It might have been better real estate that helped Moonbasa nab more business at the recently ended WWDMagic in Las Vegas.
The company, which helps brands sell their wares to the Chinese market, was buried in the back of the Las Vegas Convention Center in August but pushed forward on the show floor in February.
Moonbasa is a multibrand e-tailer selling to the Chinese consumer — at least for now — carrying roughly 250 fashion brands mostly based out of China for men, women and kids, of which 30 are from the U.S. Another seven are in the development pipeline, including a high-end hat company from Cincinnati called Fancy Fedora, which was business generated from the most recent Las Vegas trade show, and the company’s ramping up more ambitious plans on the bricks-and-mortar front.
It’s progress for the firm, which appears to be gaining traction, according to U.S. managing director Barbara Graff, who said “we’ve been evolving” over the past year.
Moonbasa, with U.S. headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, is a relatively young platform, whose U.S. business launched in April of last year. The company’s been around since 2007. Companies pay the service provider to carry their product in the Moonbasa online “mall.” Moonbasa takes care of the platform build, regulatory compliance, uploads imagery, handles logistics and provides customer service for a monthly fee.
It’s not a service for everyone and that’s where its distinction within the marketplace lies. Moonbasa caters to the medium size, non multinational brands, Graff explained.
“We don’t want to be Tmall,” Graff said. “We want to be curated and we are selective.”
A partnership agreement inked this year with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration could help with further marketing of Moonbasa at trade shows to U.S. brands by promoting the company’s service as an export vehicle for companies.
The current brand roster isn’t the cap as the company sees the sweet spot right around double what it offers to about 500 lines.
When Moonbasa initially launched last year, the product mix focused mostly on juniors and young contemporary brands. That still exists, where product retails for between $20 and $60, but the company about three months ago launched a separate landing page for what it calls its Designer Gallery where price points start at about $85.
About 4 million of the company’s members spend at least $150 on a single item. The company’s membership program — which provides discounts and other offers — counts about 40 million members.
The data being collected will no doubt come in handy as the company expands its bricks-and-mortar presence.
In July it opened a Moonbasa-branded store, heavily focused on digital, in Shanghai. It carries 25 to 30 brands found in its online mall but there’s touchscreens and employees with iPads throughout the store to handle orders of out-of-stock or other merchandise not carried in the 15,000-square-foot space. Customers also have the opportunity to browse online and have items in the store placed on hold for them to try on.
Moonbasa has about 10 other stores total though they’re not as technology-intensive as the most recently opened door.
Plans now call for between 30 and 50 of the digital concept stores to be built over the next two years in major cities throughout China.