Since the beginning of time, humanity has progressed on the back of storytelling. Although craft and culture have morphed as humanity has, storytelling, as a concept, has not – we just find new ways to tell the story. We have lately been telling stories through technology – social platforms, content sites and now through e-commerce.
Whether or not you happen to be in the digital or fashion space professionally, we are all at least peripherally aware that the traditional brick and mortar marketplace is in decline, while e-commerce continues to grow at an extravagant clip. “Despite the over $1 trillion in apparel sales transacted annually online and through mobile. Apparel e-commerce is still projected to grow globally by 40% over the next 3 years.” Fashion Industry Statistics, www.fashionunited.com, accessed on 11/13/16.
What sort of new e-commerce sites will emerge to fill this space, to provide consumers with more than just efficiency? In my opinion, it’s a great time to be an e-commerce site, if you’re not in Amazon’s lane, that is (Amazon has mastered price-driven and commodity based online retail). If you’re a site catering to a niche in an authentic and qualitative away, there’s plenty of room – particularly in fashion.
Besides the vast quantitative opportunity, there has been a paradigm shift in how people want to browse and shop digitally. Cultural influencers have tremendous sway on people’s buying behavior. There’s that storytelling….
For online retail properties to thrive, they need to go beyond a mere transaction; they need to offer customers an experience, a personal connection that’s been dwindling in conjunction with bricks and mortar.
This is why I am launching Wanderset.com.
First and foremost, Wanderset is about our 70+ brands – some of which (live and signed are) Alps & Meters, Android Homme, Anwar Carrots, Comme des Garçons, Days Off, Dead Studios, Del Toro Shoes, En Noir, Gucci’s “Gucci Ghost” Collection, IISE, Lacoste, Mr. Completely, NIGHT : SHIFT, Puma, RCNSTRCT Studio, Surf Is Dead, Tango Hotel, York Athletics and Youth Machine.
But we are bringing more. We connected with some of the leading names and minds in fashion and culture, called them “Set Members” and lifted the veil between influencer and consumer, so everyone could get to know not only the DNA of the creation, but the why and the who, well before the curve.
A sample of our inaugural Set Members (live and signed-on): Visual artist and Olympic snowboarder, Trevor Andrew aka Gucci Ghost, who will be featuring his massively successful collaborative collection with Gucci; Cash Warren, entrepreneur, co-founder of The Honest Company, featuring his brand, Pair of Thieves; celebrity stylist, Andrew Weitz, named to GQ’s Top 10 best dressed in the world (2017); NBA player, Mike Conley; Ariel G. – stylist to J Balvin and Daddy Yankee, whose “Despacito” was the most watched video in history (over 3 billion+ views), producer, DVLP, sneaker connoisseur, culturalist and Android Homme founder, “Sneaker” Steve Patino, Vegas nightlife star DJ Five, and LA’s Power 106 FM radio personality, Eric Dlux.
But we are bringing even more: Narrative. We crafted “Lifestyle View” which allows our brands and Set Members to speak to our customers through visual narrative – anything from socials images to pictures of individuals wearing certain product, to a complete editorial layout. Lifestyle View confers a deeper, qualitative connection between our brands, Set Members and customers who can discover product that speaks to them and then click on the image to buy it in a matter of seconds.
We knew just providing our customers with a t-shirt to buy wasn’t enough. We knew that the key was creating custom hybrid content that pulled our customer into the world of the brand, the line, the influencer, and designer was the next step. Just like books, film, and traditional storytelling, humanity loves to be immersed in a tale, and that was paramount.
We launched our blog WANDER with this in mind. Instead of aggregating and re-posting the same content from other sites and similarly aimed lifestyle hubs, we were determined to write our own. From exclusives, to premiers, to interviews and spotlight pieces, everything was aimed at crafting the culture narrative above all, and speaking from our own unique podium, in our own unique voice telling the stories that make up a brands DNA.
I was blessed with a veteran team with combined decades of e-commerce, retail, branding, design, marketing and tech experience, and a cast of creative and expansive minds to push envelopes. We will also be asking our customers to help source new influencers, brands and content, or become content providers themselves. Reader, if you have any suggestions, please contact me directly at email@example.com.
In short, Wanderset is a far more dynamic, exciting, interactive content site, with the added feature of allowing the consumer to not only learn about the latest trends from top cultural creatives in fashion, music, sports, film and art, but have the added facet of buying a brand those individuals actually created and / or the brands and products they share a passion for.
The future is Set.