The retail sector has undoubtedly been one of the most affected industries post the pandemic outbreak. It had to swiftly pivot its business strategies to sell its products online as high streets were closed to accommodate hastily-introduced lockdown measures. Thus, the rise of digital solutions in the fashion industry transformed the way people shopped and interacted with brands. Taking these trends to the next level is the custom t-shirt design software, a customization solution that enables brands to tap on the latest digital trends and let their customers design apparel that display their personalities and fashion choices. It empowers fashion houses by helping them to explore the hidden business avenues and market spaces that will take them to new heights.
T-Shirt Design Software Provides Solutions to Redeem Brands for Digital Transformation
Before the pandemic hit the fashion industry, digital solutions were looked down on, and by all means, they were strangers to one another. Data-integrated supply chains, AI-assisted design, tech-infused brick-and-mortar stores, and more already existed for some brands and retailers. Digital transformation can even be as simple as switching from paper to digital or launching an e-commerce site. What makes this phenomenon worth discussing is that it was predicted to occur slowly over time. Covid-19 accelerated this shift tenfold in the fashion industry, and even more significantly, normalized and democratized the idea of going digital. Since the beginning of 2020, the retail fashion sector has grappled with the closure of stores; poor footfalls disrupted supply chains. However, the rise in eCommerce sales gave a tremendous boost to digital technology to be used in the fashion retail sector. For many brands, the rise in online sales offered greater opportunities for innovation in the form of omnichannel expansion. Several projects that were on the backburner were suddenly brought to life when the lockdowns were announced. Buyers learned new ways to shop, and stores and brands discovered new ways to capitalize on the retail chain.
The digital shift in the apparel industry was at the heart of the recent developments that kept the inventory on top and helped customers gain the experience they never had before. In the current blog, we shall understand how moving to digital technology changed the fashion sector’s entire landscape and the prospects that will help brands expand their business. Virtual technology has led to safe shopping, greater interactivity, convenience, and efficiency across the fashion retail sector. Each apparel brand and retailer has been dealing with the digital transformation differently over the past few months. According to Mckinsey’s State of Fashion 2021, 45 per cent of fashion executives identify COVID-19 as the biggest challenge this year, and 30 per cent see going digital as the biggest opportunity. Several brands had to revamp their business model, company culture, brand identity, and strategy have informed their path of digital transformation, with some transforming top-to-bottom and others in bits and pieces. Regardless, one thing is certain: those who are more digitally savvy have an objective advantage over less. According to theconsulting firm, when we look through the lens of digital transformation, there exist two types of fashion companies today:
Digital leaders: Online sales make up 30-40 per cent of total sales, the value chain is significantly digitized, and online and offline channels are integrated to some extent.
Laggards: Online sales make up less than 20 per cent of total sales, the value chain has low levels of digitization, and online and offline channels are largely separated.
Despite the numbers of coronavirus patients decreasing across the globe and many stores reopening their stores, not all brands will be able to restart as they intended. Additionally, the rising numbers of new Omicron cases across the globe will further delay the reopening of the stores. Also, it will be a burning question whether they will be able to keep up with the changing pace and demand of customers today. Therefore, we shall witness more brands investing in innovative and immersive experiences to boost their sales amid the gloomy fashion period. For instance, The Drum launched its newlive retail space, CornerShop, as an interactive solution for the industry. Aimed at providing retailers and brands with a space to explore, develop and test tomorrow’s shopping innovations today, the storefront – aptly named after the staple corner shop prominent in most neighborhoods – features a number of cross-platform experiences tailoring products and services to consumers. The store will act as an experimental space to try out new advanced technologies within the sector using the real consumer feedback to monitor what works, with the intention of piloting new inventions ahead of their commercial use. Thus, it would be appropriate to say that various factors and possibilities help fashion companies to pivot their business strategies and accommodate digital solutions that will help boost their revenue and enable them to cater to various other responsibilities of a company.
Here are various factors due to which digital technology is gaining a strong foothold in the fashion market and helping brands and retailers to scale up their businesses:
- The Suge in Ecommerce Sales and Thereby Personalization
It is well-known to everybody that eCommerce is an indispensable tool in any industry, let alone the fashion domain. Its efficiency and reliability have increased so much that not many emerging brands and retailers have any brick-and-mortar stores at all. Furthermore, in the last year, buyers have become so conditioned and habitual of using online marketplace that digital shopping purchases account for more revenue than offline stores. Since the pandemic’s start: a 2021 report affirms that 43 per cent of consumers who had never purchased clothing online began doing so during the past year. However, we should also consider the fact that widespread store closings have much to do with these numbers because when people were asked to stay home, online shopping was their only way to kill time and stay in trend. That being said, a report from Kibo suggests that 30 per cent of Gen Z and 36 per cent of Millennials tend to purchase less from physical stores as the pandemic outbreak. While it is challenging to predict when these behaviors will continue, it is true that there has been an objective digital transformation in eCommerce in the last few months. Everything from customer profiles to UX design to supply chain management has become implicated in eCommerce. According to Euromonitor International, global online retailing will grow by USD 1.5 trillion by 2024. This growth must, of course, be chased by reliable sources of data, which vary depending upon one’s audience, brand identity, geography, and existing business model. For example, online brands can invest in solutions that allow them to outsource customer navigation to offer better customer recommendations. At the same time, some private labels can use eCommerce technology to look at the past sales records of various product categories with price ranges to make product recommendations.
Moreover, customer attention has moved to the internet for shopping and more interactive sessions with fashion companies. Buyers not only visit e-Stores to purchase a product. They go there for an experience they have not been able to get ever since the stores were shut. Consequently, brands too are making efforts in this direction and using their full potential and investments to deliver to their customers. Personalization and customization are steps taken to ensure and enhance customer experience. It’s no secret that customers are increasingly seeking tailored and more bespoke experiences as part of their shopping experiences. These are more craving for it because they have no other means to connect with their favorite brands, and apparel companies are missing out on understanding their buyers due to less or zero connectivity. By investing in these latest technologies, consumers are immediately served with various product options that have been preselected based on their personal preferences and previous purchases. Brands and retailers, too, can control the artwork through the customization process as they still have control over the artwork, music, and lighting and can manipulate decisions for buyers. Likewise, the t-shirt design software online allows brands and retailers to get the best of the online marketplace as it comes in a mobile-responsive layout and provides a user-friendly interface. The customization tool lets your buyers explore their creativity and let their inner design manifest in their t-shirts. The software’s digital features also make the customization process extremely handy and clean as they can preview the designed product in 3d before heading for the final payment.
- The Rise in Social Media And Gaming Influence on the Apparel Sector
Even before 2020, social media had already made its way into customers’ hearts and lifestyles as it offered them a platform where they could express themselves without any hesitation. In its pure sense, fashion also means expressing oneself, so when these platforms merged, they provided a space for buyers, brands, and influencers to coexist symbiotically. This culture has changed consumer behavior and has allowed apparel brands and retailers to become more interactive and personalized through these platforms. Modern buyers demand more transparency, authenticity, and simplicity, and social media helps brands hear their audiences and manufacture products that meet these requirements. Social media also gives power to buyers to speak and share their experience with brands; this seems to be a tricky game because if everything goes well, the brand will gain more likes, followers, retweets on the platforms, on the other hand, if a company is found to be involved in inappropriate things, such as racist, not sustainable, abusive, people can bring it down in no time through social media. Brands and influencers have to respond to the demands being put on these podiums and accordingly adapt to new consumer requirements.
Omnichannel streaming is the best way to connect with audiences as it offers ease of access. Social media has spoiled buyers because it helps them get what they want in just a few clicks. The lookout and layout they bring to the table are extremely aesthetically pleasing, which also leads to more sales. According toShopify, 6 out of 10 shoppers admit that the possibility to shop via mobile phone is “an important factor” in deciding which brands to purchase. In the same vein, integrating social media into e-commerce is indispensable today. It’s why digitally-native brands exist and why it works so well. On average, Gen Z consumers spend 4.5 hours per day on social media, and Millennials spend an average of 3.8 hours, according to a recent survey from YPulse.
Similarly, crossovers between the fashion and gaming worlds have been inescapable this year, with many brands turning to the digital sphere for collection launches, collaborations and general marketing activations. As it becomes increasingly evident that this is a sector that cannot be overlooked, the tech company Wunderman Thompson has released a report that reinforces the importance of gaming in the new eCommerce ecosystem. According to the report, the lines between reality and virtuality is gradually decreasing; as a result, games are increasingly taking an interest in clothing for their avatars and in-game shopping.
In a nutshell, the fashion industry and retail sector have changed; it is no surprise that apparel brands have to weave in a combination of physical and digital business models to keep up with the ever-changing consumer needs and behavior. The best t-shirt design software by iDesigniBuy offers innovative solutions that enable brands and retailers to emerge as the pioneer of digital transformation in the future. Our tool can be installed on a physical or online store seamlessly. Our experts offer in-depth business analysis that helps clothing companies interact more with consumers and understand what they are thinking about.