May 10, 2016, 2:01 PM

Wholesale fashion portal Joor expects sharp growth this year

The B2B fashion marketplace is extending its technology offerings to appeal to such large retailers as Neiman Marcus.

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Uptake from large retail customers is driving online sales growth at Joor Inc.’s JoorAccess.com, an online fashion marketplace where some 155,000 retailers can browse and purchase wholesale from 1,500 brands like Vera Wang, Alexander McQueen and Michael Kors, CEO Mona Bijoor says.

This year Joor plans to generate about $25 million in business-to-business e-commerce revenue, a 67% increase from $15 million in 2015, Bijoor says. The company projects that gross merchandise value of all the transactions processed across JoorAccess.com will be $15 billion in 2016, more than double the $7 billion last year, she notes.

“We sign about 50 to 60 new manufacturers a month,” Bijoor says. “Last year this time, we signed 30 to 40 brands per month.” She also says that average order size has jumped to about $14,000 so far in 2016, up from about $2,500 this time last year. Bijoor credits the increase in order value and in the number of listed manufacturers to Joor’s recently attracting as buyers on the marketplace such major retail chains as Harrods, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Myer Department Store. These chains are placing high-volume orders to serve their many retail locations, and convincing their clothing suppliers to list on JoorAccess.com so they can place all their orders through one order management system, Bijoor says.

To best serve these new, large retail customers, Joor is developing the customization capabilities and analytics reporting available on its order management platform in 2016.

Joor’s current platform allows retailers with multiple stores to plan and compare product assortments by individual store location. By the end of June, Joor’s in-house developers are scheduled to launch reporting capabilities that allow retailers to plan assortments by region. “We’re also going to focus on how to provide attribute comparisons, trend comparisons and classifications—like line skirt versus a mini skirt versus a maxi skirt,” Bijoor says. “That classification helps retailers buy into trends, shop for specific attributes and avoid overbuying or underpenetrating in a certain area.”

A buyer for J.Crew, for example, may be interested in adding more leather, lace or leopard print products to their spring line, Bijoor says. The updated Joor platform will allow retailers to search for products according to these specifications. “A lot of these retailers are doing this analysis on the spot, in the actual buying appointment, and circling a line sheet,” she says. “This allows them to visualize the assortment and avoid making bad buying decisions.” 

The company is also focused on upgrading the customization options of its order management platform, to extend its integration options to a greater number of retailers’ and manufacturers’ enterprise resource planning, or ERP systems, which are used to organize information on inventory, financial records and a customer activity. Joor currently integrates with ERP systems ranging from “more basic, rudimentary” technology to those from larger companies like Oracle Corp. and SAP SE, Bijoor says. The new platform will allow retailers and brands to customize their Joor order management site, so they don’t end up with what Bijoor calls “dirty orders” that are incompatible with these back-end business software systems.

A retailer’s ERP system, for example, may not accept orders with a color code that is more than eight characters long, Bijoor says. The new Joor platform will automatically truncate colors’ names that are greater than eight characters to fit such systems. Users will be able to design their own order management platform to only feature the product information they need, and can choose from more than 50 attributes that must be included so the platform best integrates with their inventory management and other software.

“The display is customizable, so if you don’t want it, than it doesn’t show up,” Bijoor says. “You, or your brand, can build your own order export platform with the requisite fields. If you only want these five variables, then we won’t send you the other 50.” These upgrades are meant to increase the speed at which orders are processed, she adds.

In-house developers started this project in early 2016 and plan to launch it by the end of the year. Joor also plans to open offices in Scandinavia and Germany by the fourth quarter, and hire 25 new sales reps by the end of 2016 to support international expansion, Bijoor says.

Manufacturers have two pricing options. One option, usually taken by large, mature brands, is to pay an annual listing fee that ranges from $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the number of SKUs, geographic markets, and transaction volume processed on JoorAccess.com, Bijoor says. The other option is to pay an annual listing fee plus a 3% transaction fee on every order processed across the platform. Joor receives its fees after it ships products to buyers, which can result in a payment lag time of up to five to six months, Bijoor says.

Retailers may join the JoorAccess website for free but pay $200 per month per merchandise buyer using the app.

Joor also charges a fee for integrating its order management platform to users’ custom ERP systems. The average integration fee is $5,000 for brands, and “for retailers it’s totally different because they have these huge behemoth integrations with a ton of customization involved,” Bijoor says. She declines to estimate an average integration fee for retailers.

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