Le New Black: First of all how are you after this very special sales campaign?

Naila Jaffer: This last sales campaign has been a very complex one, but I am pleased to say that our team has faced the challenges with energy, creativity, and a positive attitude. We made extensive use of digital media to present and sell the new collection without international shows nor appointments in showrooms.

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LNB: Regarding wholesale, what were your needs and expectations when you decided to integrate Le New Black to your organisation in 2013?

NJ: At the beginning, we were looking for a digital tool which would facilitate the communication with our retailers across the world and make it easy and user-friendly to place their reorders. Our BtoB digital showroom is open 24/7 which is great when you are present on the five continents. The clients may access it at their leisure, without an appointment. We also wanted to have pictures and colour swatches of the available stock instead of sketches, to make the reorder process as easy as possible. And each time our retailers would visit the digital showroom, we would display additional great looks and styles they could add to their reorders.

LNB: In what way B2B digital tools changed the way you collaborate with buyers? Did you find a balance between physical and digital commercial experience for retailers?

NJ: Our retailers are experienced professionals with well established stores. Their days are full between taking care of clients, managing the stores, their social media, etc. So, they appreciate greatly that the digital showroom let them work on their reorders at the most convenient time for them while giving them instant access to the available stock. Furthermore, when they place their initial orders, they have to select some styles and put aside others which would also be great for their clients. A few months later upon their visits on the BtoB digital showroom, they are reminded with beautiful color pictures of those others great options also available in stock. Over the years, our wholesale has grown and now, it channels a substantial part of our reorders. We are pleased also that the digital experience we offer to our retailers completes and enhances the one they live in our showrooms.

“We wanted to have pictures and colour swatches of the available stock instead of sketches, to make the reorder process as easy as possible."

LNB: Do you have feedbacks from buyers about the BtoB showroom you offer them access to?

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NJ: In general, our retailers who use the BtoB digital showroom enjoy it. Newcomers may have had some temporary issues such as forgetting the final confirmation step of their reorders or not finding how to add a message to their reorder. All in all these small issues are easily solved by our team.

LNB: Since 2013, Le New Black digital tools have changed a lot, especially these past few months. What are your favorite features?

NJ: Beside the obvious ones - 24/7 access to the available stock, viewing the colours and looks - our team quite like the various reports available, such as the visits dashboard which indicates the number of visits, length of visit, geographical origin, etc. They can also narrow it down to the data of each visitor to do a follow-up with them a few days after.

LNB: You decided to enhance your digital buying experience with a 3D showroom directly on Le New Black, created with one of our partners Retail VR. What do you think are the benefits of presenting your collections in a virtual way?

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NJ: When we launch a new collection in showroom, our aim is to provide an immersive experience to our clients with all their senses involved. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings and travels, we thought really hard about how we could replicate such an experience without meeting physically.

“Thanks to technological progress in virtual reality, high-res screens, and 360° pictures, building a 3D showroom became a very good option to showcase our new collection and deliver a great experience to our retailers."

LNB: In terms of wholesale development, what are your challenges for next season ?

NJ: The challenges ahead are diverse and huge. Some retailers may not survive these COVID times, especially with the successive lockdowns, and sadly, several may close their doors. Add to this the customs complexities in some countries such as UK with Brexit and Russia. It is also a fact that until a majority of the population is vaccinated, people will not feel safe travelling to international trade shows or visiting physical showrooms.