GrooveNStyle Aims To Offer Digital Showroom With Human Touch
Over the past decade, there has been a demand for virtual-showroom platforms. Despite their success, all of these platforms have missed a crucial element of the business—sales, according to the founders of GrooveNStyle, a virtual-showroom platform scheduled to make its official debut on Oct. 19. The platform can be found at groovenstyle.com.
“There still needs to be a human touch in a digital platform,” said Eme Mizioch, a GNS co-founder who has also run the Joken Style fashion showroom in Los Angeles for 15 years.
Patrick Campbell, a Houston-based GNS investor and president of the LennyLu footwear brand, said that salespeople can’t be replaced. The appeal of a fashion brand cannot be entirely communicated through pictures.
“You have to talk to someone,” he said. “There’s no other way to close a sale.”
The platform will provide the same basics as other digital-showroom platforms. There will be digital space to display line sheets, media such as brand video and forms to create orders. A GNS point of difference will be Mizioch and her colleagues, who will act as sales reps. They will be available to offer presentations on a brand’s finer points. These meetings will be arranged through brand agents and buyers meeting through the GNS platform.
GNS’s sales representatives also will do the legwork that is at the core of a salesperson’s role. They’ll be knocking on doors. They’ll assess if their clients’ brands are right for certain retailers. They will also handle marketing services to promote the brands and advise on marketing strategy.
The GNS founders also hope to help their clients with additional support from the technology world. Through the platform’s big-data analytics, it will show a client who is looking at its virtual showroom how the brand’s name, logo and products are trending on social media, Campbell said.
“You’ll see how the brand is perceived. You’ll see how things are trending,” he said. “The platform’s proprietary technology also will ascertain how many views a certain item gets so a brand can confirm if an item is gaining interest and where it is trending. Along with big-data analytics, the platform also aims to offer the services of a planner such as a marketplace calendar for fashion weeks and trade shows. It will also offer a search engine for retailers, buyers, manufacturers and designers.
The GNS platform will give viewers a button by which they can communicate whether they like a particular garment and show brands which items are resonating and which items are not, Mizioch said. “The ‘like’ button is a highlighter. You’re highlighting off of a line sheet,” she said.
At a future point, GNS also hopes to offer warehousing and distribution services, said Randy Prado, a GNS partner who also serves as the chief executive officer for Republisys, a software developer that has offices in the Philippines and Australia. GNS is currently going through a seed round of investment to support the rollout of the platform’s logistics services. Eventually, Prado hopes that the company will offer services in product development and sales, analytics and logistics.
GNS also hopes to develop into a global platform. More than 30 brands are currently participating in the platform, including Campbell’s LennyLu. Prado is in talks with entrepreneurs and companies across Southeast Asia to participate. Mizioch forecasted that Los Angeles–headquartered brands would participate as would Italian brands she has represented in the past.
Before a brand can join the GNS platform, it will have to demonstrate that it is working on a solid foundation. This includes showing samples to GNS. Brands, sales representatives and agencies will be required to pay an as-yet undisclosed subscription fee to participate in GNS. The site’s fees will run from the basic platform experience, which will include posting line sheets and media on the platform, to a full package, which will include access to analytics and sales services. The site will offer the first 90 days for free.