How to Survive & Thrive During the Pandemic
How to Survive & Thrive During the Pandemic
How are you doing? Is there anything we can do to help?
We’ve kept in close contact with our store partners, checking in on how our stores are surviving this pandemic and the impact and changes they’re making. Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom.
RESALE IS THE FUTURE OF FASHION
It’s no secret that online resale has filled a huge void for those stuck at home. In fact, recent stats show more people used COVID as an opportunity to clean out their closets and with physical store locations closed, also spent more-time shopping online than previous years. Resale is thriving and is expected grow 5x’s over the next 5 years, while traditional retail and fast fashion are expected to shrink. Also, within the next 5 years, more shoppers plan to spend more time at secondhand shops and sites than any other retail channel.
After talking to our store partners, we’ve found that not only are they surviving, they’re actually thriving. So, what’s the key to thriving? They’re adapting to the “new normal” by sourcing the right supply, using social media and cross-listings to reach customers online and boost sales.
They’ve figured out that selling on social media is better for their margins, gives them a way to connect nationally and not just locally, and it’s essentially free!
Want to increase your presence and sales on social media? Check out our top 10 tips on selling on Instagram.
Get creative about how you list your items. Use social media and cross-list on various platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Instagram Stories. This way you’ll get more exposure and wrangle in customers who wouldn’t have noticed you on the other channels.
When you ship your products, make it an enjoyable experience to ensure your customer feels good about their purchase. Package it up like an expert gift-wrapper and make sure to include a hand-written thank you note. Trust me, these small touches will help you bond with your buyer and create an authentic relationship.
NEW SHOPPING MODELS
Each store’s reopening plans really depend on their physical location and local public health rules. We know all the stores are anxious to swing open their doors, but it’s tricky these days as you don’t want to endanger your public or staff. We have some reopening tips below.
- Unless you’re seeing a ton of foot traffic, consider throwing resources at your social media channels. It’s one of the safest ways to sell right now.
- If you can’t open your doors, consider an appointment only way of doing business. Set up a calendar and arrange to meet your clients who are ready to shop and looking to consign. Many of our store partners are holding Facetime consignment and shopping appointments which can be fun…especially with some champagne.
- Let your trusted buyers who are itching to shop build a wish-list with you. This is basically a guaranteed sale for you. Let them add information like a particular brand, style, size, material, condition, and price-point and then hop on your favorite platform to source these desired items. Then fulfill their wish-list on LePrix—you’ll make them very happy.
- Our weekend auctions and quick-ship options on Wholesale Stock have a great turnaround time and can help solidify a relationship with a new customer.
- Let your customers do an in-store pickup just to tempt them with all the great merchandise in your store. Also have some potential add-ons and suggestions ready at the pickup counter like wallets, key chains, key pouches, earrings, crossbody straps, and scarves.
FOLLOW HEALTHY & SAFETY REGULATIONS
Stores that are open have to comply with local health and safety regulations, while ensuring they meet customer expectations. Whether they insist everyone wears face masks, enforce social distancing, disinfect items and the store, institute contactless payments, improve service speed and introduce more self-service options, these regulations must be followed.
Have a greeter to stand by the door to hand out free disposable masks and a squirt of a hand sanitizer to those entering and exiting the store. Expect people to come prepared, but don’t turn away a potential customer over a mask – just give them one!
COVID is crippling, but if you demonstrate community support and show your customers just how much you care about their health and safety, it’ll mean a lot.
If you anticipate a line, offer mini bottles of water. If the store isn’t crowded, take time to meet with your customers and create a unique experience that’ll make a big impression and cause them to return and even bring their friends!
Depending on foot traffic, consider shutting down midday for an hour or two to wipe-down frequently touched surfaces or set up sanitation stations. Using antibacterial wipes, gels or sprays should be used at hotspots in your store and at the register. All associates should be masked—and if you can check temps at the door, do it!
- Be extra transparent about your expectations for your shoppers. Post signs to tell shoppers if masks are required, and whether they should anticipate waiting in line to enter the store. If you open your doors, make sure your customers respect your safety guidelines.
OPTIMISM IS KEY
Shop owners are optimistic, and they should be. Demand for secondhand designer bags and accessories (like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton) are surging now more than ever before as people bypass traditional retail and search for savings.
Plus, vintage is IN, sustainable shopping is IN, and people have the time and patience to search online and swipe through Facebook, Instagram, and online shopping sites because they’re stuck at home.
THE POWER OF BRANDS
As usual, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel rule the luxury designer markets. Brick-and-mortar shops usually search for their most popular items—or fundamentals—like the Speedy, the Neverfull and the Keepall. But it’s also important to branch out and try some new designs when you’re selling online…totes and crossbodies by Fendi and Prada can help your standout from the crowd.
Selling online is different than in store. With the shift to online selling and shopping, try adding a standout piece to your classic lineup that’ll really command attention like a rare Chanel Flap bag or a limited-edition Neverfull to set you apart.
ACCESS TO MERCHANDISE
Consignment has fallen due to people not physically dropping off their items, but many store partners are still taking Facetime appointments and traveling to some customers’ homes to pick up their items.
Many store partners who are thriving have shared that they owe some of their success to LEPRIX WHOLESALE who have been supplementing their inventory with Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel. These secondhand vintage brands sell out in a flash online and on social media.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Now for some really good news…most of our beloved partners are still open at some capacity.
MOVING ON UP & MOVING ONLINE
Since creating a consignment listing takes a lot of time and work, many store partners have been hesitant to transition to this model and bring their business online, but it’s absolutely necessary.
You don’t have to start out super aggressive. Simply selling online through Facebook or Instagram still counts. Just set up your PayPal account to ensure secure and easy payments.
SURVIVE, THRIVE & MAYBE GO FACEBOOK LIVE
Keep your chin up! Now’s the time to do what small businesses do best…connect with your community and customers. Soon enough this will all be a distant memory so set yourself up for future success.
- Reward your customers with perks for personal referrals.
- Lean on social media—not just for sales, but also to let people feel and see the culture and passion that’s pushing your business forward.
- Release statements about your passion for reducing waste, saving the earth, and getting more for less. Show your customers what you’re about…you never know who’s listening and ready to support you.
- Encourage your shoppers to post their unboxings and purchases, let them tag you in their social media posts and repost it on your platform. There’s nothing quite like your customer’s personal recommendations to spread the word.
- Be adaptable and curious. Explore the opportunities around you and accept change.
- GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LEPRIX ACCOUNT MANAGER. We’re here to support you and we want to see your business succeed more than anything in the world! If you’re in a slump, connect with us! We’ll give you some insight, advice and let you know what’s working for our partners.