On day two of Glossy’s Fashion & Luxury Summit, fashion and luxury brand leaders met in a working group to talk about how the rising standards of e-commerce will shake out for brands and retailers — and the conversation morphed into a spirited discussion on brand opportunities in the metaverse. According to Maria Buccellati, CEO at Faith Connexion, the increasing focus on the metaverse will eventually lead to the end of the influencer and the rise of avatars.
“Influencers are in a dying stage,” said Buccellati.
Read on to learn about the challenges, and workarounds, founders and executives are navigating while exploring both e-commerce advancements and the metaverse, in their own words.
The question: Should fashion brands be selling on Amazon?
“We’ve tried to divert some of our DTC [sales] to Amazon just to offset the costs from our vendors, but we are losing.”
Avoid selling on Amazon
“Amazon’s a data company. [It] wants every single good ever created by man to be on its website so it can bring people in, so it can survey those people. That’s why the pricing makes no sense and that’s why a lot of the decisions they make are weird. They don’t care if you sell any goods. You are welcome to sell on Amazon, but Amazon is not a retailer, so they do not care.”
Focus on how you market your product is key
“Amazon has become so big and people buy so many high-priced ticket items [on the marketplace], including art, that [success] becomes all about how you market it and how you do your sales. You have to make it very curated, because Amazon has a very specific type of buyer. The buyer that buys on Amazon might not buy on your DTC site or might not buy from your retail.”
The question: Is there any getting around counterfeit vendors on Amazon?
“We have a problem with both counterfeit and resale [vendors] where our customers have gone on Amazon to buy our products and have found them. People think we’re on Amazon because of these dupes, but we’re not. Do we need to be on Amazon? If not, how do we combat that?”
Create a trademark on Amazon’s platform
“You can set up a trademark [to protect your brand]. You don’t need an [Amazon] account; just set it up through the brand registry. Then you can allow only who you want to allow to access the account.”
The question: Which platforms should be used to sell luxury goods?
“Amazon Fashion and Luxury [Stores] are crushing it, but I don’t see them being successful yet. How do you know when [Amazon] is or isn’t the right platform for higher-priced items?”
Sell specific luxury collections on Amazon, but always redirect back to your DTC site
“The best way to do it is to say, ‘OK, we have these two or three items on Amazon, but we have a product collection on our main website. Come to our website.’ You can attract customers who shop on Amazon first, and if they love the product, then you redirect them to your main website to sell. Essentially, you use Amazon as another channel, in terms of gaining customers.”
“You can create a really beautiful, heavily branded experience that has a really robust backend on Amazon. You can have a video, and you can have an experience that does not feel like Amazon at all. It depends on your customer. They will go into that experience, but they likely will not buy on Amazon. They will purchase from your site.”
Consider other third-party marketplaces such as Verishop, Farfetch and Orchard Mile
“[Verishop] is favorable for brands, to be honest, because they actually have a whole social media team. They’ll take your product and market it. They’ll give you great assets that you can also use on your own site, and they make it so easy for you.”
“Orchard Mild is more of a smaller luxury startup, so it’s hit or miss. But it’s great exposure because all the top brands like Dolce & Gabbana are also there.”
“Farfetch has an empowerment feeling going on right now, compared to the Amazon’s luxury department. Farfetch is funding a lot of events — they’re creating items for [these events] and are working with owners to brand [the events] together. It’s important to them that you feel like a partner and not just one more brand.
They also have PlatformE. It’s a side part of the department where they create unique, customized pieces. These kinds of elements are very important and make a difference. When you go into luxury, it’s not about the mass. [Customers] want something special. Farfetch understands that. They’re also exploring marketing in the metaverse”
The question: Are influencers necessary for e-commerce marketing?
“I come from a digital advertising and e-commerce background, and I’be been watching these platforms evolve. I’m curious if anyone is capitalizing on live commerce yet. If so, what does that look like?”
Try live commerce
“We used ShopShops during the pandemic, and it was incredible for visibility. For sales, if you [offer] a discount or special code on the platform, then it’s worth it.”
Market in the metaverse
“The metaverse is going to be a huge game-changer. [Faith Connexion] mirrored an event we threw in Paris, in the metaverse. We had 250 people attend in real life and 85,000 guests in Decentraland. [The latter] was part of Metaverse Fashion Week. It’s incredible — [the metaverse’s reach] is going to be greater than [the reach of] an influencer.