Ahead of a fashion mission to Berlin, Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation outlines the steps to exporting your fashion brand into Europe’s largest ecommerce market.
The case for Germany
When it comes to economic standing, Germany stands tall. It is Europe’s largest economy and the fourth strongest in the world. This means it’s a country to be taken seriously by British brands looking to export to growing and profitable markets. Only an hour away by air and with English widely spoken, Germany is home to a population of 82 million consumers, increasingly looking to buy products and services that hail from Britain. Here are four steps to ensure your market entry to Germany is a success:
Start with marketplaces
An ideal first step to enter the German market is by selling your fashion products on powerful marketplaces that already have a strong following of customers. The key marketplaces to consider are:
ASOS Marketplace – based in Britain yet increasingly attracting a large following from Germany and other European markets, this platform is helping British designers and labels reach new customers outside of their home territory.
Dawanda – list your items on this site and set up a shop which gives you the option of a direct URL. The site attracts thousands of buyers looking for unique fashion and gifts.
Zalando – starting out as a site selling shoes, Zalando has expanded into a marketplace offering clothes, accessories and sports items for men, women and children. If you want your brand in Germany, this is a good place to start.
SHOPBOP – launched in 2000 with a focus on denim, SHOPBOP is the self-described ‘go-to online retail destination for modern style’ sourcing collections from contemporary and up and coming designers. The company was acquired by Amazon in 2006 and now benefits from the power of fulfilment and customer service that comes complete with an Amazon package.
MYTHERESA.COM– an online shop for luxury and designer fashion for women, over 180 designers sell via the site, with over 500 new arrivals each week from runway collections.
Across all areas; from ensuring safe and timely shipping, to being sure of getting paid, seek out advice and support from the experts. This is why brands including UPS, HSBC, PayPal and KPMG are backing Enterprise Nation’s Go Global missions – so they can offer the necessary practical tips to boost knowledge and confidence. Seek out support and build yourself a trusted network to ensure that exporting feels as straightforward as doing business in Britain.
Nothing beats meeting customers face to face, seeing buyers, and linking with potential collaborators and trading partners. Achieve this by paying a visit. Consider joining the Go Global fashion mission to Berlin from 19 to 21 May where you’ll meet buyers, marketplaces, local designers and experts who can help your move into Germany as seamless as possible. The mission also includes a one-day pop-up so you can get immediate customer feedback on product, price and designs.
With cashflow and confidence growing, take steps to localise your website or promotion to take into account local culture and, of course, the local language! This shows a commitment to the market and will be repaid with loyalty from customers.