Across many countries where the newest strain of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has made an impact, therefore isolation and social distancing measures have been put in place. Employees have been asked to work from home, cities have been placed under lockdown, and schools have been shut down. People around the world have also begun avoiding public, crowded places.
According to a March 2020 YouGov survey, 85% of internet users in China and 83% of those in Hong Kong said they had avoided crowded public places in the past two weeks. Just more than a quarter (27%) of those in the US and 14% in the UK said the same. A February 2020 Coresight Research survey also showed that 27.5% of US internet users were avoiding public places.
Why Should Fashion Retailers Embrace Digitization?
According to a study conducted by McKinsey reported that the internet influences 80 percent of luxury sales. The facts mentioned in the above depict, this is the crucial time to realize the importance of the digital sector. Underestimating could kill even the most successful brand, so creating a progressive digital strategy is now a requirement for fashion retailers and manufacturers. It should be noted that most luxury brands have already embraced the omnichannel experience by having online platforms in place. Consequently, those digital outlets can become an extension of digital brand strategies, which can easily be incorporated into long-term business plans.
Digitization would give them the upper hand because retailers will eliminate partnerships with local department stores, helping reduce business transaction costs. Moreover, by engaging with the aspirational class in its habitat, digital outlets can win the battle against local, entry-level luxury brands that already have a robust online presence.
Consider an instance of Florentia Village, a Shanghai-based designer outlet that incorporates digital technologies to convert web traffic into foot traffic. The e-commerce platform is also backed by a widely successful WeChat Mini Program that features reward offers, a membership program, and information on ongoing promotions. The latest to join this trend is Condé Nast Italy, as it is offering digital copies of all its titles for free for the next three months. According to the Italia chief executive officer Fedele Usai, “In a moment like this one, in which the priority is the national health, our mission continues to be the one to inform and entertain, and to do so in the correct way. Our [initiative] is just a small signal intended to try to give back something to the community. It’s important that everybody does their part.” The project is following the success path of Vanity Fair Italy issue dedicated to Milan, a region significantly hit by COVID- 19 outbreak.
Many fashion brands take a fragmented approach to digital transformation, focusing on digitizing processes or isolated functions. Digital transformation is often restricted to individual programs or projects that affect only a small number of departments. Sometimes it may even focus on just one area, such as Marketing or Sales – with limited or prolonged returns. The accelerating progression of technology and its fast-paced uptake by consumers deserve a different level of priority for many fashion brands.
Digital shoppers are willing to convert products that they need with longer delivery windows to avoid going to stores, where inventory may be limited anyway. Technology retailers, such as Apple and Microsoft, smoothly transitioned brick-and-mortar locations into highly digital marketplaces. Recognizing this opportunity, many stores have introduced personal shopping assistants to affordably and accessibly de-digitize the shopping experience. This approach has been implemented successfully through Apple’s Genius Bar, where often confused and frustrated customers have the opportunity to resolve computing issues in person with expert Apple technicians.
To sum it up, the wide-spread impact of Coronavirus is the bricks- mortar stores to look for alternative options that can bring the fashion industry back on tracks. Digitization is marking its presence and is the future for retailers. Since technology is the future and is the chief driver of consumer experiences, it is the right time to invest in new territories. Likewise, iDesigniBuy offers modern solutions to the brands that are looking for new opportunities for investment and revamp the fashion domain.