Through its Prime offering, Amazon has created an expectation that delivery should be next day, or even same day. Customers now expect to get a taxi, watch a film, or receive a meal almost instantaneously and to make a choice based on an easy-to-assess interface or app.
Fashion Zeitgeist : Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System by Barbara Vinken (2005, Paperback)
The implications of these new technologies are considerable and will lead to both defensive and offensive plays. On the defensive side, in , we expect the majority of fashion players will integrate commerce functionality into social media, enabling direct-to-product journeys.
They will also likely continue to invest in improving mobile conversion rates, streamlining the checkout process, improving search, and optimizing the user experience. Offensively, we expect brands and retailers to collaborate increasingly with technology companies to develop proprietary tools, such as visual-search engines. We predict that once one solution becomes a clear winner such as Shazam in music , there will be a step-change increase in consumer adoption.
The fashion industry suffers from a rising trust deficit.
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Recent high-profile data breaches at a number of online fashion companies, and in other industries, have left consumers wondering whether they should share information with brands and retailers. Given consumer demands for greater transparency through the value chain, we see three key dynamics in the coming period. First, players will rigorously audit their business practices to identify potential areas that may erode consumer trust.
As a result, more players will highlight their best practices to create a competitive edge. Some will use new technologies such as blockchain , in which each node of the network sees the whole history of transactions, to boost transparency in the supply chain. Second, we expect more rigorous reporting of social and envinronmental impact. Finally, brands are likely to be more transparent in the event of a crisis.
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They will respond more quickly, admit when they are at fault more often, and be willing to apologize. Fashion brands—luxury houses, in particular—are often successful because of their heritage. While this continues to be a key advantage, it is no longer enough.
In the latest BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion Survey, self-disruption was top of mind for , with 79 percent of executives placing it in the top five trends affecting the industry. Looking forward, we see three key disruptive developments. The latter will help companies remain at the forefront of business-model innovation and respond to new fashion trends more quickly.
It will be increasingly important to adopt agile ways of working and depart from the traditional operating model. Players will also work to streamline supply chains, enabling faster time to market. In an increasingly fickle fashion environment, market leaders will also need to take more risks to stay ahead. Sublabels will continue to proliferate, allowing brands to experiment while maintaining the authenticity of the parent brand. Their growing dominance through superior convenience, increasing segment coverage, and the launch of private labels continues to be a theme in for both fashion pure players and multicategory platforms.
For example, Amazon is on course to become the leading apparel retailer in the United States, with more than 8 percent estimated total share, and Flipkart has 40 percent share of online fashion sales in India. However, potential for profitable growth fueled by user acquisition is starting to saturate because of market maturity and increased competition.
The next horizon in platform evolution is business-model diversification through proprietary technology and knowledge to enrich the offering to consumers and brands.
The race is underway. This year, we are likely to see an accelerated emergence of ecosystems of related and overlapping businesses. There will likely be an intensified race for pole position, with the largest players battling to become the go-to platform for consumers and brands. The holy grail of the industry will be integration of value-added services that remove friction in the consumer and supplier journey through effective use of data analytics at scale.
There is also a rising chance of some kind of shakeout for vertical pure players, catalyzed by reduced valuations and the failures of some smaller companies. When generalist e-commerce platforms remain focused on retail margins rather than ancillary services, without occupying a niche, the demise is likely to come sooner rather than later.
Design and production are typically long and cumbersome processes, sometimes requiring nearly a year to plan and move products to market. Technology, analytics, and nearshoring are part of the solution, enabling companies to respond quickly to source and develop products, squeeze production timelines, and streamline distribution.
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