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article imageDigital transformation trends for the fashion industry

By Tim Sandle     Sep 16, 2017 in Business
The days of consumers solely being altered as to the coming trends from the fashion industry by the major shows is receding and the fashion sector is turning to digital methods to promote the latest lines.
A view as to how the fashion industry is changing in relation to digital platforms comes from Deloitte Digital in Switzerland. In a new report the business analysis firm picks up four key digital trends that are shaping the sector. The first is consumer behavior and how consumers are carrying out an every growing proportion of the their shopping online. To compete fashion brands require multi-channel and scalable online stores.
Notably the report states: "The role of the consumer has shifted from one of passive observance to enabled dominance." This means fashion brands need to remain relevant. In an example, L’Oréal has put up a 'social wall' on its main website. This is to allow consumers to share posts and to share content on their own social networks. In a second example, Harvey Nichols, as part of the communication strategy for its loyalty app, released a video that exposed real-life shoplifters. The message was, use the new app to gain loyalty points and get legal freebies.
The second is with the ease that information can be spread and opinions shared. The consequence of digital transformation is that it will shape which brands and reputation can be protected in the changing environment. Some fashion brands, according to the website Sociabble, are exploiting social networks to develop touchpoints between brands and consumers. Here brands can share content across several platforms; these platforms also enable consumers can engage with and respond to the content, creating two-way dialogues. Certainly channels need to stand out; according to Google the average shopper visits 2.9 different websites before buying clothes.
A selection of clothes  adorned by models  at the autumn 2016 London Fashion Weekend.
A selection of clothes, adorned by models, at the autumn 2016 London Fashion Weekend.
The third aspect is with the easier availability of big data and resultant analytics. This information can be harnessed by fashion companies strategically to align consumer experience and to track customer trends. With this fashion companies need to be cognizant about "digital clienteling", which embraces leading-edge processes, analytics, technological developments in digital marketing, commerce and Sales and service platforms). This is to deliver a personalized customer experience across multiple channels.
The fourth and final part is about looking internally — how fashion companies can implement digital transformation throughout the organisational culture. This includes digital factory services, which are managed services that create content across multiple vendors allowing for consistency and economies of scale; and managing the supply chain in new and data driven ways. This can extend to stores, according to Drapers, such as equipping sales staff with hand-held devices that enable fast and accurate access to product content, stock and price information.
To find out what one specific fashion brand is up to, see the article "Fashion brand Lafayette 148 New York goes digital."
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