There is much to be learned from the collective intelligence of today’s fashion retail industry. Knowledge, insight and opinion on the what, where, and why within the style industry is only a few clicks away on social media, blogs and online news sites. The fashion business media stays on top of trends emerging daily, how ecommerce, digital marketing, and multichannel strategies are changing the face of fashion.
When it comes to the business of fashion, who better to turn to for the latest news and insight than, well...Business of Fashion. One of their latest op-ed pieces tackled the topic of fashion’s “closed-looped sameness”, a tactic used by the industry to eliminate the unexpected to better ensure business success. But the online world is throwing off this axis of control, putting power into the hands of the fashion creatives, which, “by contrast, take chances. They see what we can’t and manifest it from their imagination and skill to deliver an experience that surprises and delights us,” writes @LawrenceLenihan. “An explosion of blogs and social platforms enable creators to connect directly with their customers without having to participate in fashion’s closed-loop...change is inevitable and the Internet is driving that change.”
Another @BoF piece cites another example, how the Chinese mobile messaging app, WeChat, and its 500 million users are changing the country’s publishing world, “China’s unique digital ecosystem is becoming a platform for experimentation, in a local media landscape famous for its rules and regulations.”
@DecodedFashion also touched on the growing strength of fashion bloggers, or in the case of one particular type of style influencer, YouTube Vloggers, “Zoella and Tanya Burr can fetch up millions of pounds a year, but how can brands create or incorporate their own content that engages viewers just as much?” Decoded will continue discussing this hot topic, but from two different perspectives, including the Industry Manager for Fashion, Luxury & Beauty at Google, Katie Jenkins, and Neil Waller, co-founder of Shore Projects, a fashion startup that’s on the rise. The debate takes place at their upcoming London event in May.
WGSN reported on Matthew Williamson, the 18-year old retailer, shifting its focus to a direct-to-consumer ecommerce business model. They made this move to address what @WGSN described as the buy-now-wear-now speed of current consumer demands. “The ready-to-wear industry today is debilitated by fast fashion retailers, but also by the ever increasing speed of our digital communications cycle,” stated founder of @fashionandmash and WGSN contributor, @Rachel_Arthur. “Where a six-month time lag between the reveal of the new season’s line and its arrival in stores once made sense, now it doesn’t.”
Avelinda Garcia from @Fashionotes reported on CHANEL’s new plans for ecommerce, which includes its 2016 expansion of Paraffection, the division that brings together 11 artisans to create quality and unique forms of fashion. In 2016 @CHANEL partners with Net-A-Porter for the online sales of their ‘Coco Crush’ collection of fine jewelry starting May 6. “The online luxury retailer’s tech team developed the digital pop-up shop specifically for CHANEL’s ecommerce test.”
@Lacoste’s relaunch of their digital boutique was hailed by @TrendHunter as a beautiful shopping experience for the user. “As ecommerce remains an ever expanding channel of revenue for fashion brands,” reported Rebecca Byers, “the new Canadian Lacoste digital boutique serves as an excellent investment that is sure to solidify an online presence as strong as its offline one.”
When Oscar de la Renta needs to benchmark how they’re utilizing current and emerging online platforms to best serve their customers, they turn to Scott Galloway (@ProfGalloway), the CEO and founder of @L2_Digital. As the featured speaker at the upcoming @FashionTechForum, Galloway stated, “Retailers may worry about the showrooming phenomenon, but the reality is that consumers are spending more time webrooming. Surprisingly, branded content has more sway in driving consumers to buy than other neutral types of content, such as user reviews, press articles and industry blogs.”
Pulkit Rastogi from @ILoveFashionRet gives ecommerce boutiques tips on how to effectively survey the right customers with the right questions, and how to use that data to make positive business and operational improvements. One of those key questions includes, what persuaded them to buy from you? “As much as it’s important to know what IS NOT working, it’s equally important to know what IS working. Ask this question just moments after they complete the purchase and you will know the key emotional triggers that are making them buy.”
In the way that the Internet democratized the music industry, publishing, and nearly every other market, it is enabling fashion businesses of all shapes and sizes to capitalize on technology to connect directly with consumers. To be creative and take risks. To use a myriad of cloud-based and online tools to brand, sell, and scale their business. And one of the best way to stay on top of these daily changes is to tap into the collective intelligence that exists in our online world.
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