The pandemic has dominated everyone’s thoughts and minds; as a result, fashion executives need to plan a range of scenarios that help them expedite global recovery. However, brands must act decisively to prepare for the next normal season amid the changing consumer shopping pattern, increasing pressure performance, and accelerating demand for digital solutions. Our online product configurator software allows fashion and luxury brands to attain all the desired business goals. Our customization solution enables your buyers to seamlessly customize their apparel, footwear, handbags, ornaments, backpacks, and many other products. Since the tool comes with built-in digital features, it assists them to preview the product as they design it and helps them change even the tiny bit of designs, style, and fabric of the product they wish to buy.
Product Configurator Offers Solutions to Brands to Comply with Latest Trends
Year after the fashion industry showed all-time low economic profits; business leaders had to brace themselves to seek innovation while continuing to engage their core constituencies. The disruptions in the supply chain in the past few months have also compelled them to make some tough decisions, including ROIs at the store level, upscaling omnichannel services, and others. The last year has been a learning episode for many fashion brands and retailers as things are expected to change in a snap. There is absolutely no guarantee that any trend will be forever and buyers will continuously evolve and get better; and therefore, brands need to up their game and revamp their business models so that they can expand their customer base and grow. However, brands must rest assured that technology has become a big part of buyers shopping behavior, and those that don’t comply with this transformation will fall flat in the coming days. It is imperative that fashion houses regularly evolve and update themselves with the latest technologies that will help them recover fast and enable them to make a permanent place in customers’ minds and hearts.
If you wonder what you should do to register yourself forever in the fashion industry, you have come to the correct destination. As in the current piece, we shall highlight various trends and techniques that brands and retailers must accommodate in their business plans.
Here are various factors that companies need to consider when planning to reinvent and re-establish themselves in the fashion market:
- Live Commerce Becoming the Talk of the Town
Live commerce is exponentially gaining traction among buyers as it offers instant purchasing options while featuring a product. It combines quick buying of a featured product and audience participation through a chat function or reaction button. This phenomenon has especially worked in countries where stepping out for unthinkable, such as China. In the country, live commerce has transformed the retail industry and established itself as a major sales channel in less than five years. In a 2020 survey, two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they had bought products via live stream in the past year. Though the trend is gradually picking up in the west, it is still far behind China in pursuing live streams. The new-age technology helps brands, retailers, and marketplaces in accelerating conversion rates because of its entertaining and immersive nature. It keeps viewers enticed for a longer period and also telescopes customer decision journeys from awareness to purchase. Time-limited tactics such as one-off coupons can be used to generate a sense of urgency. Companies report conversion rates should approach 50 per cent—up to ten times higher than in conventional e-commerce.
Mckinsey dived more into the demographic factors that lead to an increase in the acceptance of live commerce; they found that Millennials and Gen Z dominate the sopping trends in comparison to other shopping age groups. It was revealed in their study that live streaming was used by 265 million people, which is almost 30 per cent of Chinese Internet users. Thus, it makes it clear that even in the western world, fashion brands must target this age group as they are more likely to try new technology and shop through it. Several fashion companies have already started this process after tasting success in the Asian market. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger has extended its live stream program to Europe and North America following success in China, where one show has reportedly enticed 14 million viewers and sold 1,300 hoodies in two minutes. Seeing this trend, a plethora of specialists have also emerged, such as NTWRK, which features shows and allows guests to talk about the limited-availability streetwear. Another tech company Buywith enables viewers to watch hosts browsing through various eCommerce platforms chatting via webcam. It indicates that as consumers demand increases, many brands are looking forward to adding the live stream feature in their apps or website.
- Flagship Stores Creating New Emotional Connections
In the last one year, we have seen that physical stores were under immense pressure. In the US alone, around 20,000 to 25,000 stores were expected to close in 2020, and the pandemic wasn’t the sole reason for their closing. In 2019, more than double stores closed; however, COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for many brands to shut down their store last year. The scenario also allowed brands and retailers to think about new strategies that would help them recover the losses they have surfaced in the last couple of years. Some brands embarked on strategic reviews, while some compressed on multi-layer transformation. Zara, a leading name in the fast-fashion company, had planned to cut 1,200 stores over two years and invest €2.7 billion in store-based digital.
Indeed, digital stores are gaining more leads, but it is untrue that they will be able to take over brick-and-mortar stores completely. Instead, many experts believe that sleeker and more focused offerings will emerge and help brands re-establish themselves. For this mode of business to work, brands need to blend the best qualities of human and automated services. Physical stores now have an opportunity to mark the beginning of a truly “bionic” customer experience. Many brands will now rethink the store formats and leverage data and analytics to predict footfall, manage assortments, and build personalized offerings. To help brands accomplish this target, flagship stores are branded as discovery zone to create emotional bonds with customers. Fashion houses, including Blackberry and digitally native brand ARIAS New York, heavily invest in hybrid spaces and deploy technologies, such as apps and body scans, to offer exceptional shopping experiences. Meanwhile, the fashion industry is also ready to adopt a combination of physical and digital lenses as brands can engage even more closely with social media to offer shoppers exclusive content and personalized experiences.
Likewise, the 3D configurator software allows brands to capitalize phytigal business models as the customization solution can also be implemented on a website or offline store. It comes with the latest virtual solutions that enable your buyers to preview the product as they design it. The tool is the epitome of establishing transparency because it brings end-users and brands on the same page. Additionally, it acts as a medium for brands and customers to collaborate and order and receive products in real-time.
- Neutral Platform Helping Brands to Expand Customer Base
Gender neutrality is becoming the talk of the town, with more people becoming accepting of others as who they are and willing to bring down the age-old societal norms of what should men wear and shouldn’t. Also, these days falling into a particular gender is a big no-no because people rightly believe that fashion shouldn’t have gender. It’s a creative and innovative sector that offers a strong platform for people to express themselves. Then why should we juggle between the genders? Therefore, Yoox Net-a-Porter, the Richemont-owned online multi-brand e-commerce player that pioneered luxury digital sales, is moving closer to a new future as a “neutral platform” with no controlling shareholder. The company released a statement stating that it is in advanced talks with the YNAP owner and exploring options that include a minority stake and using its technology to boost YNAP. Despite many brands moving towards collaboration and using each other’s advantages, it is yet unsure whether this model works or not. Matchesfashion, another multi-brand player, announced losses of £36.6 million in the year to end-January. However, Farfetch and Mytheresa, which offer a marketplace model and e-concessions, reported a surge in sales during the pandemic.
Gender Neutrality and multi-brand model benefits brands and retailers and help their buyers explore new possible fashion products and experiment with their looks. The gender-fluid notion is gradually becoming more popular among young buyers as they are increasingly searching for clothes that make them embrace all the differences. In fact, many celebrities, such as Harry Styles, have never shied away from wearing gender-fluid clothes to concerts, magazine covers, and gatherings. Moreover, studies, such as The Advocate, revealed that 33 per cent of those in Gen Z identify as something other than exclusively heterosexual, the highest number of any generation up. A quick search on Tik Tok shows that the hashtag for polysexuality has almost 10,000 views and is still growing as content creators produce more videos surrounding polysexual identity and polysexual people. On Instagram, the hashtag has over 1,000,000 tags.
During this year’s New York Men’s Day, gender-fluid fashion was one of the biggest highlights of the digital events. Brands, including Ka Wa Key, Apotts, Official Rebrand, and Wataru Tominaga, all presented gender-fluid collections. Brands and budding designers have been conveying the message that regardless of race and gender, everyone should play dress up. For MI Leggett of Official Rebrand, gender-fluid fashion has never been a trend but the entire antithesis of their brand DNA. This season, the designer, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them/their pronouns, focused their collection on anti-waste urgency and social unrest throughout history.
Also, it is essential that gender-fluidity is not limited to males and females; it is about focusing on other diverse groups, including LGBTQ. In many parts of the world, the LGBT and gender-neutral community still face hostility and violence. Gucci had decided to release a short film, “The Future is Fluid“, to highlight their grievances and the leading fashion brand. It has already been premiered during Sundance Film Festival 2019 along with The Irregular Report, a biannual report on and by Gen Z. The voices used in the film represent modern buyers’ tenacity, curiosity, empathy, optimism, and hope. The film aims to redefine and represent the world through the fluidity prism. In the video, one Gen Zer expressed, “I hold myself responsible for continuing advocating and fighting for the rights of trans and non-binary youth because I have the privilege to. If we start seeing this fluid approach, we can start seeing all the barriers open up.”
As the world around us changes and navigates itself out of the pandemic, the way people buy, what they value, and how they perceive the world is fundamentally changed. As they say, nothing stays permanent, but the pandemic has proved that fashion brands and retailers have to revisit and rethink their business model to make it workable under any circumstances. The product configurator tool by iDesigniBuy offers a similar set of solutions to fashion companies and help them to leave a permanent mark on their buyers’ psychology. Its customization and digital features allow brands and retailers to attract and retain consumers in an “omnichannel world” and earn your hard-won loyalty.