As manufacturers look for ways to strengthen their relationships with customers, e-commerce is becoming more important.
FashionGo and LA Showroom have been providing online wholesale platforms for business-to-business customers for almost 20 years. Fashion Domino, a relatively new startup, was launched last spring. It is an fashion internships affordable service that caters to the needs of manufacturers through a platform built by peers who are in the apparel business and understand the challenges faced by apparel brands.
Yul Kwon is a 16-year veteran of the apparel industry and a board member at the Korean-American Apparel Manufacturers Association and the L.A. Fashion District Business Improvement District and Fashion Domino consultant. The manufacturer is willing to sell it for $10, while the reseller will sell it for $20. Guess who sells it more? The reseller.
KAMA, a Los Angeles-based company, recognized the need for an online wholesale site. Fashion Domino, which is now five months old has more than 20 investors and 100,000 products from 130 members brands.
Fashion Domino charges no advertising fees or hosting fees, as opposed to the exorbitant rates charged by competitors. KAMA members automatically get access to the platform for $450. Fashion Domino is open to all non-members.
Kwon stated that the main difference between us and other sites is that there are no hosting fees. After one year, we will charge ads and you must be a manufacturer in order to be listed on the site.
Kwon hopes Fashion Domino will offer manufacturers a higher return on their investment than other apparel B2B platforms. He stated that he has seen banner advertising placement and rates increase by up to 900% on certain sites over the past five years, with bidding wars resulting in a 1,400% increase for one advertisement.
He said that people are skeptical and cautious about online platforms and they spend a lot to keep up sales. It’s not a great ROI for those ad fees but it does reveal the importance that manufacturers place on the online distribution channel.
Fashion Domino members are aware that rival sites have a large following and that their site will take time to grow. Fashion Domino members are developing marketing strategies to increase their reach. They are now able to take orders from interested buyers without having to sell on other sites.
“The cost of doing business with other sites was becoming an issue–commissions and advertising. It’s indie fashion becoming so competitive and the price has gone up dramatically over the past four to five years,” Joe Song, the owner of Glam, a Los Angeles-based women’s apparel company. “Fashion Domino was a great alternative and came out right in time.