Faire concluded their Winter Market in early February, the organization’s second and largest virtual trade show event where thousands of independent retailers and brands came together to shop brand discounts, attend informative livestreams, and form new connections. The event was a huge success, as retailers placed twice as many orders (over 90,000) as they did last year’s Summer Market. The trends that surfaced during the event illuminated what is front and center on the minds of consumers everywhere.
Huge Savings for Retailers
According to Faire, vendor participation was free — they only needed to set a promotion for the duration of Winter Market. The average brand promotion was a 15 percent discount, and Faire matched these promotions up to 10 percent. As a result, retailers saved over $4 million in total, which is double the savings from Faire Summer Market in August. These savings represent a meaningful dent in budgets as the small business community continues to recover from the pandemic.
Retailers also placed twice as many orders as they did at Faire Summer Market, demonstrating the effectiveness of this new buying format. In fact, in a recent February survey, 50 percent of retailers reported that their confidence in virtual trade shows as a format has increased.
There were a wide range of categories that retailers purchased from at the Faire Winter Market, with 250,000 products being purchased in total. The most sought after brands were women-owned, which saw over 60,000 orders, made in the USA and handmade, which both had 50,000 orders placed. This further underscores consumers’ commitment to investing in high quality, well made items.
As consumers continue to spend more time at home due to the pandemic, their product preferences were reflected in the type of merchandise that was purchased at the Winter Market. The most purchased product categories were from kitchen, home, and candle, as well as cozy apparel items like socks and sweatshirts. Faire also saw that cheeky, timely gifts from drinkware to stationery spoke to their retailer community’s sense of humor.