One of the key outcomes of the pandemic and its lockdowns was the rise in the importance of and demand for an online shopping experience. According to the Future of Fashion report, 63% of fashion shoppers say that they are now more likely to buy fashion online due to Covid-19. However, the importance of omnichannel is key as physical stores will still play a big role and the non-linear path to purchase is being played out across various channels.
Fighting for the Future of Fashion
What are the impacts of technology on fashion in a post-pandemic world?
The global fashion industry has had to adapt
Service is a deal breaker
Service is a key differentiator, whether on or offline. Companies need to think about how they can differentiate customer service online - going beyond delivery, fulfillment and availability.
Consumers have confirmed that sustainability really matters to them - brands and retailers must acknowledge the environmental responsibilities that lie on their shoulders. A balance needs to be struck between profitability, sustainable manufacturing and delivery.
Although the restrictions are continuing to ease, and customers are returning to stores, challenges for retailers are not over yet and it’s unlikely that the footfall for physical stores will ever return to pre-Covid-19 levels.
Having a clear view of stock levels is something that many retailers already struggle with. But without a clear representation of availability the switch to a more hybrid offering will be tricky. The large pools of old stock left in warehouses has become a worry for many.
The right skillset
The gap between the pureplay retailers and more traditional businesses is expanding. Many traditional brands and retailers simply don’t have the right skills in the business to compete. Having the right people with the correct experience is key and those companies that are unable to identify holes in their skillset are going to suffer.
Siloed teams won’t work
While everyone is working towards the same goal, siloed teams are still one of the biggest barriers to outstanding customer experience. Retailers and brands need to ensure that their staff are fully engaged to make the most of new technologies, but if teams aren’t connected businesses will not feel the benefit of a technology investment. A combination of inputs from different teams working together provides a much more joined up approach from an operational and business perspective.
The role for technology in-store
There is definitely a wider role for technology in-store but employees on the shop floor need to be part of the discussion. They can bring firsthand experience to the conversation as they see how customers interact instore. However, getting their buy in and building their ability to work with the technology is paramount.