CORDIS - EU research results

Sqetch – easily connecting fashion brands with apparel manufacturers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - sqetch (Sqetch – easily connecting fashion brands with apparel manufacturers)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Today`s world is constantly speeding the way we live (learn, communicate, entertain or do business). With over 3 billion searches on Google, “to buy” characterises today`s society. People are looking to be always fashion-conscious therefore they go shopping. This puts an important amount of pressure on brands interested to become more and more effective in order to satisfy customer’s expectations – high quality, fair price, short delivery time. Achieving this requires a paradigm shift in the way companies are conducting their business processes. And the fashion industry is no exception! Both fashion brands and apparel manufacturers are facing significant challenges: How to easily find suitable and trustful apparel manufacturers? Are those delivering the expected quality for a fair price? How to turn more fashion brands into new customers? How to confirm a good quality level of manufacturing?

Sqetch is an online platform designed to help fashion brands find Clothing Manufacturers and Suppliers. The platform is disrupting a traditional industry, encouraging innovation and maintaining competitiveness, to support a sector which employs 1,6M people, thus playing a crucial role in the economy in many regions of Europe. The objective of Sqetch – easily connecting fashion brands with apparel manufacturers, (Grant Agreement number: 720219) was to deploy the platform and validate the technological, practical and the economic viability of the concept. As such its dimension was two-fold: (i) develop a pilot platform –to assess the added value, costs, and impact of more extensive feedback during the development stage and early review of how customers are impacted by the proposed solution and (ii) prove the technical and commercial viability by conducting an analysis to determine the probability of the project to sustain itself, grow, meet the objectives and offer the expected returns.
Sqetch conducted a user study selecting a pool of brands and apparel manufacturers which were invited to use the online platform. After 1 month, Sqetch requested feedback by engaging with its users and compiled a report whose main scope is to evaluate what users experienced while using the platform and understand their needs. The study provided valuable insights on user behavior and their needs, enabling the company to validate the strong interest and demand for its platform whilst the feedback served to define what features need to be developed in order to improve usability and increase the added value of Sqetch. In addition, Sqetch performed a series of tests in relation to its customer acquisition process to determine which channels generated the best ROI. By attracting over 750 brands and +1000 manufacturers in 6 months, the outcomes of the project largely validated, demonstrating the interest of the industry for such a product. On the other hand, it also enabled the company to modify some elements of its business model to increase its growth further. During the study, Sqetch also performed significant communication and outreach activities, both using online and offline channels, and its strategy proved to be instrumental in the growth of its user base.
The project proved to be very successful and instrument in consolidating Sqetch’s business plan – and hence will be sustained.
Homepage of Sqetch