Among the many challenges brands and retailers are facing today, a lack of demand and fulfillment delays have added to an unprecedented amount of excess inventory. Meanwhile, an overwhelming shift to e-commerce has digitally based brands struggling to fulfill orders efficiently, while those without an online presence are finding themselves lagging behind. Agile brands are actively exploring, testing and adopting new strategies to better meet today’s consumer expectations. And many within this segment are placing sustainable practices at the focal point of their brand, as they rebuild their business model.
This research paper explores how brands are creating agile and transparent operations, placing new value on efficiency and sustainability and offering one-to-one experiences at scale. Coming out of the crisis, the brands who reinvent their end-to-end business models will ultimately be better prepared to quickly and efficiently respond to the next disruption within the apparel sector.
Published July 2020
Brands are building stronger communities by establishing digital and physical platforms and activations that help foster the relationship among customers and encourage participation, empowering consumers to co-create the rules and even inviting them into the R&D process. It includes hosting programmed events to build confidence in a purchase or product use in an engaging manner. It also includes peer-to-peer platforms where consumers can interact and exchange with each other.Driving Connection Through Values
In order to build a stronger emotional connection with consumers, brands are providing customers with tools and platforms to shape their values and incorporate them into daily life.Consumer Communities
Ensuring customers get the most out of a purchase by offering access to a likeminded community, expert resources, and related servicesAnticipatory Support
Retailers are applying machine learning and data aggregation tools to anticipate consumer behaviors and needs based on situational or emotional contexts and provide service or product recommendations. This includes using data generated by mobile apps to create a unified view of a member's shopping behavior and preferences, as well as leveraging RFID and other technologies to detect items that shoppers are interacting with in order to target shoppers in the moment and drive incremental retail sales. It also encompasses taking targeted advertising offline with recognition technologies that allow brands to pinpoint and deliver the most relevant ads to specific connected consumers near physical point-of-purchase.Informed Associates
Despite collecting a variety of insights on individual shoppers from their online shopping browsing behaviors, social commerce usage, purchase history, loyalty membership and location, most companies fail to develop this information into an actionable customer view. New platforms are bringing these details to the forefront of retail interactions, enabling associates to recognize their customers and deliver personalized service. This encompasses the adoption of machine-learning and AI-enabled systems to interpret data and power tailored 1:1 interactions, equipping staff with tech-enabled resources to connect with consumers and provide next-level service. It also includes investing in communication platforms that help employees share real-time information to ensure highly informed customer support.