With so many online stores now sitting comfortably in our computer bookmarks, there’s a strong chance that those wanting to work in the fashion industry could wind up as an online fashion buyer.
It seems like a fun job which feels just like a shopping spree at times, but it’s also a very serious business which is crucial to the survival of any retail business.
We caught up with the general manager of Ellia, Australia’s new online marketplace for emerging designers, stocking the likes of Phoenix Keating, Michael Lo Sordo and more, to find out what the most important tips to follow are when you’re a fashion buyer. Check out Louise Iselin’s tricks of the trade below.
1. Have a strong concept of your brand identity
You need to find out who your customer is and make sure the brands you stock and the designs you sell are something they would want to purchase, and represent the kind of person that they are.
“The Ellia woman is confident and has a distinctive style so its important for brands to reflect this too,” Louise tells theFashionSpot. “We carefully curate brands on the site and select a tight edit from each collection — choosing pieces that we feel represent our clientele.”
2. Seek brands which push boundaries through creative expression
Discovering labels which go that extra mile with beautiful imagery, videos or collaborations can be extra beneficial to an online store as you have extra content to play with for your website and social media mediums.
“Engaging and fresh imagery is critical,” Louise explains. “We love working with brands that understand the power of engaging content and using influencers to create a strong community following,” she continued.
3. Look outside the box for undiscovered finds.
Force inspiration by removing yourself from your comfort zone and everyday life, because that’s where the real gems for your online store will be discovered. “I recently travelled to New York, Paris and London and came back with so many inspired finds,” Louise says.
4. Have a point of difference and a strong signature
It’s an over saturated market online, so what will your store do to stand out? Louise suggests finding a way to fulfil your audience’s needs while also leaving them wanting more. “We want our customers feel that pull, that buzz, the desire to find a place in their often overcrowded wardrobes,” she explains.
5. The design of a garment, the quality of make and fabrics are crucial
If a customer receives a shoddy item, chances are they won’t be coming back to your store anytime soon. Don’t risk it and buy lower quality pieces just because you think they are trend-driven and will sell. Also, visit showrooms before purchasing to get a feel for the item yourself.
“For all our customers we want them to find that special piece,” Louise says. “It sparks joy and becomes a staple, rather than a disposable wear-once item.”