Coronavirus havoc becomes an angel in disguise for the Irish fashion company – Skmmp!
Skmmp is a virtual showroom that provides solutions for luxury fashion giants now having to rethink how they operate without a digital wholesale strategy.
Launched at the London and Paris Fashion Weeks in 2018, the company has suddenly found a surge in demand for its services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How the pandemic is working wonders for this Smart showroom?
Traditionally, the vital business of trading and orders is taken outside the runway shows. Most of the buying is done at intimate showroom with appointments scheduled months before.
It involves a series of documents, confirmation invoices, terms and conditions, shipping details and payment information, which takes about 16 weeks to complete.
Still, 60 per cent of orders are handwritten and sales teams collate these orders and send them to the manufacturing division to be processed further.
But with the outspread of this pandemic, many of these showroom appointments which are crucial for business and supply chains were cancelled in Milan and Paris in February due to the ongoing incidents.
On an average, 4 in 10 buyers cancelled appointments leading to a 40 per cent dip in sales.
It is projected that COVID-19 could cause a US $ 40 billion decline in luxury sales for 2020, with an estimated loss of up to US $ 10 billion in profits with very less chances of trading conditions returning to normalcy.
These conditions lead to Skmmps’ rise as it centralises the wholesale order management!
It is now being approached by big Italian brands such as Tod’s, Bottega Veneta among others that are on the lookout to digitise their collections and allows them to carry on trading without physical showrooms.
Aileen Carville, Founder, expressed “Many [luxury brands] are normally hard to convince to adopt technology. But they now see that only technology can enable them to get over this crisis. They are listening to us now”.
The digital solution provided by Skmmp in comparison to the physical showrooms allows buyers to migrate onto the digital platform and complete orders remotely. An average order takes 20-30 minutes cutting down on conventional order administration and processing by 70 per cent.
It enacts as a digital catalogue – lookbooks, catwalk images, line sheets, price lists, including detailed information on composition and place of manufacture. All documentation is generated automatically as the buyer inputs the orders.
Skmmp’s digital showroom was recently layered with voice artificial intelligence making it the first fashion ‘smart showroom’. It captures the entire orders via voice command.
As a part of its future strategies, Skmmp will be launching virtual showrooms for several Italian menswear brands for the 2021 sales campaigns in June.