Who would have thought that 2020 will be the year of survival? That besides welcoming the new year we are also greeting the disaster of the year – the Covid-19 pandemic which will change our personal and professional lives forever. While businesses are badly hit, the fashion and apparel industry which fall under the non-essential category, which has never been so radically affected at least in the past century, are now finding ways to survive. Can you believe that?
However, as history has taught us to look for opportunities during crises, understanding the changing consumer behaviour during the lockdown will breed new radical business ideas to start amidst COVID-19 which we are going to give you a glimpse and also explain how you can re-strategize your fashion and apparel brand to ensure business continuity during and post-Covid.
Consumer behaviour and preferences have been changing frequently ever since the start of people being confined to their homes. Nobody knows what the future has in store for the world but it is always fair to make predictions based on ongoing trends.
Mobile phone usage has increased by more than 70 % worldwide. Online shopping for clothes increased an average of 25% in the first month of lockdown itself. These figures have only kept increasing since then and will continue to do so until a vaccine is available and people slowly come out of the paranoia.
An American study in the month of April found out that more than 24% of consumers will prefer shopping online for the next 6 months as they do not want to take chances of getting infected in crowded malls. These trends are indicating that all fashion and apparel businesses must fast-track their decision to venture into the online market and optimize the opportunity this online breeze has brought in.
Empathy has emerged as a key human emotion during the lockdown. The need for supporting the local craftsmen and women who have been severely affected in the lockdown has been seen in many consumers. The world has also seen how the pollution levels dropped drastically during the lockdown; hence consumers are seen opting for a more sustainable way of clothing. Preference for handloom and handicrafts have been observed by designers in the world of fashion.
As increments and promotions are getting nailed down, the upper and lower-middle-class segment of consumers is being cautious of buying extravagantly priced luxury products. Many people have lost their jobs or have faced pay-cuts in their salaries which is compelling people to buy only the daily necessity items. Non-essential products like apparels are bought only if they are cheap or have major discounts.
Fashion brands have to take into consideration what the majority of the consumers are looking for. Inclusion of safety essentials like masks, sanitizers and gloves if promoted on their homepage can bring traffic to the website leading to the sale of their primary products too.
A future Consumer Index shows that 62% of cautiously extravagant consumers would like to purchase from those brands who are associated with a cause of reconstructing society. A caring and a sensitive brand that does not put profit above everything are more likely to attract customer traffic on their website.
Amazon has chosen to market its brand with a tagline “Enabling Local to Go Global”. They have emphasized on creating opportunities for MSMEs to export their products globally. This is a perfect example of a change in the marketing strategies where brands are marketing the cause they support, not the product.
The internet is full of Covid-19 topics, therefore, customers are seeking distractions and getting attracted to optimistic marketing. A lot of energy and focus is being put on enhancing consumer buying experience online. Fashion giant Myntra gives tips on size and body shapes. A detailed size chart is presented to the customer to help them choose the perfectly fitting apparel. This inclusion has reduced their return numbers drastically.
The use of AI technology is yet another innovative way that is changing the online fashion shopping experience. From styling the look to virtually trying outfits, Artificial Intelligence is shaping the future of fashion. In fact, many international brands are now allowing multiple views of each product from different angles since the customers can’t take a look in person due to the social distancing practices. Thus, zooming in on a high-quality picture feature is enabling customers to view the intricacies of the products’ needlepoint work. For example, Rollie Nation has included dioramas of their shoes on their homepage along with a short video of a model walking in them.
Indians have always been comfortable with cash transactions even after the Digital India campaign started. The gigantic shift towards online payment started in India post-Covid only, due to fear of coming in contact with innumerable currency notes which have been exchanged by many hands. Many major online delivery vendors have removed the Cash On Delivery (COD) option from their payment page in order to curb community transfer of the Covid-19 virus due to which digital wallets and UPI payment options, along with the traditional credit & debit cards payment options have seen a soar in consumer usage which is necessary today and for the future ahead.
Health and hygiene have become very important for the majority of people. Consumers trust those brands who put hygiene and safety protocols as their top-most priority. Most major brands have started showing hygiene page on their website which explains what regulations they follow to ensure staff safety and safe packaging. No-Contact delivery option is the new feature added on most of the vendors delivery options page which is the best way to keep the bond of trust intact with your customers.
One thing to always keep in mind is that online platforms must be used not just for commercial purposes but also to engage and interact with your customers so that they keep coming back to you, and Covid-19 has made us realise that very well when people began to migrate at large towards the online market.
Yes, it is difficult to reach out to consumers who are still paranoid about coming to your fashion brand store but it is not impossible either. The only way to survive the Covid-19 pandemic is to make your brand omnipresent by offering a digital presence along with the physical outlets that please and serve customers in the best and safest way as possible.
Since the future of brick and mortar shops is very vague given the current situation outside the safety of your homes, making your brand digital is the need of the hour. So, if you are still struggling to find a good fashion ecommerce mobile app builder, seeking the help of the top-notch Magento multivendor ecommerce app development company like Mobicommerce can be your knight in shining armour to help you go digital.
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