Fashion Retail – Change Now Before It Gets Too Late
Fashion in general and retailing in particular undergoes revolutionary changes. Changes affecting the products, the brands, the markets and even the customers. Retailing, in particular, as today’s subject, focuses on the retailing side of fashion, with the accent on the groups gaining power and ones at the losing end.
In the past, fashion merchants used to interact with their clients, talk to them, control and lead them to a market. However, the customers of today and tomorrow are not alike. There’s a growing type customer, demanding distinct, customised products and services specifically designed to match their needs. The marketers are slowly surrendering power as the client takes charge.
The Internet shows no signs of stopping, with new phases of “greatest growth” in everything and every month. Despite a (still) lower profitability online when compared with the brick and mortar stores, mostly due to free deliveries and low margin promotions, the online sales are the future. Already most of the fashion sales online are generated by the growing Generation Z and the Millennial customers.
Fashion Retail – Technology makes shopping faster, easier
Detailing on the age segmentation side, the trends become increasingly evident: The Millennials generation avoid owning or investing in anything of high value, constantly looking for discount and special offers. The same tendency is observed in the Generation Z with the only difference that their interest in tech-infused products, could be exploited to bring them back the physical stores.
It is notable that recent research on Generation Z shows that 58% would shop in stores. Still, their return to the brick and mortar stores is conditioned by the brand’s technological adoption, and this alone is the most important criteria when coining the future store strategy, aiming not just to remain relevant, but become profitable as well.
Just to give you an example, if left untouched, the fashion stores of today will be seen as the yesterday basements for most fashion buyers of tomorrow. Moreover, that is where technology comes in. Technology makes shopping faster, easier, more pleasant. Future advancements include personal AI, AR, VR, consumer analytics, digital wallets, robots as sales assistants, all designed to make the overall shopping exciting, offline and on the Internet.
Fashion Retail – Smart Fitting Rooms Powered by AR/VR are the future
Only technology can deliver new forms of in-stores excitements. The use of smart fitting rooms, magic mirrors, AR and VR-powered, only through technological adoption fashion can bring back the customers to spend more time and more money in the stores.
As much as it hurts, this new, young generation of fashion buyers will not care much about the heritage of your furniture, the art deco and the historic pieces of art you have in your store. Unless you sell art deco and that’s again a serious problem as I do not know how many of the Gen Z and Gen Alpha would be interested in that either. It is called evolution, like it or not. The evolution of dance, music, food, transportation.
Fashion Retail – Accepting the technological changes is critical to survive
Unfortunately, the fashion industry does not accept changes easily, let alone disruption. Same applies to the fashion-retail culture, where the resistance to changes has always been one of the most detrimental factors but this time, accepting the technological changes is not just needed but critical for the retailers in fashion to survive.
Technology is reshaping how consumers shop and fashion retailers can resist to the new wave of changes that’s coming, and many brands will, but they will not survive. Just like Darwin’s natural selection, the ones unable to adapt, are at the mercy of the buyers, always eliminating less fit variants.
Similar Read: Fashion Trends – How Technology Changes Everything
It is not the toughest or the richest that survives, but the most adaptable. The are many examples of failure to adapt. Blockbuster, Nokia, Xerox, Research in Motion, Woolworth’s, Kodak, MySpace and more recently Yahoo. Let the buyers take the lead and be in charge, embrace technology and you will thrive or just like the dinosaurs billions of years ago and the business giants mentioned a few seconds ago, you will fail and disappeared, like you’ve never existed before.