In the ever-evolving world of fashion, expanding into new markets is crucial for success. Vietnam, with its thriving economy and growing fashion industry, presents a promising opportunity for foreign fashion brands seeking to tap into Southeast Asia’s vibrant market. However, attracting fashion distributors in Vietnam requires a strategic approach. In this article, we will explore 5 essential tips to lure fashion distributors in Vietnam. By implementing these strategies, fashion businesses can enhance their chances of establishing fruitful partnerships and thriving in the Vietnamese market.
1. Offer in-demand brands
One key tip to attract fashion distributors in Vietnam is to offer types of brands that are currently popular and in high demand locally. Vietnamese consumers and retailers alike place high value on following international fashion trends quickly. Staying on top of the latest trends and offering the appropriate brands can give you an edge in wooing distributors.
You must understand which international fashion brands are currently most sought after in Vietnam, or what kinds of style and price segmentation the market is in need of. Sportswear, athleisure, streetwear and fast fashion brands from Europe and the U.S such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Zara, H&M and Uniqlo are immensely popular. Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci also have a niche market.
Distributors will be drawn to your portfolio if it includes this right mix of brands tailored to the current Vietnamese market. For example, you may offer popular sportswear brands for the youth segment and European fast fashion brands like Zara for working professionals. Additionally, stay up to date on the latest denim, outerwear and athleisure trends that Vietnamese consumers eagerly adopt.
2. Attend Trade Shows and Exhibitions
Attending trade shows and exhibitions is a powerful strategy for fashion brands looking to lure potential partners in Vietnam. These events provide an excellent platform to showcase your products, network with industry professionals, and gain visibility in the market.
Here are some details and examples to elaborate on this tip:
- Identify Relevant Trade Shows: Research and identify trade shows and fashion exhibitions in Vietnam that align with your target audience and product offerings. Some notable events in Vietnam include Vietnam International Fashion Week, Vietnam Fashion Fair, and Vietnam International Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition. These exhibitions attract a wide range of industry professionals, including distributors, retailers, designers, and fashion enthusiasts.
- Prepare an Impressive Booth: Design an attractive and visually appealing booth that represents your brand and products effectively. Use eye-catching displays, innovative product presentations, and engaging visuals to capture the attention of visitors. Showcase your best-selling items, unique designs, and any special features that differentiate your brand from competitors.
- Network and Engage: Actively engage with visitors, strike up conversations, and build relationships with potential distributors. Demonstrate your knowledge of the Vietnamese market, explain your product range, and highlight the benefits of partnering with your brand. Be open to answering questions, collecting feedback, and exchanging contact information for future follow-ups.
3. Send product samples
Sending free product samples to interested distributors is an effective way to convince them to represent your fashion brand in Vietnam. Many distributors, especially smaller ones, appreciate being able to physically try out products before committing to bulk orders. This reduces their risk and gives them more confidence in your products’ quality, styling and suitability for the Vietnamese market.
• Send various samples showcasing your full range – clothing items of multiple styles, sizes and fabrics. This gives distributors a well-rounded view of what you offer.
• Consider sending samples tailored to Vietnam – Include products likely to appeal locally, based on your market research. For example, items in breathable fabrics are really suitable for Vietnam’s climate.
• Focus on the latest trends – Ensure the samples represent your most up-to-date collections and on-trend items that will capture distributors’ interest.
• Offer multiple units – Send at least 2-3 units of each sample style or size. This allows distributors to try the products on multiple people for a more realistic fit assessment.
• Pay for international shipping – Absorb the cost of sending samples overseas. This shows your commitment to gaining a Vietnamese distributor.
4. Provide competitive pricing
Providing competitively priced products is key to attracting fashion distributors in Vietnam. However, setting the right wholesale prices requires an understanding of multiple factors specific to the Vietnamese market.
First, you must factor in import duties and taxes when pricing for the Vietnamese market. Import tariffs on clothing range from 7% to 30% depending on the material. There are also value-added tax (VAT) and other duties. These costs are passed on to distributors and influence how competitive your pricing needs to be.
Second, you should research wholesale pricing of comparable brands in Vietnam to determine an appropriate price point. Monitor pricing from competitors including local brands. Staying roughly within 5-10% of competitor wholesale prices can make your brand seem like a good value option to distributors.
Third, consider exchange rate fluctuations when setting prices in Vietnamese Dong. The Dong does not fluctuate much against the USD but you need a buffer to absorb currency movements that impact your overall margins.
5. Leverage social media marketing
Social media marketing can be an effective way to attract the attention of potential fashion distributors in Vietnam. According to Data Reportal, the country has one of the highest rates of social media usage in Southeast Asia, with 70.00 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 71.0 percent of the total population. This presents an opportunity for brands to directly reach and engage with distributors through digital channels.
Some tips for leveraging social media to lure distributors include:
• Target ads to fashion distributors – Run Facebook and Instagram ads targeting specific keywords related to fashion distribution in Vietnam. This can help you gain exposure to the right audience.
• Create an engaged community – Foster follower conversations and interactions on your social profiles. This helps establish your brand’s credibility and appeal to distributors.
• Hire local social media influencers/KOLs – Partnering with popular Vietnamese fashion bloggers and Instagrammers can give your product’s exposure to an already engaged local audience. But where to look for these fashion KOLs? Let’s find out in this article:
Expanding into Vietnam’s fashion market can be a rewarding venture for foreign fashion brands. However, it requires careful planning, research, and adaptation to succeed. By leveraging these tips and strategies, brands can position themselves as desirable partners, capitalizing on the country’s growing fashion industry and connecting with Vietnamese consumers. With persistence, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to delivering high-quality products, fashion distributors can thrive in Vietnam’s dynamic market and contribute to its vibrant fashion landscape.
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