There’s a segment in the news that I see daily that talks about fashion-related topics. From what I understand what will be ultra trendy and cool for this Fall will be the reds, the long outfits and the “explorer” Indiana Jones style wave. I can’t help but think about how they solve the issue of “showing off” designs in the middle of confinement and not in an event. Or how to make an attractive offer or present the right segment with the most avant-garde clothes without a fashion show. I laugh internally while the next note slaps me with a white glove.
Virtual gateways, augmented reality apps and a considerable increase in the customization of what the end customer is looking for. This is the way to adapt on the part of this sector that, while it has been one of the industries most directly affected by the pandemic in terms of sales, logistics, raw material, maquila, etc., it is worth doing a detailed analysis of how this industry is adapting (and very well) to the obligatory “digitalization”.
High fashion in times of confinement
In many Latin American countries and the world, non-essential activities are doomed to an indefinite closure. This means that even after the well-known curve is flattened, clothing companies, distributors and department stores will remain closed. In this scenario, the industry has to deal with operating costs such as rents and wages primarily, with a 40-month drop in sales (according to EY studies) the picture sounds unenthusope, as this drags will fall into the need to reduce the labor force, close establishments and for the weakest means total disappearance.
The remedy for mitigating the negative imminent impacts on this industry are two concepts known as innovation and e-commerce.
According to AMVO data, last year online purchases accounted for an average of 65 of those related to fashion, particularly express fashion as an Inditex group that took full advantage of it. However, on the other side of the coin was haute couture, the world of renowned designers who knew very little (or did not give as much importance) to the digital world.
The latter are those that had the most affected before the pandemic crisis as the digital approach was replaced by the urgency of cutting, sewing and producing the garments that were shown in the last Milan parade; for chasing and begging by the models for the approval of the real Miranda Priestly (Anne Wintour) in order to be on the cover of Vogue. Finally those who bet on the technologies did it in an desire to improve their production processes but not to generate engagement but it is through a retail and is that, in a day, everything changed, there is no point in the model newcomer from Paris but there is dinner with friends, little can help you a bag of 1000 USD if there is no place to show it off , glamour becomes irrelevant when no one can see you.
Innovationarises when through a catalyst, we solve things completely differently by turning the problem into an opportunity. A good example of this is Thomas Burberry, who invented the trench coat; this article already had some time on the market but was not very sought after until this designer is presented with the opportunity. Derived from World War I, with a confined society and a shortage of materials, it identifies the needs of English soldiers seeking to cover themselves from the inclement air and rain in the trench (hence one of their names known as trench) being the rest of history and lasting their invention to this day.
In a market closer to our time we have a mix of commerce and innovationin the following companies:
For those who are a certain number of years old, they may remember that before there were paper templates to crop that had the image of a girl and different dresses. You had to cut the dress and doll and that allowed you to “dress” the girl in the drawing and make all kinds of combinations. This site I mention to you is a real marvel, in its virtual tester section you can eliminate the fear of “how I will look” by combining the garments in your simulator, adjusting weight measures, waist, hip, etc. and if you like it, you take it at that time through its online store
This Dutch company calls itself “A fashion house that leads the industry towards a new all-digital clothing sector.”
At first they didn’t say much to me and except for a morbid curiosity, they didn’t generate any feeling, yet today they have my total admiration for how they’re doing things:
- They have earned $9500 for a single design in a virtual auction organized by Ethereal.
- They use cutting and rendering software, supported by photos and videos, allowing them to eliminate the need to hire models and search for locations, with their respective decrease in costs.
- They generate virtual samples of clothing, that is, their dresses do not exist, they only dress digitally, the process is that a photograph is taken from the owner within 28 days that the garment acquires and the digital equipment (which were formerly ladies putting lace and pins)”adjusts” the garment to make it look perfect. This represents a huge savings in waste and waste. It is fully digital fashion that creates virtual clothing samples, rather than using physical samples, while other companies are considering this technology to minimize their impact of waste and waste.
By analyzing the above we will be able to identify opportunities to mitigate the negative impacts on this or any industry, making clear their respective adaptations. Once we have a perfectly landed thing, a sea of data will come in the websites that intend to sell and promote the products, although we can mention all the existing metrics, the recommendation is that they define a goal and develop adequate KPIs to control that goal. By way of suggestion the metrics to consider would be:
- By market: Type of customer, national, export, wholesale/retailer…
- By reference type: Product line and/or price line.
- By sales period: Campaign, season, dates……
- Conversion rate for new buyers and repeat buyers.
- Conversions by campaigns.
- Percentage of orders compared to those that started the purchase process.
- Attraction level home page or landing pages.
Considering that we will enter a new normal very soon, the greatest benefit of applying these indicators is that they are quick to adopt and implement so that you will get better control of the behavior of online users in a high fashion industry, where it was previously unthinkable to do this and that will now allow them to drive their “digital transformation”.
These days, regardless of industry, the one who does things differently is the one who has the best chance of controlling the industry and coming out unscathed in times of crisis. It’s our turn to live this pandemic now. Let’s take it as a good time to rethink the way it becomes fashionable today, thinking about minimizing waste, optimizing digital channels and especially focusing on the practical above vanity, quality over price or quantity.