Brands with a multichannel retail strategy increasingly find value in partnering directly with digital retailers. This helps with controlled messaging and cultivates personal relationships with customers.
Digital platforms like behemoths Amazon and Walmart have made it possible for brands to effectively deploy their product assortment and control merchandising strategies through online storefronts, while fast-moving pure-play retailers like Farfetch and NET-A-PORTER possess highly curated sites that make site navigation extremely intuitive for users. Department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are catching up by working with brands to combine a wealth of user data and content curation as a form of storytelling.
Gartner L2’s Retailers & Marketplaces report shows that within the fashion space, brands can optimize their visibility on retailer sites by being thoughtful about how they position their product assortments and weave products into the most relevant category pages for their shoppers. One retailer that consistently performs well across select department stores is Gucci. The brand released a number of collections in collaboration with NET-A-PORTER that bolstered its share of shelf to 7.3%. Fashion brands with products spanning multiple price points have also realized the benefits of distributing on a retailer; Michael Kors and Coach exhibit high relative share of shelf on Macy’s fashion category pages (8.5% and 5.1%, respectively).
Brands that capitalize on offerings like curated product feeds and sophisticated navigation tools will see a payoff. Although a brand-retailer collaboration is a substantial investment, if executed well and aligned with consumer tastes, it becomes mutually beneficial.