Last December, we examined the rise of online trade shows and the growing shift in patterns to a new format and schedule in fashion that were greatly impacting the industry.
This growing number of online trade shows was a strong indication that even though the fashion industry tends to be slow when it comes to digital and mobile commerce and technology, there are some brands, fans, and industry leaders who get how a new generation of consumers shop and why.
For MAGIC, it was inevitable that they would be providing an online trade show platform, and yesterday, February 13, 2013, just a few days before their upcoming trade show in Las Vegas, they announced the beta launch of Shop The Floor, a new online marketplace connecting brands and buyers from fashion and footwear.
Shop the Floor is intended to extend face-to-face relationships online and provide brands with access to thousands of global buyers before, during and after MAGIC Market Week. So far, Shop The Floor is attracting some important brands. In youth culture, brands such as Crooks and Castles, T.U.K., Red Wing, Desigual, and Moods of Norway are already onboard. According to MAGIC, with more than 60,000 buyers who attend MAGIC and 6,500 exhibiting brands, Shop the Floor already has the greatest depth and breadth of engaged buyers and brands.
Shop The Floor will feature private digital showrooms curated for the brand and optimized for commerce, and will feature the brand’s lookbooks, line sheets, brand campaign artwork, company description, logo, linkable contact information, product images and descriptions. All buyers on the platform will have undergone a rigorous qualification process to ensure and update their retailing status.
Shop the Floor also features ways for buyers to connect with brands through a visual directory searchable by show, category, or brand. Buyers enter private virtual showrooms and preview product lines and merchandising ideas. The site will also enhance the buyers’ on-site experience at MAGIC, allowing them to build lookbooks, pre-set appointments, use maps to navigate the show more efficiently, and build a show list to organize a better experience onsite.
Shop the Floor is currently being offered as part of a MAGIC booth package (in comparison with competitors who charge up to $3500 for a subscription and take a percent of sales). We’ll see how it all comes together as Shop the Floor converts to a paid service in 2014.
Stay tuned for more from MAGIC Market Week and Project trade shows with live reports from Label Networks starting next week.