Brands Bradley Hearn By Tamara Gibbs

Selling Secrets From a Senior E-Commerce Specialist at Fossil

When one of the world’s best-known fashion brands swears by a solution that makes the ever-expanding universe of e-commerce manageable, it’s worth listening to.

So you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this post. We’re about to share some selling secrets from Fossil — one of today’s biggest international designers and manufacturers. In a recent interview with ChannelAdvisor, the company’s senior e-commerce specialist opened up about the strategies she’s using to fuel marketplace growth.

Here’s what she had to say.

Transitioning to the era of empowered consumers

While Fossil Group is most known for its iconic wristwatches, the company also sells millions of accessories, jewelry items and leather goods. It owns more than 500 retail sites and manages a large portfolio of other brands including Michael Kors, Puma and others.

Suffice it to say the company had a strong, steady system for connecting with consumers and building the brand.

That is, until e-commerce came along. 

As consumers increasingly turned to new sales channels like Amazon and Google and started trading trips to stores for swipes on smartphones, it became evident that a new approach would be needed. The revenue potential of these and other marketplaces was massive — and Fossil wasn’t about to miss out.

When the reality of e-commerce hits hard

As the popularity of e-commerce marketplaces continued to rise, Fossil realized it would need to make these channels a bigger focus of the company’s growth strategy.

But the brand had long been centered around brick-and-mortar stores. And when it came to collaborating with channel partners, those relationships revolved around the biggest, most influential e-commerce players. So as soon as the team started to explore potential opportunities with online marketplaces, one reality quickly rose to the surface:

They wouldn’t be able to go it alone.

The very nature of marketplaces is granular: Each one has its own unique requirements for marketing, selling and fulfilling. As if that’s not enough, every product listing comes with a wide array of complications that can impact a company’s ability to get ahead of competitors and capture sales. Marketplace consumers have access to all kinds of advantages, such as the ability to compare prices and shipping options from different sellers, that in-store shoppers don’t.

It can be overwhelming, to say the least. For a large, established company like Fossil, there are just too many product feeds and factors to even consider moving quickly. Was there any way to streamline those components and make everything more accessible for such a big company?

This was the question Stefani DeBerry, Fossil’s senior e-commerce merchant, found herself asking not long ago.

Making marketplace growth a scalable reality

As DeBerry began to explore options, there were three important elements to consider. The team would need to: 

  1. identify the best marketplace opportunities for the brand
  2. launch quickly and easily on numerous platforms
  3. manage multiple marketplaces within one single portal

She decided to give ChannelAdvisor a try, and has never looked back.

“We were able to grow our sales exponentially in the e-commerce area by finding new marketplaces,” DeBerry explains. “ChannelAdvisor makes it very easy for us to really focus on product and selling, instead of having to focus on the ‘nitty gritty.’”

The reason: ChannelAdvisor’s transformation engine collects all product data once, and then feeds it to each individual marketplace according to that channel’s specific requirements.

DeBerry credits this simple, streamlined approach for Fossil’s ability to create a consistent brand experience everywhere the company sells.

So… what’s next for Fossil? 

“I think what excites me the most is that e-commerce continues to grow every single year,” DeBerry says. “Marketplaces are expanding and the customer is constantly changing, so it’ll always keep us on our toes.”

Ready to expand your business on e-commerce marketplaces? Our eBook, 7 Best Practices for Selling on Marketplaces, is a great guide to lean on. This free resource is packed with top tips from the e-commerce experts, based on lessons learned from more than 2,800 marketplace sellers.