by MR Magazine Staff

Since early March, the Coronavirus has forced the cancellation and postponement of trade shows across the country. This has raised a common question for brands and retailers: how can we safely connect and continue doing business under this new set of risks?

This is where Faire comes in. The company has announced a new set of tools already in development intended to seamlessly build upon its online marketplace to bring the sense of community and connection of trade shows online – all year round.

Since launching in 2017, Faire has built a curated online wholesale platform supporting more than 10,000 brands and 80,000 retailers, and now its engineering, design, and product teams are expanding its products to help foster personal connections among the wholesale community. Set to be released this summer, the company will enhance the platform to bring new ways for brands to merchandise products and for retailers to discover their next best sellers.

“We know that for both brands and retailers one of the biggest values of trade shows is the ability to establish contacts and relationships within the industry,” the company said in a statement. “However, traveling and convening for crowded events raise new concerns about health risks, and both brands and retailers have reported having tighter budgets than in previous years. Brands and retailers in our community are already considering how to connect with each other remotely this year, highlighting the need for simple and reliable digital alternatives. These new tools and online events will work to bring the community together to connect and create a regular tempo of buying and selling opportunities outside of traditional trade show seasons.”

Starting in July, Faire brands and retailers can look forward to having year-round access to virtual brand page showrooms, live-streaming video, one-on-one appointments, and cart-building features.

Retailers will be able to view entire catalogs in a virtual showroom—including collections, pre-orders, pre-packs, and pre-recorded video. Brands will be able to customize their pages to showcase new products, best-sellers, and merchandising tips for retailers.

Brands can also host live-stream video to hundreds of retailers to debut new products and launch new collections. Retailers can ask questions through live chat and checkout directly.

Brands can then invite retailers to live video appointments to walk through products and merchandising options. During the appointment, brands and buyers can easily create orders together with collaborative order building. Preview notes can be provided beforehand to set up each call for success.

“As our industry forges the path forward to a new normal, these tools and online events will introduce a responsible alternative to in-person trade shows, tailored to the present needs of our industry,” the company continued. “As with everything on our platform, these tools will allow brands to evolve and create year-round buying opportunities as we continue to recover from the pandemic. We believe wholesale and independent retail will come back stronger than before if we work together and support one another.”