Digital wholesale platform Joor is predicting a continued acceleration of digital adoption among brands and retailers moving forward into 2022, following a “fundamental shift” in the industry due to the pandemic.
Joor states that even with the return of in-person markets and events, electronic business-to-business commerce will “continue to play an important and ever increasing role in the fashion ecosystem”. As digitalisation has offered a new standard for wholesale business, one in which efficiency, ease, and clarity of online transactions are now a necessity.
This is highlighted in the increase in buyer and seller activity and engagement on Joor, which continued to grow in 2021 following a record-breaking year in 2020. The volume of wholesale transactions passing through the Joor platform this year increased 60 percent from 2020, averaging 1.5 billion US dollars per month. The number of orders placed on the platform also increased 35 percent year-over-year, and the average order value (AOV) increased 59 percent over the prior year.
Kristin Savilia, chief executive of Joor, said in a statement: “We continue to see significant momentum in our business because we prioritise innovations that meaningfully impact the businesses of our brands and retailers.
“In 2022, we will look to build out successful offerings including a new and improved Joor Marketplace to facilitate enhanced product discovery and our electronic payment and financing capabilities.”
Despite a spike in virtual buying and selling at the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, brand and retailer engagement on Joor increased even further in 2021. 400,000 new connections between brands and retailers were completed this year to date, while rich content served to enhance the connection experience, with brands uploading almost 85 percent more images to Joor than they did in 2020.
Retailers were more active than ever on Joor in 2021, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. As the pandemic recovery has progressed, consumers globally have increasingly chosen to shop local, and Joor’s retail accounts grew by 100,000, up 37 percent from 2020 to 2021, almost exclusively driven by boutique establishments joining the platform.
While travel restrictions during the pandemic resulted in a shift to almost entirely virtual selling, in 2021 a hybrid model emerged that Joor states have quickly become the industry standard. This new approach leverages a combination of both in-person and virtual selling, with digital technology being used to enhance both experiences, and Joors adds that the industry does not want to lose the reach and efficiency afforded by virtual selling.
Heading into the spring 2022 market season, a survey by Joor reveals that 80 percent of brands and 77 percent of buyers will be opting for a hybrid approach to buying and selling.
With the pandemic driving consumer demand for online goods, small businesses weathered the storm by digitalising their offering, and on the business-to-business side, Joor has observed a significant increase in small businesses leveraging its platform to source products, streamline their wholesale process, create greater efficiencies, and drive growth.
In 2022, Joor anticipates the continued growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for both brands and retailers. The majority of transactions (based on GMV) this year have been made by SMB retailers, with nearly 60 percent of the total. SMBs were also the fastest-growing retail segment on Joor in 2021, with wholesale orders placed by SMB retailers increasing by 75 percent year-over-year.
For SMB retailers, discovering the right product assortment will continue to be essential for sustained growth, and Joor is launching a new improved marketplace, leveraging AI-powered search technology to make finding the perfect product easier and more efficient.
By 2024, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is predicted to represent 40 percent of global menswear and womenswear sales, according to data and analytics company GlobalData, due to a high population density with increased spending power and economic growth.
According to Joor, APAC sales tripled versus the same period a year ago, with APAC-based brands accepting almost 50 percent more orders and selling over 80 percent more products on Joor than in 2020. Currently, Japan is the largest APAC market on its platform, approximately 30 percent of the total, while China is in the number two position and showing the fastest growth.
Joor predicts continued demand from brands and retailers in this region and opened an office in Shanghai earlier this year to support global brands looking to grow sales in the APAC region and local brands looking to expand internationally.
Sustainability is the most clicked category across all of Joor Passport, representing 18 percent of clicks on all style stories across its 36 events this year, and with consumer demand for fashion with less negative social and environmental impact, it expects interest in sustainable products to continue to rise.
Joor adds that the digitalised wholesale experience represents a more sustainable future in several ways, as buyers and retailers can conduct business virtually from anywhere in the world, meaning less need for physical travel, reducing plane and car emissions. While virtual showrooms featuring fully rendered 3D garments also means reduced sample production, reducing excess waste and saving money, as well as allowing brands and retailers the ability to share curated digital collections replacing the need to house multiple sample sets around the world.
Brands on Joor have reported saving 30 percent on sample costs by adopting its digital wholesale solution, meaning a benefit to both the environment and the bottom line. Additionally, Joor is also working on providing information regarding product sustainability further upstream, allowing retailers to use this data to inform their purchasing decisions.
One of the most challenging aspects of 2021 has been the disruption in the supply chain, with the pandemic causing bottlenecks around the world, creating product delays, shortages, and sometimes price increases.
To succeed in 2022, Joor is stressing that companies focus on inventory management with its seamless ERP integrations, where buyers have real-time visibility to available inventory, so they can immediately see what’s in stock at any given moment in time. The Joor platform also operates within one digital ecosystem, meaning that changes and delays are communicated immediately. For instance, if a style is cancelled or a timeline is modified, brands can notify their retailers right away and offer an alternative to ensure no one is left unprepared.