The fashion industry has embraced changes and worn them like a model would flaunt wearing Prada. This change is an integral part of the fashion industry’s identity that occurs regularly, such as seasonal trends, sustainable measures, customization, and recent digital transformation. The last change in the industry has been the most drastic one as the leading players were caught off-guard, and the year ahead may bring about more dramatic transformation yet. If these transitions seem overwhelming, implement the hoodie customization software that allows brands to accommodate the recent transformation brought in by advancements in technology. The tool allows buyers to design the hoodies as per their choices and preview them using 3d before heading for the final payment. This is the perfect tool to be installed on the website as customers navigate the aftermath of the COVID-19 and seek a more digital, safer, and sustainable shopping mode.
Custom Design Hoodies Offers Robust Business Solutions to Leverage the Digital World
Customization has become an integral part of several brand’s business models. In the past one year, the global custom apparel market was worth about $3.64 billion, and between 2021 and 2028, it is set to grow at a CAGR of 9.7 per cent. In fact, the Asia-Pacific region, especially India and China, accounted for the highest share of 37.6 per cent, where fashion consciousness and ecommerce popularity are growing in a big way. Likewise, North American countries, such as the US and Canada, witnessed the highest demand for t-shirts due to the popularity of outdoor games in their culture. Textile printing companies that seek opportunities to expose their brands to a broader audience in 2021 can rely on the customized apparel, as it offers them a great option to expand their business primarily because personalized clothing becomes increasingly popular as a fashion choice. Everyone wants to feel special! In addition, customized apparel, such as hoodies and t-shirts, are often used to share slogans that raise awareness about social issues. Particularly during the pandemic lockdown, the fashion industry witnessed a surge in ecommerce purchases, as numerous custom clothing brands began selling products that combined comfort with fashion. As a result, the niche industry is only going to grow from here.
As buyers and retailers navigate their ways post the pandemic outbreak, the call for virtual solutions is even more relevant and necessary than ever with the rise in sustainable yet affordable clothing and boom in the recommerce industry with grounds to flourish further in the wake of global economic changes. The glossy fashion events that the industry has become synonymous with will be replaced instead by a growing market for seasonless items as consumers look to make the most out of each purchase, with more change occurring than that of a fashion retailer’s fitting rooms. Let us dig a little deeper and understand the factors that help brands to adhere to the recent changes and take inspiration from them to comply with the digital transformation in their business model.
Here are the elements helping apparel companies to scale up their businesses in the ecommerce trends:
Venturing into Gaming Zone for Wider Audiences
Technology has impacted our lives to an extent where it is unimaginable to live without one. Many leading brands are tapping on this consumer behavior and offering them platforms where buyers can virtually select and try the various products displayed. Likewise, Balenciaga, the high-end luxury label in an ongoing courtship with Epic Games’ Fortnite, has designed four virtual outfits (or “skins”) that players on the gaming platform can purchase, alongside accessories weaponry, and a virtual Balenciaga destination in-game. The activation is running for one week from 20 September and has an IRL element: a limited-edition run of Balenciaga x Fortnite hats, T-shirts, and hoodies are being sold in Balenciaga stores and on its website.
Balenciaga didn’t start its journey in the digital gaming world with Fortnite; it originally began with its first videogame, Afterworld, which was built using Epic Games’ proprietary 3D design technology. In fact, Unreal Engine is all set to mark its debut in its Autumn 2021 collection. These developments indicate that technology and fashion have inherently had a close association, and the pandemic outbreak has blurred the lines between online and offline stores. Brands are implementing new ways to creatively leverage the presence of technology in the digital space to communicate with their buyers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the gaming industry is one of the most lucrative industries, which reportedly made $175 billion in 2020, largely influenced by Gen Z.
The instance of Balenciaga presented above shows that fashion brands have launched strategic marketing games tapping into the gaming industry to promote their products. And it worked! With this, the fashion industry reaching younger and generating brand awareness. Besides the label mentioned above, many other high-end brands, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Moschino are displaying their products to dress their characters in high fashion luxury outfits. In this Cenozoic era, luxury fashion brands efficiently sell digital versions of a physical product at similar price points.
Tapping on the New Market in the Digital Space
Gen Z and millennials are the dominating groups in the ecommerce space, and to survive in the market, brands must adopt strategies that lures these shopping groups more. These modern shoppers constitute 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, and brands want to do everything in their capacity to tap these shoppers. Offering them products that particularly straddle between both the digital and physical worlds helps brands gain more traction. Consequently, a leading name in the fashion and luxury industry, Louis Vuitton partnered with League of Legends in 2019 on virtual and physical clothing, while Gucci partnered with Roblox on a virtual world in May. Additionally, last year, Travis Scott’s virtual concert on Fortnite attracted 45 million concurrent views, while other collaborations have included America’s NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Basketball Association), and Walt Disney-owned Marvel.
If one closely looks at the Asia-Pacific market, you would see that the recent wealth explosion in the Chinese consumers combined with a highly style-conscious society means that luxury is back in a big way. And the youth market is at its core. The fastest-growing China market accounts for more than 35 per cent of the global luxury spending, which will only rise in the coming days. With half of these consumers belonging to the Gen Z and millennials group, brands must entice these age groups as they become the pivotal players in extravagant purchasing – a shift the luxury industry can’t afford to ignore.
The statistics presented above reflect that today’s consumers demand aesthetic and symbolic meaning with elegance, reputation, and innovation. Brands must adopt solutions that allow them to tap on the emerging demands of their young buyers and swiftly close the gap. We offer fully customizable hoodies that meet all the criteria set by apparel brands through the customization solution and allow brands to communicate with the buyers in real-time. The tool empowers customers to design their prints for their clothing and help brands to become a major selling proposition by making a strong presence in the market. It offers exclusive, robust business solutions that help consumers add custom design, logo/clipart, symbols/letters, and virtual visualization of different colors gives an extra edge to customers to design their own unique hoodie. We have successfully implemented the software on numerous websites of leading fashion companies, such as FPS Apparel, a US-based successful ecommerce platform. We assisted the ecommerce brand in gaining unbelievable growth in their business. The client’s end-user found the tool to be extremely user-friendly and could seamlessly design their apparel. Today, the company is enjoying great popularity among the targeted set of the audience engaged in creating personalized hoodies. Our advanced online solution allows the user to preview their design before purchasing directly through the site by making payment through a secured payment gateway.
Rising Need for Creativity Mode
Earlier, when ecommerce was introduced to buyers, they would only use it to order the product as the product available in the store was limited or of higher prices. However, as they began showing more interest in the websites, brands also started implementing novel features to hold on to customers’ attention. The content needed to improve customer engagement led to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and other digital assistants as more shoppers choose to purchase from ecommerce storefronts that align with their values, personalization and show some relevancy to customers needs. Brands must put customers at the heart of their marketing strategies, and as a result, Ai is emerging as one of the significant features that can help attain their target.
According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 48 per cent of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other means of contact, and 35 per cent of consumers would be happy to see more companies using chatbots.
Brands such as ASOS, Burberry, Levi’s, and Tommy Hilfiger have all adopted retail chatbots in order to bridge the gap between the customer and the retailer in a more convenient and personalized way. Additionally, as the digital world grows and evolves, more fashion retailers and manufacturers attempt to retain their existing customers through AR and VR experiences. According to Gartner, 46 per cent of retailers have responded that they were planning to deploy either AR or VR solutions to meet customer experience requirements. Another aspect that fashion brands have been focusing on is using these technologies in providing a top-notch dressing room experience. These will allow visitors to see themselves in a brand’s clothing without necessarily needing to visit the store in a persuasive attempt to buy. A notable success story of VR experiences was Rhone Apparel, who partnered with Rakuten to implement a virtual try-on service, Rakuten Fits Me. The service enables customers when they are unsure of whether the product would fit them. By pressing a button, they can quickly answer a few questions and help the software better understand the body type of the buyer. Afterwards, Fit Origin would generate a final recommendation for them.
Likewise, Fortnite was initially best known for Battle Royale, a game mode where players fight 1 versus 100. However, the user base has evolved over the last four years, and now 50 per cent of players are spending their time in Fortnite Creative Mode, exploring different virtual experiences and creating their virtual worlds. At present, brands cannot sell items on Fortnite independently; however, brands are capitalizing on fashion activations in the game market. It helps them to reach a hard-to-target audience of young, enthusiastic, digital, and native folks.
Additionally, a survey conducted by eConsultancy revealed that in March 2020, a 21 per cent increase in online orders was observed compared to March 2019. In a separate survey, 41 per cent of respondents said that they were currently shopping online for things they would normally shop for in-store. This may indicate more about developments in the online storefronts, but what about the brick-and-mortar stores. Undeniably, the accessibility and convenience of online shopping have left notable impacts on retail spaces in high streets around the world, but their offline stores are still hoping to see the light of such drastic digital implementations and contribute to brands’ growth. Therefore, more retailers and manufacturers are looking for solutions that will unify shopping experiences inside and outside their stores. Especially if they wish to maintain a profitable high street presence, fashion retailers are now eyeing omnichannel strategies, such as direct-to-consumer, as these would help them blur the lines between in-store and off-store shopping.
Some years back, Zara gave a glimpse of what an omnichannel future could look like by opening a click and collect concept store in London. The space had a dedicated area for collecting online purchases and staff on hand with mobile devices that offered sizes, stock, and collect information for a limited selection of items available inside the store. Alongside this, there were options to avoid payment lines altogether by paying through either the Zara or Inditex group app, as well as self-service checkouts.
The Choice is Yours-
Towards the end, all can conclude that the virtual and gaming market holds numerous lucrative business opportunities for fashion brands. They must immediately tap on the creative space that allows them to create garments through virtual activations. Many big and leading fashion brands have begun to realize the significance of the digital world and its growing vitality in the fashion industry. Therefore, we can expect more collaborations between fashion and technology that will completely alter the industry’s image. Likewise, the hoodie printing online by iDesigniBuy allows brands to leverage the emerging trends of gaming and virtual technology with its customization and digitization features. The tool enables brands to push the boundaries and bring technology to the website and physical store and provide a marvelous shopping experience that your customers will cherish forever in their lives.
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