With trade show sponsors canceling physical events, FashionGo plans a virtual event to supplement its ecommerce marketplace. And the Council of Fashion Designers of America will unveil the digital Runway 360 next month to coincide with New York Fashion Week.

FashionGo, a B2B wholesale e-marketplace for the apparel industry, is planning to roll out several new features to its ecommerce platform to provide a more engaging buyer experience for its inaugural FashionGo Week virtual trade show, FashionGo says.

Our platform is positioned to reimagine the traditional trade show by creating an engaging online experience.
Paul Lee, CEO
NHN Global

The show, which will run Aug. 24 through Sept. 6, will be accessible to FashionGo’s more than 420,000 retail buyers. FashionGo’s more than 1,200 vendor customers will need to sign up to participate. FashionGo is among a number of organizations deploying online trade shows as the coronavirus drives business away from traditional events.

The marketplace ecommerce platform’s new features for the show include a price comparison engine, digital catalogs displaying newly arrived items daily, and a visual search tool that allows buyers to search for products from anywhere on the web and locate similar styles on FashionGo for purchase.

The search tool, called Style Match+, is designed to help retailers expedite the search-to-purchase process by reducing the time it takes to source the right product, FashionGo says. Retailers can compare products directly without having to go onto each brand’s page to search for items, as well as search by item or brand, it says.

Tools for faster procurement

Vendors will also be able to dedicate space on their web store to highlight best sellers, upload brand videos to their web pages, run promotions to highlight items exclusive to FashionGo Week, and highlight exclusive items for FashionGo Week that may be featured on the FashionGo main page.

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PaulLee-FashionGo

Paul Lee, CEO, NHN Global

“The purpose of FashionGo Week is to create more exposure for existing and newly signed vendors,” says Paul Lee, CEO of NHN Global, the parent company of FashionGo. “Our aim is to provide retailers the tools to make informed procurement decisions fast.”

The purchasing process during the show will be no different from what buyers experience on the FashionGo marketplace, Lee adds. Retailers can attend the show for free. New vendors can sign up at the FashionGo Week homepage. Figures on the number of participating vendors were not available.

On the content side, attendees of the virtual show will have access to live interviews with brands and industry experts. Topics to be discussed include merchandising strategies during the coronavirus pandemic, understanding B2B buyers’ mindset during the pandemic, fashion industry trends, and what the B2B landscape in the fashion industry is likely to look like post-pandemic.

Fashion designers eye Runway 360

“Our platform is positioned to reimagine the traditional trade show by creating an engaging online experience,” Lee says.

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The show is being promoted through digital marketing channels and social media.

In related news, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) plans to unveil in September Runway360, a digital platform developed to support American designers by bringing together all aspects of a fashion collection launch at a physical trade show in a virtual environment, the council says.

Runway360 will incorporate press announcements, sales and branding campaigns to help drive B2B ecommerce sales in a user-friendly environment. The portal’s launch will coincide with New York Fashion Week, which runs September 14-16.

CFDA designers participating in New York Fashion Week will be able to display their catalogs on the Runway 360 portal, as well as throughout the year, the council says.

The portal will support augmented and virtual reality, 360-degree product views, live video streams, ecommerce extensions, consumer shopping features, and social media integrations. Designers will also be able to host virtual press conferences, and display press kits and product images, for example.

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The Runway360 portal is powered by wholesale ecommerce platform provider NuOrder. As part of its partnership with the CFDA, NuOrder will offer a suite of services including a virtual sales showroom to support emerging and established designer businesses, with a focus on rising talents and designers of color. NuOrder has struck similar partnerships with trade show operators Micam Milano and Informa Group.

Peter Lucas is a Highland Park, Illinois-based freelance journalist covering business and technology.  

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