The fashion industry has changed dramatically. Gone are the days when brands sold their goods through retailers on a relatively predictable schedule. Ecommerce opened up the direct-to-consumer channel for companies of any size and social media has taken over marketing and communications.
The consumer relationship has changed too. New products and styles are seen by everyone as soon as the first Instagram drops and people can buy what they like as soon as the model steps off the runway.
M.R.K.T. was founded in 2010 by two Americans living in Shanghai. “It started as a creative pursuit,” said Shaun Nath, co-founder and CEO of M.R.K.T. during this interview on #SAPTalks.
Shaun’s friend, Tom Pen, the other co-founder of M.R.K.T., was an architect and started making accessories out of synthetic felt using a laser. His designs were immediately popular with friends and sold quickly in local Shanghai stores. Soon, M.R.K.T. went from a small passion project to an international accessories brand, available in more than 20 countries and 300 points of sales around the world.
Up until 2013, M.R.K.T. was running a pretty straight forward retail business in China. But it wanted to grow aggressively and pursue new channels.
“When the company started it was focused on creating product and establishing the brand, but once it was up on its feet with its first stores, and we wanted to expand internationally and open up ecommerce and wholesale in the U.S., it became more complicated,” said Nath.
The difficulty was adding the new channels to the business and capitalizing on them. M.R.K.T. didn’t have the systems in place to manage ecommerce, wholesale, and retail stores effectively and efficiently. The spreadsheets and disconnected tools they were using slowed them down.
“As we built up a larger customer base and added more channels in which we sell, it was just impossible. It was very burdensome and labor intensive to manage,” said Nath.
M.R.K.T. is an entrepreneurial brand pushing through some growth stages right now and the fashion industry isn’t sitting idle. Consumers expect no less from the small brands than they do from the large ones.
“As we find new opportunities, especially in a market that’s undergoing so much rapid change, we need that agility to access a new channel or new way of selling to the customer without finding the operational process overly burdensome,” explained Nath.
Simple and flexible business solutions are essential for growth at M.R.K.T. SAP Anywhere connects inventory, sales, order, and customer data in a single cloud-based system and gives M.R.K.T. the real-time insight and marketing tools needed to keep up with its customers.
Hear more about how M.R.K.T. is successfully surging ahead in the fast-paced, highly competitive fashion industry on this episode of #SAPTalks.
And check out the complete M.R.K.T. SAP Customer Journey here.
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