The US $1,800 Shoe Problem
Here’s your product manager challenge. Let’s suppose that you manage a high-end fashion product line. Your product line is unique because not everyone is able to get it. This is almost an integral part of product development. You must also sell as many products as possible to keep your business afloat and grow your business. What does a product manager do?
Welcome to the World of Online High-End Shopping
Before we can find solutions to the problems that our product manager faces, we need to first understand how the world of selling clothes works. (That is, assuming that you don’t already know it).
High-end fashion is exclusive, unlike regular clothes. You can’t simply go to any store and purchase high-end fashion. You need to find out which Valentino or Alexander Wang store you love and then go to the Bergdorf Goodman or Neiman Marcus luxury store to see it and to purchase it. This is where the problem lies. There are not many of these stores, and wealthy shoppers may not be able to visit them. This is clearly a problem.
Startups are launching their own product managers. These companies want to do the shopping for fashions easily online. They have the inventory and have partnered with big business names. These firms can present high-end fashions to buyers from all over the globe by using websites and mobile apps. They want to reach young buyers, who are tech-savvy, and jet-setters who might not have access to high-end fashion shops. They’ll be able to do this well and add another product manager to their resume.
High End Requires Special Solutions
The online “trunk shows” are a new type of high-end fashion outlet. Trunk shows are a special occasion where customers can preview and buy from the latest fashion collection of a designer. These items won’t go on sale until next season at high-end stores. These once-in-person events are now available online through the new online store. Anyone can attend. Customers can save 50% on the purchase of an item they like, and they will receive it in 5 months. This is the same time as high-end stores.
Product managers will have to deal with the fact that high-end fashion purchases are still very hands-on. Your customer will want to touch and hold the dresses, which can range in price from US$5,000-US$10,000. This means that websites need to be able to display subtle details such as the sizes of clasps or the fabrics used.
Online companies use the information they collect from their online trunk shows to employ stylists. These stylists then create online shops with handbags and shoes, as well as other accessories, to complete a look. This is all made immediately available for purchase. This seems to work – the average purchase price in one of these online shops in the US is $2,000. Online stores will continue to be successful if they have more high-end partners. They will also need to expand into new fashion categories.
What Does All This Mean for You?
Take a look at the job description of a product manager to see if you are a product manager who is a success. You will need a product that is attractive and be able to reach customers. High-end fashion product managers have the product they want, but it’s always difficult to reach all the people willing and able. This may be made more accessible by the advent of online high-end stores.
The new online store is a partnership deal with high-end fashion design houses. The new collections are displayed online at virtual “trunk shows,” where customers can make purchases before they are available in stores. These online stores also have stylists who use their style sense to make complete outfits that are available for customers to purchase.
Any product that expands the reach and gets it in the hands of customers willing to pay is a good thing. High-end fashion product managers need to be cautious. Their product is not easy to find, which makes them so popular. The appeal of high-end fashion might disappear if it is as simple to buy a Valentino handbag online as it is to go to Walmart. The new breed of online shops may make high-end fashion more mainstream.