The pandemic brought with itself a range of concerns for all of us across the globe. A humanitarian crisis and economic slump struck the world and threw all of us in a state of destitution and uncertainty. As countries prepare themselves to keep in check the havoc caused by the new strains of the virus, economies around the globe have started to open up. There has been enormous pressure on the fashion industry to get businesses running amid the various challenges posed by the pandemic and subsequent actions taken by the government to have things under control. Shifting consumer behavior, increasing demand for digital, and aligning and re-aligning business strategies to cope with the capricious dimensions of the times kept the fashion industry on its toes throughout 2020.
As we inch towards recovery after a year in which the fashion industry recorded nethermost economic profi ts - an estimated dip of 90% compared to the profi ts made in the year 2019, there is an imperative for players in the fashion industry to make swift decisions and to go after the silver lining appearing through the dark clouds of 2020. That being said, the scenario didn’t seem as bleak for some fashion categories as it seemed for others. For example, kids wear and maternity wear saw a good scale-up across digital channels because there, the consumer makes a need-based purchase. With offline stores shut, the purchase was forced to be an online one in the lockdown period spanning a couple of months.
To push digital growth, behavioral insights deduced from the analytics are going to be the currency in 2021 and beyond. Brands will have to focus on how to make the customer’s digital experience richer in order to make the customer stay in the journey and make it to the end.
The forecasts seem positive for the global fashion industry, there’s a prediction of seeing an increase in profi ts in 2021, let’s find out how the landscape will look like in the new normal of age and the adaptations brands would need to thrive in the apparel segment. Indeed, the crisis pushed fashion brands to reshape their business models, refi ne the customer value proposition, and to streamline operations.
Digital as the biggest opportunity
Digital is being pegged as the biggest opportunity for 2021 with more than 20 percent business growth expected through e-commerce channels. Over a period of just a few months, digital has moved rapidly forward doubling up fashion online sales. The growth trajectory of using a digital medium to make purchases has been fairly steep which perhaps might have spanned over years to reach that level under pre-covid times. This trend is going to accelerate in 2021 and beyond as digital has emerged as one of the key drivers of the growth momentum. As more and more fashion brands pivot towards online channels, we are likely to see the shutting down of brick and mortar stores in a continuum.
However, managing brands online is anything but child’s play. It requires a synergy between technology, innovation, customer experience and a robust supply chain. We already have a few examples of brands merging the gap between physical and online shopping through offering live streams to the customers, thereby amplifying the overall shopping experience for the customer whilst keeping intact the personal touch. Such creative solutions are paving the way to enhance and engage better with the consumer, thus, directly resulting in increased revenue.
Tech enabled Omnichannel approach
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