What is currently trending in the world of fashion? Forget the mock croc, snake print and capes. We are talking about trends that influence what the industry and retailers need to churn out for the masses.
McKinsey believes that 2018 was a significant year in the fashion industry, but 2019 will be the years of awakening. The players in the fashion sector will have to appreciate the fact that the old rules are dated and many are inapplicable. Today’s fashion savants are all about graceful statements. They focus on different things, from market trends, speed productions, to transparency and even social issues.
Therefore, fashion companies cannot take growth for granted. Given this, below are two trends that will impact the industry over the next months.
Two Major Trends
Omnichannel: Combining the Digital and in-Store Experiences
Online sales have grown exponentially over the years, but this is still a confusing commerce space. Research shows that many online users still relish the physical in-store experience. As such, fashion retailers should not only focus on offering top-notch shopping experience in their online retail outlets. That is why they need to adopt the omnichannel shopping approach, which is a trending strategy.
As many of the customers use their mobiles to do online searches for product information, get competitive prices and even check the return policies for items bought on the online store, it is evident that the in-store and digital stores have become intertwined.
But such integration heavily relies on the use of mobile technology given the millions of internet users using their devices to browse, chat, and pay for products and services. Such things should also be integrated into the physical shopping experience. It can be done via options such as smart fitting rooms and even the use of mobile apps to make payments.
AI: Tailoring Shopping Options to Your Customer’s Buying History
AI (Artificial Intelligence) tech is surely changing how retailers and customers interact. According to McKinsey, 75% of the fashion retailers plan to invest in this technology in 2019 and the coming years. Gartner also agrees with this, stating that those who adopt the use of visual search early are most likely to see an increase in their digital commerce revenue of about 30%.
ASOS, H&M, as well as other top fashion retail brands, are utilising visual search to bolster their customer experience. It allows their clients to take photos of items in the store and then use those images to search for similar things online on their respective sites.
Hiring Trends in the Fashion Sector
The fashion industry is undoubtedly in a phase of uncertainty, which is evidenced by its recruitment trends. The glam that was once associated with the fashion sector, so that socially-conscious marketers made the industry a career preference is now a dying flame. It has seen many of these marketers leave the industry because of how fast-paced fashion is and its impact on different things, including the environment.
The market is saturated, and the dated digital marketing strategies no longer cut it; therefore, fresh talent is needed. Here at Stopgap, we are keen on helping marketing professionals up their roles in fashion startups and sustainable brands by offering raw talent and ideas.
The generalist marketing roles are a thing of the past. Specialist marketers are now game-changers. According to Jess Sinton, the Senior Consultant at Stopgap, the High Street stores with a significant brick & mortar presence are tired of playing catch up; hence, they are looking to hire digital marketing experts for digital marketing jobs in areas such as PPC, SEO, and email marketing. They are investing in these options to be able to cut through the fast-paced fashion space that is mainly online.
The digital marketers should be specialists that know how to index and crawl the interwebs and leverage various online optimisation and marketing resources and techniques to push brands.
So, What’s the Advice for Hiring Managers?
Jess recommends acting quickly; that there is a need to enlist the expertise of digital specialists because these are professionals that are in high demand and they are few in numbers and will not be on the market for long.
The high demand means that these experts will be juggling different projects at the same time. Therefore, they will be charging a handsome fee for their services. However, the costs should not put you off. They are the professionals at fashion houses and brands are intent on finding and hiring as they look for the right breed of managers.