­tives could de­liver that level of up­lift or ef­fi­ciency?

WWD Stu­dios: What ben­e­fits are seen from mak­ing in­vest­ments in tech­nol­ogy?

K.S.: Growth is the big­gest one - but it’s not the only ben­e­fit. For brands, there is a speed el­e­ment - faster line sheet cre­ation and timely, ac­cu­rate or­der pro­cess­ing. Re­tail­ers also need speed, es­pe­cially as it re­lates to get­ting items live quickly in their e-com­merce plat­forms.

For buy­ers, it means more ef­fi­ciently cre­at­ing ap­point­ments and cap­tur­ing bet­ter in­for­ma­tion when they are in mar­ket or at a show­room. As a for­mer buyer at Macy’s, I would have loved the abil­ity to have ev­ery­thing in one place in­stead of across mul­ti­ple de­vices and sheets of pa­per. Per­haps most im­por­tant are the in­sights a tech­nol­ogy plat­form de­liv­ers be­cause now there is a data set that can be an­a­lyzed and aug­mented over time.

JOOR has been at this for al­most ten years. We’re lucky to count as cus­tomers over 8,600 brands in 55 cat­e­gories, and more than 200,000 re­tail­ers in 144 coun­tries. What that means is that our data set rep­re­sents the fash­ion in­dus­try over­all, and con­tains valu­able in­sights. JOOR’s ad­vanced whole­sale man­age­ment fea­tures like bulk or­der man­age­ment and cus­tom­iz­a­ble re­port­ing are un­matched in the in­dus­try. And we stand by our cus­tomers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all around the globe. JOOR does $1 bil­lion gross mer­chan­dise vol­ume on its plat­form monthly.

For all the hype about con­sumer­fac­ing tech­nol­ogy in our in­dus­try, the busi­ness-to-busi­ness side of tech­nol­ogy has been largely ig­nored.”

KRISTIN SAV­ILIA, CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVE OFFFICER, JOOR

Buy­ers re­quire in­stant ac­cess to data.

Joor’s plat­form con­nects over 8,600 brands with 200,000 re­tail­ers.

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