Apparel is one of the most challenging fields, highly impacted by global uncertainties as well as distinct trends. In response to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many brands have started a series of digital initiatives to improve their speed to market and incorporate sustainable innovation.
With the increased usage of social media post pandemic, over 40% consumers learn about products across categories through designers and influencers. Social media has brought about new channels of advertising for brands to reach their target markets though peer recommendations and reviews.
Digitisation in Apparels – how is the industry changing?
Mobile and digital influence for the apparel category has significantly changed. Post the pandemic, smartphones have become more central to the consumer through virtual experiences and acceleration of past trends leading to stronger adoption of digital and online shopping.
Consumers are no longer content with simply buying apparels; exponential growth in the use of digital technologies has empowered them. A vast majority of consumers use digital channels before, during or after making their purchases. Potential solutions like virtual trials and expert reviews add in a touch-free experience, beyond discovery and retargeting.
The report points out three key factors that will have a higher impact on the Apparel category.
- 6/10 urban consumers will access information or endorsements about the apparel before they decide to buy.
- Online spending on apparel has increased significantly with 40% of consumers planning to increase their online spend.
- Mandatories of the category doesn’t change, customers will still prioritise colour, size and design.
Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook India said,
“There are tools available today to address specific barriers that we see such as lack of access and trials. With new technologies coming in, brands can utilize specific tools that allow consumers to sail through the virtual barrier and help businesses access consumers on key dimensions that matter.”
“The digital world allows a much deeper engagement at various levels and stages where brands can micro-target sub -segments and seamlessly guide the consumer through the new normal as well as use credible advocacy to drive the next wave of brand growth”, said Rachit Mathur, Managing Director and Partner, BCG India.
Facebook & BCG recommends these solutions for brands to streamline the pathway to purchase in the Apparel industry.
- Bring alive discover with digital – Leverage digital capabilities like virtual fashion shows, product live streaming, improved on own websites.
- Build social connect and leverage influencers: Build surround with branded content from creators & publishers. Strengthen relationship with influencers and fashion review websites.
- Win online with changing consumer needs: Re-imagine pathways and selling model. Explore variants like O2O, conversational commerce, group and community shopping.
- Replicate in-person experiences: Digital innovations like AR/VR/filters to solve the touch-and-feel barrier.
- Strengthen consumer engagement: Invest in innovative loyalty programs to drive engagement.
- Drive value by repeat purchase and consumer up-trade: Re-target existing consumers with related products.
Harish Narayanan, CMO, Myntra said, “The big shift that we have made in terms of marketing is about engagement led e-commerce. Digital channels not only helped us in scaling up faster but also retarget and remarket to existing customers. Digital is always at the heart of our marketing strategy.”
To know more, read the full report here: https://bit.ly/2ZD142V
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.