The dynamics of the fashion landscape are changing at a rapid pace, and the industry as a whole is moving forward to leverage new opportunities and trends even as the clouds of danger are lurking over us.
Amid shifting tides, online retailers need to build up competence by capitalizing the digital opportunities and addressing sustainability. State of Digital Commerce — Fashion & Apparel 2020 highlights that the coming year will be challenging for online retail brands, but they are cautiously optimistic too. However, it will be an ultimate race to the top for brands that are willing to adapt, innovate, and thrive.
These are some of the key findings from our latest report on the State of Digital Commerce, which emphasizes the fashion industry’s complex, digital, and fragmented ecosystem. In the coming year, we will see real signs of change, highlighting the ten trends mentioned in the infographic that will define the fashion industry in 2020 and 2021.
Changing Consumer Behavior
Consumers are being peppered with several choices at every digital touchpoint, thereby changing their purchasing habits now and then. The post coronavirus era will witness a further change in consumer’s behavior when every retailer tries to get digital to attract consumers.
A personalized and tailored experience will be more important than ever to the post coronavirus world’s customer, pushing the savvy brands to value data even more to engage visitors and personalize their shopping experiences. The brands that flourish will rewire their business strategy.
The coming year will be highly competitive for the fashion brands, thus, building a loyal relationship with target customers through Instagram Marketing will no longer be a trend, rather a new normal — allowing users to purchase products directly from the app.
Speed to Market
The winds of change are sweeping the fashion landscape, and the brands will make a paradigm shift towards a customer-centric business model with agile supply chains backed by high-quality consumer insights to increase the speed of the release of their product to the market.
Uncertain Business Environment
Economic uncertainty, geopolitical tension, and uncertainty will be the new normal post the COVID-19 crisis, thereby disrupting developed as well as emerging brands. To survive and thrive in this ever-changing environment, brands will try directing their efforts toward what is within their control.
Customer experience will be the new battleground in the coming years, and nimble brands will be looking forward to Customer Experience Management by embracing digital tools and engaging customers through powerful sales channels. The question for brands is no longer if they should collaborate, but how to do it.
Seamless Checkout Experience
No matter the size of the store or the price of the product, the foremost step of the checkout process will define the entire checkout experience. To offer a convenient and fast buying experience, retailers will focus on improving the cart abandonment rate, thereby increasing conversions and satisfied customers.
Digital commerce has changed, and it’s continuing to evolve. With the increasing demand of consumers to purchase online, the direct-to-consumer business model will be the final nail in the coffin of the traditional physical retail business model.
Multi-Channel Customer Service
A single touchpoint strategy in today’s experience era leaves channel-agnostic customers dissatisfied. We will be witnessing the more relevant, tailored, and consistent experience across all touchpoints and value creation stages in times to come.
Rise in eCommerce Sales
An anomalous catastrophe is upending eCommerce, creating difficulties for some online retailers and opportunities for others. On the one hand, the pandemic has resulted in the closure of many physical stores; on the other hand, online sales will experience a surge in the retail industry.
Finding Light at the End of the Fashion Tunnel
While the State of Digital Commerce — Fashion & Apparel 2020 forecasts an increasing uncertainty in the fashion & apparel commerce and underscores a prevailing mood of concern amongst online retailers, the nimble brands, regardless of their size and segment, still have a chance to stay ahead of the innovation curve in the coming year.
However, it will take certain necessary changes to be implemented to improve the industry’s standing and “self-disruption” is amongst them.
In the post coronavirus era, retailers will witness a new paradigm taking shape around them — an era, in which brands will have to show the courage to “self-disrupt,” leaving behind some of the old rules, which would simply not work.
An Era of Reshaping and Resetting the Business of Fashion
Consumers’ behavior and their buying decisions are changing with the addition of new digital and social channels. In essence, they are becoming more selective, highly price-sensitive, expecting quality, convenience, newness, and value orientation. With the smooth flow of information at consumer’s fingertips, they are becoming less loyal to any specific brand.
As found in our report, customers ’changing behavior is one of the critical concerns that is leaving brands perplexed with a question: How to address changing customer’s needs and drive sales?
To keep up and steer the customer’s needs and responsiveness, Net Solutions has introduced its 3Es Customer-Centric Framework, discussed thoroughly in the Digital Commerce report.
The challenges of ever-evolving fashion commerce, along with a predictably unpredictable business environment, has pushed the leading online retailers to toughen up. Unpredictability is the new norm, and it will be the new normal post the COVID-19 crisis. Fashion brands will, in 2020/2021, respond by shifting their focus on improving what is within their reach — embracing personalization, digital tools, and social media marketing, to name a few.
For those looking forward to designing the new era of the business of fashion, the opportunities at hand to build a strong relationship with your target consumers have never been greater. The tips, trends, and recommendations that you can leverage while building your Digital Commerce strategy are laid down in-depth in the Net Solutions’ State of Digital Commerce — Fashion & Apparel 2020 report.
The bottom line? The coming year is challenging: customer’s behavior is changing and growth at a slow pace puts pressure on margins. However, amidst these unnerving storms, there are sunny intervals too in the form of opportunities – brands that are ready to embrace digital technology trends to stay ahead of the innovation curve are most likely to emerge ahead of their competitors.