Live case study: New Year and New Beginnings for Charlotte Zimbehl

It’s the start of the New Year and I have decided on a new strategy, a strategy that will hopefully give my business more visibility, credibility and a name in the marketplace.

2017 is the year that the Charlotte Zimbehl brand is going fully omnichannel. That might seem an ambitious decision for a new brand but working with the Ecommerce Club I have discovered that the opportunities available today are far greater than I had realised. My business needs exposure and contact with the consumer in order to get my name out there, create interest and, most importantly, build my sales.

My partnership with Lightspeed Retail in 2016 enabled me to run a pop-up shop with the full functionality of a store, managing sales, inventory and invoicing on the spot. Following two successful pop up shops at the end of 2016, I recognised something vital. By combining an online presence with taking my product into the real world, and interacting with my customers on a one-to-one basis in reality and virtually, I can create the building blocks for a brand with exciting growth potential.

Strategically I’m in an interesting position. My brand is clear, my designs are available and my consumers love my work – it’s so much fun to discover how each customer has their own unique twist on how the brand works for them. The business is young and there is a lot to do, but that means that in many ways the world is my oyster – it’s now a question of building on what we’ve achieved and the Ecommerce Club and its founding partners are going to help me do that.

Being a small business I need to think differently, outside the box, I realised that we can’t compete with all those big brands and have to do things differently. Europe and the world being in an economic crisis and many fashion buyers buying conservative and risk averse – which often means not buying into new brands until they know what their sell through will be – doesn’t help.

Doing things the traditional way isn’t going to help me in establishing the business and hence I decided I need to change my overall approach if I want to succeed in this competitive market. January will see partners and members of the Ecommerce Club who are interested in collaborating come together to explore what that approach might be. And 2017 is when we’ll put those plans into practice.

I look forward to letting you know more about what those plans are, and how well they work.

Good luck in 2017 and thanks,

Charlotte