How to find the right 3rd party platform for your fashion brand.

Unzipped blog - How to find the right 3rd party platform for your fashion brand

Once you have watched this short video you will have the tools in which to be able to decide which 3rd party platform is right for your fashion to sell on.

We will consider brand values, profitability vs brand exposure, your logistic capabilities and more.

The lessons I am going to teach you will ensure you agree to the right strategic partnership for your fashion brands success and sales growth.

Prefer to watch?

Here’s that video!

More of a reader?

Here’s a recap of the video!

I’d always encourage brands to start with ...

How do you want to be perceived by this choice partnership?

That’s a really important question.

You don’t want to go into any partnership without making sure that their values matched back to your brand values because it can be detrimental to your success.

You need to also make sure that your audience would shop on their platform and that your customer values match back to both platforms and to you. For example, if they value sustainability does the 3rd party also value this? Or do they value inclusivity therefore does the 3rd party platform use inclusive models and sizes? etc

A second starting point, you should look at where are your competitors selling.

So this will give you some immediate suggestions, ideas of which platforms may be right for your brand because your competitor’s customers are shopping on that site.

Another great suggestion for you is you can look up your competitors on these platforms and check to see if they’re not maybe doing too well and then how you can then do it better? This gives you the competitive advantage to then approach that third party platform and suggest a new partnership.

Now consider the operating model and what you want to achieve from this partnership?

So, what else can you consider when making this decision? One would be simply the operating model.

  • What operating model are you wanting to work in?
  • Are you wanting to do wholesale only?
  • Are you wanting to do marketplace only?

Because a lot of platforms only offer one or the other. Some do offer both and some offer a hybrid model.

So if you already know what operating model you want, then this will already slim down your options of which third-party platforms you can work with.

So it’s important to find that out at the beginning because that will help you to make a decision.

"You don't want to go into any partnership without making sure that their values matched back to your brand values because it can be detrimental to your success."


Other factors when deciding what operating model is right for your fashion brand is location.

For example; if you’re wanting to extend your sales channels locally, let’s say you’re based in Australia, a lot of brands would choose marketplace only. And the reason that is because it gives you the brand control still over your pricing and over the perception of your brand in your local market. This could be important to you.

If you’re wanting to potentially be more profitable, you might choose wholesale. And the reason why is that you will sell your products as a sale, no return giving control to the platform to list and sell the goods. So it’s a lot cleaner model to work in, however, the final margin is smaller but it is still guaranteed to be pure profit.

So, if you were launching overseas, I would suggest personally to always pitch for wholesale as the preferred operating model. But that’s something that you need to weigh up the pros and cons of both operating models for your fashion brands goals.

What do you want to achieve?

So the next stage of deciding which 3rd party platform is right for you, is to ask yourself;

What do you want to achieve from working and selling your goods via a third-party platform?

It is really important that you can answer this. Because you may simply want to increase just your brand awareness. So you’re choosing to use 3rd party platforms as a marketing tactic only. Your goals are to get your brand out there as loudly as you can via multiple channels around the world. The goal is to raise your brand’s awareness and bring more traffic back to your website.

If so perfect. That’s good. That then means that you should focus on targeting the largest platforms to make the biggest impact.

If it’s profitability that you want to achieve from this a 3rd party platform you really need to find the right brand match for your fashion brand.

So again, you need to consider your brand perception vs the 3rd party platform, you need to find which platform your target audience are shopping on, and then you need to form a partnership with this platform on which to launch your product on.

Wholesale Connections Service

Secondly, if your goal is profitability this consideration should also come back to you striking the best commercial deal.

You need to consider; how much would it cost you to ship to their specific country, that specific platform? And do they do marketplace or wholesale? Do they have any specific requirements I must follow? What are all the costs associated with this operating model?

By answering these it will start to answer the profitability question.

And the final question you need to ask yourself when deciding what is it that you want to achieve from finding the right 3rd party platform for your fashion brand is; are you choosing to do this because you want to test the market before you invest in it?

So if so, that already gives you an answer. If you’re wanting to test the market first, you’ll know what market it is. Therefore again, you just need to find the biggest platform in that market to test your product.

Final decision-making pointers ...

So some final bits of advice when making this decision, I would encourage you to actually look at the market research and channel research.

Ask yourself; which markets are performing the best at the moment?

So for example, China is trending up as market-driven by online shopping growth and technology. But in the US it’s actually decreasing year on year as a, as a global view.

You’d look at which platforms are performing the best at the moment?

So we know that the likes of Not On The High StreetEtsy etc are doing really well and the same with ecom giants like Zalando and Amazon. So that would again be extremely important information for you to ensure you invest in the safest and securest market and channel when looking to find the right third party platform for you.

So hopefully across all the points, I’ve given you, it has given you lots of food for thought on what you need to do to create your shortlists of platforms in which to find the right 3rd party platform for your fashion brand.

If you’ve got any comments, please leave them below or get in touch by sending me a DM here.

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