How shoe brands can mitigate low SS2021 wholesale orders

Lockdown will have left retailers with spring/summer stock, despite heavy discounting. Many are considering hibernating pairs in storage until SS2021. Trade shows are going online, some retailers may be reluctant to visit stock rooms, and you may not feel comfortable about you or your sales team travelling to visit accounts.

For many brands and suppliers, this is going to be a selling season tougher than any other. Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s think about some measures you can take to boost sales.

  1. Improve your direct to consumer offer. Up your game on your website. Ensure you have strong SEO so that customers can find you, and that they have an enjoyable experience on your site. Guide your customers towards purchasing in a way that feels true to your brand. Make it easy for them to decide to buy. Email marketing and social media should also be areas of focus. Providing your customers with free content they value, will make them feel like reciprocating with a purchase.
  2. If you don’t already have a B2B website that your wholesale accounts can purchase through, set one up. If you have one that is difficult to use, improve it. Ensure your product photography leaves nothing to the imagination.
  3. Focus your marketing efforts and D2C order volumes on trans-seasonal products. Closed-toed smart/casual shoes, trainers and ballet flats. For sandals, lower heels and more closed-in styles have a longer shelf life than “wear once” strappy heels.
  4. Play it safe with styles, not colours. Customers want to feel uplifted when they look at your products, not overwhelmed by a sea of dull neutrals. Air & Grace’s collaboration with Gaby Roslin for The Prince’s Trust proved that neon highlighter shades can fly off the (virtual) shelves. What is your brand’s equivalent of Air & Grace’s “Copeland” colour vehicle?

Now you have some actionable points, I can’t wait to see how you delight your wholesale accounts and your end consumers in spring/summer 2021.

(Air & Grace photo credits:  Holly Wren – trainers, We are Studio – sandals.)