Here's How Online Shopping Has Changed the Fundamentals of Fashion-Oriented Businesses
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Online shopping is often perceived as a threat to brick and mortar businesses. While it is true that e-commerce is the future of retail, it isn't necessarily a threat to traditional retail. With the rise of omnichannel retail, e-commerce is supplementing traditional retail by enabling businesses to reach out to customers at several touch points. It is no different when it comes to fashion-oriented businesses.
The fashion industry in India is slowly but surely warming up to e-commerce. The findings of a research conducted by Myntra revealed that the number of online fashion shoppers, pegged at 60Mn currently, is projected to grow to 120Mn by 2020. With the advent of online shopping, India has witnessed a considerable change in the buying behaviour of consumers over the years. This has caused a shift in the market dynamics for fashion based businesses.
What Has Changed?
Non-Urban India Has Become an Emerging Market:
Consumers from smaller towns and cities of urban and semi-urban India have arrived. The availability of cheap data packs and vernacular content has made them less sceptical about shopping online. With exposure to media, the masses have become more aspirational with respect to fashion. The limited accessibility to offline brand retail outlets in non-urban India coupled with attractive offers and discounts that online marketplaces provide, they are increasingly looking at using online channel for shopping.
Increased Demand for Premium Brands:
With the increasing popularity of e-commerce, the fashion and lifestyle segment has seen a rise in the demand for fast fashion and premium brands. Thanks to higher disposable incomes and exposure to media, today's average consumer has evolved and are ready to buy global and luxury brands.
How Can Brands Adapt?
Brands Need to Become Social and Digital First:
The era of mass media marketing is a thing of the past. In today's digital era, digital marketers reach out to consumers where they spend most of their time - online. It is important for fashion businesses to identify the channels and platforms that their target group uses the most and design their digital marketing campaigns around them. Brands today tailor their marketing campaigns around the interests and buying behaviour of customers and fashion-based businesses need to adapt to it too. Digital influencers have also emerged as powerful marketing partners and brand looking to reach their target group have to explore influencer marketing to complement their other digital marketing efforts.
Businesses Have to Personalize Customer Experience:
Customers today expect and appreciate personalized shopping experiences. Whether it is an app notification or a social media ad, targeting consumers at the right place and right time has become essential for eCommerce businesses. Convenience tops the list of priorities of today's busy consumer and brands that reach out to consumers right where they are, playing a huge role in conversions.
Fashion brands today need to think global and act locally. They need to adapt to newer formats of marketing such as beefing up their digital presence across social platforms. Brands can effectively serve the local market by striking a balance between offline and online presence. On the logistics end, businesses should work on effective sourcing and supply chain for shorter go to market cycles.
Marketers today have access to a vast ocean of customer data that gives them unparalleled insight into customer preferences and behaviour. Businesses can leverage this data to provide a personalized customer experience across touchpoints. This allows consumers to shop on channels that are most convenient to them and helps businesses augment their reach beyond traditional retail outlets. Omnichannel shopping enables consumers to mix and match channels based on their needs.
The fashion market in India is currently pegged at $70 billion out of which online accounts for only 5per cent. By 2020, about $30bn of this market will be digitally influenced. As the eCommerce market continues to grow, fashion-based businesses need to constantly evolve to tap into the existing and emerging market for online shopping.