How the fashion world is embracing the digital customer

How the fashion world is embracing the digital customer

Digital

In light of London Fashion Week recently hitting our city, we’ve been thinking about innovation and consumer behaviour in the digital age within the fashion industry.

As with every year, the well-established Fashion Week (led by the Big Four: New York, London, Milan and Paris) sets the bar for the next season in New York and Europe. And this year is no exception. Take note: it seems that Autumn/Winter 2018 is all about making a statement, big colours and bold shapes at the ready. Last year the Fashion industry contributed £28 billion to the UK economy (GDP) (British Fashion Council, 2017). This was fragmented into multiple product segments, categories influencing consumer spending through various channels. In this way, the Fashion industry’s sway goes beyond solely retail; it has a much wider economic impact which influences, for example the wholesale, supplier, textiles, media and education sectors.

This is the month of the year, when social media is flooded with runway pictures and where journalists, bloggers and vloggers are discussing and critiquing the seasonal designer narratives. This is when businesses can innovate their communication to a truly captive audience.

With the rise of technology and complexity in consumer behaviour, leading fashion players have to accelerate their fashion cycles, from design to store. Speeding up this process due to high consumer demand and changing factors, is adding complexity to the retailers, supply chain and creativity itself. Nevertheless, creating a consistent brand experience and personalised customer interactions across online and offline touchpoints is a crucial step to keep up with a modern shopper.  According to Business of Fashion (2018), “increasing omni-channel integration and investing in e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities are cited as the top priorities.” Source

Brand innovation in fashion

Last year, brands such as Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger introduced a radical “see now, buy now” approach to drive higher sales and engagement through social media.

Another example of innovative integration of technology to fashion was done recently during Milan Fashion Week in February 2018 by Dolce and Gabbana by using drones to carry new handbags down the runway, see more here. The promising instant customer gratification is driving the speed of communication around the brand and the lead time from runway to shopping bag. This “need for speed” is hugely driven by social media bringing the trends to consumers at a fast pace.

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Even the most successful businesses of today cannot be guaranteed to stay in the game tomorrow in the ever changing consumer and technological environment.  The importance of data to increase the performance and evaluate the opportunities across the fashion value chain is crucial and beneficial. Modern consumers are thriving to be part of the conversation, to be part of the lifestyle and to make their own choice. This is the transforming the market so that the fashion world is open to the masses, and where exclusivity becomes accessible.

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