Runway to retail at Fashion Week – B2C fulfilment and meeting demand

February saw New York, London, Milan and Paris welcome the great and good of the fashion industry for the A/W 2018 Fashion Week shows, with proceedings drawing to a close in Paris this week.

Fashion Week is a major event in the retail calendar. With a growing number of brands implementing runway-to-retail marketing strategies, including the likes of Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger and high street brands such as Topshop and M&S, the pressure is on fulfilment and logistics suppliers to meet demand.

Recent years have seen UK brands embrace the huge sales opportunity offered by London Fashion Week, shunning the outdated six-month lag between seeing and buying. September last year saw Topshop make styles available to consumers immediately after their catwalk debut, while Burberry invited consumers to watch the shows live before buying its ‘now collection’ styles seen on the runway. Tommy Hilfiger also capitalised on consumers’ desire for instant gratification, making everything ‘shoppable’.

With e-commerce websites supporting heavy traffic, boosted by targeted social media campaigns and advertising, the hard work begins once the sale has been made. Fulfilment centres and logistics must run like a well-oiled machine – huge demand, large volumes of individual orders and speedy delivery illustrates the significant differences between B2B and B2C fulfilment.

B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) fulfilment require a substantially different approach, with alternative priorities and risks.

The B2B fulfilment process is much more functional, with much less attention devoted to personal touches. Big-box and bulk orders from businesses remove the need for a ‘volume’ approach and, while speed of delivery is always important, there are many more rules and regulations which must also be considered. B2B fulfilment centres must remain compliant with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), plus compliance for barcodes, parcels, labels and invoices – there are also high penalties for mistakes.

But, while B2B is by far more complex than B2C fulfilment, the latter is certainly a more pressurised environment – particularly during busy periods. Speed is vital, with focus on delivering goods quickly, as well as spending time on special features.  The sale to delivery process must be efficient and well-managed; ease and speed must follow emotional response to cement brand loyalty.

While B2B and B2C fulfilment are vastly different, the answer to a smooth process in either scenario can be found in smart technology solutions, with real-time inventory view and a unified version of the purchasing process.

Whatever your route to market – B2B, multi-channel, omni-channel or pure-play e-commerce –and regardless of product type, Advanced Supply Chain Group provides a bespoke fulfilment service to ensure that compliant, customer-ready orders are delivered on time and in full, maximising speed to market and sales.

related news & views


Spider retailers: the growing web of sales channels and supply chain challenges

Retail sales channels are evolving at pace, providing ever more engaging routes for retailers to connect with consumers and drive sales.


Is your supply chain fit for the future? Take our supply chain health check to find out

Have you ever considered how your supply chain could be more effective and fit for the future? We've launched a new supply chain health check to help supply chain leaders ensure they are well-placed to handle the challenges of the months and years ahead.


Taking your brand online - is now the time to look towards a platform or marketplace? 

Coronavirus has rapidly changed the world we live in and has forced a shift in the day-to-day of people and businesses around the world. With non-essential retailers being forced to close their doors in March, consumers became heavily reliant on online shopping for both essential and non-essential items. This shift in consumers’ shopping habits meant that brands had to quickly rethink and adapt the way they sell their goods and move to an online-first model.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you accept this policy. read more