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How to Buy Inventory Without Leaving Home

Posted by Laurie Buckelew on Feb 10, 2021 10:09:59 AM
Laurie Buckelew

With COVID-19 still greatly impacting the retail world, shops are learning how to adapt to the challenges that come with buying and maintaining inventory during a pandemic. Wholesale markets are being downsized, closed, or canceled, but with the help of technology, the shows go on. Along with buying toilet paper and live streaming concerts, you can now shop and stock inventory for upcoming seasons from the safety and comfort of your home.

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The Next Best Thing

There are lots of reasons why hopping on a plane and flying to market make sense. Besides the in-flight snacks and glamour of a weekend getaway, attending market in-person allows you to feel the fabric, see the fit, and inspect the construction of each garment up-close and personal. These aspects are typically difficult to capture in a product photo or description and make buying online retailers’ last resort....but not with live selling.

The pandemic has prompted many wholesalers to launch their own live sales through CommentSold, which allows retailers to shop for new inventory on social media and mobile apps without attending an in-person market. Viewers are able to see products in action through live videos that show the fabric, material, and fit in a much more realistic way than photos alone ever could.

Wholesalers are a rapidly growing segment of businesses using CommentSold for live and social selling.

Technology to the Rescue

While not an exact replacement for in-person buying, live selling is the perfect substitute — especially for buyers who don’t feel safe going inside large convention centers, talking with countless people, and touching everything in sight. With live sales, retail buyers can see items being modeled and ask questions in real-time about fabric, sizing, and more.

Shopping with top wholesalers from your living room is certainly convenient. COVID-19 has brought new challenges to retail, but the industry has answered with creativity and ingenuity. Being able to make a purchase with a comment vs. a touch is a positive outcome from the recent shifts in retail. Even when it’s “business as usual” again, live and social selling will remain popular with wholesalers who want to engage with retailers from a distance, reach a wider audience and offer unique options for their customers.

There has been a steep decline in both attendance and revenue at trade shows in 2020, which is expected to continue in 2021. (Source: The Washington Post)

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The Best of Both Worlds

Most in-person markets are slated to be open throughout 2021, with COVID restrictions in place of course. We’ve created a comprehensive list of The Top Markets to Attend in 2021 to help ease the planning process and simplify the in-person shopping experience.

One of the most popular markets is, of course, MAGIC set in Las Vegas, August 9-11. Known as fashion's biggest and most important platform for inspiration, information, connection, and commerce, MAGIC will offer a hybrid of digital and physical marketplaces this year. With both formats available, retailers will be immersed in all that Magic offers, whether that is online or in-person.

The Takeaway

Technology is helping wholesale buyers go to market and buy inventory safely without having to leave the safety of their home offices. Powerful platforms like CommentSold are bringing the benefits of in-person shopping to buyers seeking virtual solutions.

 

Topics: Business Strategy

Use technology to go to market safely and stock your inventory