April 22, 2013

FASHION NEWS: Indonesia Online Fashion Shop Doing Offline


Hello Readers,

How are you this Monday? Will you hate me if I told you how I love Monday?
Yes, I feel lucky to be doing what I'm doing because it made me look forward to another day, another week, and another month ahead! Because for me it's all work and play at once and yes blogging is considered part of the job too :)

Today I'm going to share you some thoughts on Indonesia's online offline fashion scene, now that I'm part of the industry. My brand FHAB by Bonjep has been consistently participating in local fashion brand offline events and so far we've participated in 5 events within the past 5 months of its existence. On average it's one event a month or so and I'm taking these kind of events seriously because I think it's important for an online shop brand to be present among your target market, create an awareness. More about target market on Wiki here. Well of course you can always place an advertisement and the target audience may eventually arrive on your website but will they buy? One of the hurdles being an online shop brand is that your customer can't touch, feel, see, and try your products. It is the biggest hesitation for online shoppers to shop online especially for a new established brand that is somewhat pricey (will discuss about price impact later). 

You can consider events as a media for you to try out which of your products are selling and which are not. Well of course it depends on the type of events you're participating and the captured audience there. Therefore I suggest to try as many type of events to get more variety in captured audience to see if there's a market for each of your products (luckily for me, almost all my products sell well :)). Direct interactions with your potential customers also help in brand building. You can tell them your stories, what makes you different, what's your unique selling proposition, and so on. In addition, you get to know their insights, what they like about your products, what they need, what they're looking for, and see if you can fulfill those. And what else you can build from interacting with your customers? Database! They're valuable!

Some events may also have advertising potential if they are supported by the media. Media participation and support may result into coverage, traffic, and hopefully sales! Now besides value that generated by sales, you get media value! The most powerful tool to sell is word. Combined the words properly then you have a story and the right story gets the 'talkability' value. Don't underestimate the word of mouth because it is by far one of the most convincing tools! You can sell even without putting an ads. How? By word of mouth. People talk, they always do. Testimonials and recommendations are the other ways to create sales. That's why endorsement (the act of endorsing) is getting too popular these day. Online shop brands are competing to have famous celebrities or evangelist for their products. But hey it sells!

In summary, what are the offline events do for your brand? 
1. Awareness. New brands need to raise awareness in their initial stage.
2. Brand Image. Time to build the proposition, USP, and values of your brand.
3. Insights. New brands get the experience by direct interactions with their customers.
4. Database. Your customers profile and their preference.
5. Sales. Of course. It's not just the margin or bottom line that matters but for new brands the cashflows or top line is equally important.

What else could you think of?

Read more about Moments captured on Bonjep's Lookbook!

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