Every designer wants a piece of the US market. The U.S. women’s apparel retail sales reached $116.4 billion in 2013 and the US shopper is one of the most coveted in the retail sector. Each year, brands from all over the world attend trade shows or join traditional showrooms in the US at a cost of thousands of dollars a year (anywhere from $3,000-$200,000 USD to be exact) with little or no return.
The US market is crowded. And big. Each geography lives – and dresses – differently so understanding your customer can be nuanced. On top of this, it can often be hard to break through the noise (larger brands spend millions doing this each year).
So how can small, innovative brands break in?
Are you interested in wholesale or direct-to-consumer? Both businesses take time to develop and you may not have the resources to tackle both at once. Think about which route makes more sense for your brand and then begin strategizing your product mix for the strategy you choose.
Be Slow & Steady
It takes time and consistency (much like anything) to grow a brand and a business. If you are selling to shoppers, think outside of traditional seasons. If you are working with wholesale, consider four seasons (F/W, S/S, Holiday and Resort).
No matter what strategy, tap into your network to build your social presence. A strong social presence sends great signals to buyers and can entice shoppers to purchase.
With the right toolset, international designers can get a pin-pointed look at their customers. Instead of blindly entering the market, use data analytics tools, like Nineteenth Amendment’s Sales Data Dashboard, to investigate what’s working and what’s not before making the investment.
Always remember to make sure you are ready to commit to entering a new market. It does take time and energy. Do your research and make sure you have the right partners in place. Want to read more about the service options on Nineteenth Amendment for international designers?