A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the fall-winter 2020-2021 ready-to-wear collection for women … [+]
AFP via Getty Images
Let’s face it, the fashion industry has been hard hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As consumer sentiment has changed, people today are more focused on buying the items they need. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the fashion industry’s revenue fell more than a third in 2020, representing a loss of roughly $ 640 billion in revenue. It is enormous.
In addition, many fashion brands have had to close retail stores. In fact, the world’s second largest fashion retailer, H&M, plans to close 250 of its 5,000 stores worldwide, and Zara owner Inditex SA closed over 1,000 retail stores earlier this year.
More specifically, apparel is a necessity, but the fashion industry is very fast-paced and customers are not as willing to buy the latest product offerings when faced with monetary uncertainties. Not to mention that due to the pandemic, consumers can barely wear the clothes in the city today.
In short, very few people are willing to spend money on new clothes just to wear them at home. Especially not during a global crisis!
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, many fashion brands are turning to digital solutions. For example, Inditex SA invested $ 3 billion to support the e-commerce operations of chains like Zara and Bershka. In addition, this trend towards digitization is also reflected in fashion marketing. I recently reviewed data at FIT (where I teach digital fashion strategies) and recorded some key changes in the fashion market today and beyond.
How fashion marketing will change in 2021
With in-store shopping being severely restricted, fashion brands need to make their online stores and the shopping experience they offer their customers as accessible as possible. A 2018 Gartner survey found that 46 percent of retailers had plans to deploy AR or VR solutions by 2020.
Given the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in the closure of many retail stores, this number is expected to increase even further in 2021. According to Brian Manusama, senior director and analyst at Gartner, about 25 percent of companies plan to deploy AI technology such as chatbots over the next 12 months.
MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 11: A model walks the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall / Winter 2020-2021 … [+]
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Chatbots and other digital solutions offer an easy way to provide a more personal shopping experience that leads to higher customer satisfaction and more sales. In fact, some brands also offer virtual stores to mimic the retail shopping experience. For example, Dior has launched a virtual 360-degree view store where customers can walk around the store and view items just like they would in a normal retail store. I recently reported on developments in virtual retail with Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren.
In addition, social media will also play an enormous role in fashion marketing. Many brands have already successfully used paid advertising for their marketing campaigns. Native social media ads are a great way to create authentic online marketing campaigns. “In this day and age, social media marketing is undoubtedly the best way to increase sales,” said Jason Modemann, managing director of Mawave Marketing.
Mawave founders Jason Modemann and Patrick Brueck.
Courtesy of Mawave FOTOSTUDIO “ALL EYES ON YOU”
Jason and Patrick, founders of Mawave, are leading experts in the field. Together with their team of performance marketing specialists, they help young clothing and lifestyle brands to thrive with cutting-edge social media marketing strategies. Her previous clients include the popular sock brand SNOCKS, known for inventing invisible sneaker socks, DRYKORN, About You and Holy Fashion Group, a holding company for various clothing brands such as JOOP !, Strellson and Windsor.
Another important factor is the optimization of mobile shopping. Nowadays, most customers are browsing in stores or social media apps on their phones, and it is important to make mobile shopping as smooth as possible to ensure that customers who are ready to buy can do it easily . I always tell people that if you just take a look at an airport, you will find that almost all people are constantly mobile.
But there are also other aspects that need to be considered. Not only do fashion brands rely heavily on retail stores, they also typically use offline events to showcase new clothes. In 2021, live streaming events and online advertising will be the way to go.
Fashion brands need to stand out from the competition
This global pandemic has also sparked a trend towards more sustainable and affordable clothing. While this trend has already increased in recent years, the coronavirus pandemic is a major factor as people are cautious about spending money during a crisis. The jewelry and luxury fashion industry in particular is severely affected by the ongoing quarantine measures.
“COVID-19 has certainly had an impact on the jewelry business with less large events, parties and gatherings. Jewelry is simply less needed when less runs out, ”says Joyce Lin, a native Canadian entrepreneur and founder of the jewelry brand Noor Jouels. The company has worked on its brand image throughout the pandemic and has actually grown its business despite the significant reduction in physical events.
Sun of Africa ”by Noor Jouel, a 12-carat, bright yellow, emerald-cut ring. Available for … [+]
Courtesy of Noor Jouel,
“I definitely think simulated diamonds are a trend that will stay and expand. It just offers consumers a diamond alternative that is affordable, has less environmental impact, and still serves the same purposes, ”she says. In this day and age, offering a sustainable alternative combined with a unique style has proven to be an effective way to reduce the noise of the fashion industry.
In 2021, fashion is more than ever a declaration of identity. This means that customers are more likely to spend their money on clothes or fashion accessories if the brand they want to buy them from is concerned with sustainability. Another company that has had this experience is Concrete Jungle. This German brand makes jewelry from concrete and recycled metals and has seen significant growth due to its unique offering.
“This year has clearly shown that people would rather spend the money they have on sustainable products that are built to last,” said Madlen Thorwarth, Founder and CEO of Concrete Jungle. Certainly, the unique approach of making jewelry out of concrete, a material usually viewed as the exact opposite of fashion, seems to work very well for the brand as well.
Of course, there are many ways for a fashion brand to stand out from the competition, and most of those ways are not directly related to COVID-19. Still, in 2021, it will be more important than ever for fashion brands to tell a story that will entice customers to buy from them. Focusing on sustainability and corporate social responsibility is a great way to connect people with a brand, which makes them more willing to buy from that brand.
Another great way to gain consumer confidence during this global pandemic is to make retail shopping feel safe. While the focus will definitely shift to online shopping, retail stores will still be a big part of the fashion industry. So it is important that retail customers feel comfortable shopping.