NuOrder, the business-to-business wholesale e-commerce platform, pledged its support today to the retail and brand community by offering a complimentary version of its wholesale digital solution during this critical time.
NuOrder has more than 2,000 brands and 500,000 retailers on its platform and processes more than $35 billion in gross merchandise volume annually.
Among the brands on the platform are Acne, Rag & Bone, Zegna, Vince, Theory, Arc’Teryx and Lacoste.
NuOrder’s digital catalogue platform is designed to digitize the whole market-to-order process. It allows brands and buyers to collaborate to shop in-season and upcoming collections. It enables buyers and brands to work together in real time to make product selections and finalize assortments. They can visualize buys at the store level and eliminate the need to meet in person. Representatives and buyers can place orders 24/7.
“We recognize the pressure brands and retailers are under and want to do our part to minimize disruption,” said Olivia Skuza, cofounder of NuOrder. “We’re dedicated to helping brands and retailers work together in an online environment where cost doesn’t exist as a barrier for them to collaborate.” Skuza cofounded NuOrder with Heath Wells in 2010. They are both co-chief executive officers.
The digital catalogue platform has several features, among them the ability to create product catalogues and line sheets, send and share product catalogues and line sheets with retailers, sort through digital catalogues using advanced search tools, work with any and all customers, access to learning guides and webinars and mobile access.
Brands can obtain details at now.nuorder.com.
Asked why he was offering their platform to brands for free, Wells told WWD, “In today’s environment, brands are essentially cash-strapped and secondly, sales reps are stuck at home or at the office. We spoke to brands heavily, and they don’t want to make any financial commitments. And we thought, ‘what’s the best way that we can service them and help get them back on their feet?’ And that was to provide a free version.”
The idea is that brands can get in there, there’s no financial commitment and they can share unlimited catalogues, then get them operational. “If there’s a future, and they want to expand that with us, great, but we’re not going to add a fee at any stage in the future, it’s free,” said Wells. He noted that the fee will remain free as long as they stay as a customer.
“Brands can actually invite as many retailers as they want to work and collaborate with our platform, and there is no cost to the retailer,” added Skuza.” There is never any cost to the retailer, but now there’s no cost to the brands.
As for brands that are paying but are financially struggling right now, Wells said he’s working with them on a daily basis to help them. “People have different needs,” he said, ranging from helping their sales teams operate from home or financial assistance. NuOrder has raised $40 million. “We want to be there to support them. Wherever we can, we’re working with them on payment terms and being a good partner,” he said.
Skuza said brands are really looking for guidance and help, and that can be scrambling with returns or canceled orders. “They’re thinking about next season, and they want to be in a position of strength and be ready for when the market turns around,” she said. This way they will be ready to accelerate and go forward, she added.
She said brands already have the content and are looking for a digital platform to show their collections and collect orders.
NuOrder has an exclusive relationship with Nordstrom, where NuOrder is the only digital wholesale platform the retailer uses for its buys.
The digital platform also works with retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, R.E.I., Back Country, Revolve and Zalando.
Generally it would cost a brand about $10,000 annually to be on the platform, and it can go as high as seven figures for a large global brand, said Skuza. Some large brands may show tens of thousands of products, from immediate ship to future collections, and multiple categories, colors and seasons.
Asked if this platform eliminates a need for a brand to have a showroom, Wells said, “At the moment, people aren’t visiting showrooms. Once we get back to normality, I’m a believer that it’s going to be a mix. Humans like that human interaction.”
But, he added, people have been complaining for awhile that they’re traveling too much. “We’re going to see fewer in-person [appointments] and a great dependence on digital,” said Wells.