Not too many industries are quite so quick to change as fashion. Just as soon as one concept becomes in vogue it seems to immediately turn passe. The rise and fall of hemlines come and go faster than the change of seasons. But no year taught us that trends in fashion aren’t just about style more effectively than 2016. With the rise of internet shopping and off-price retailing, 2016 saw major shifts in consumer buying patterns. Such trends in 2017 are expected to continue soaring. Retailers interested in starting a brand or hoping to stay afloat will have to adjust with the times, or else be swiftly stepped over by retailers on the fashion runway who will.
The 2017 year promises to be a real champion for retailers. As your business continues to look forward, consider the following changes:
Brick & Mortar Won’t Close Shop
The increasing trend of online shopping won’t be shuttering retail stores this year, but they will continue to slow their growth. Still, don’t ditch dreams of opening that boutique shop right away. The basic human desire to touch, see and try an item before making an investment proves that there’s still hope for them yet. In fact, increasing searches for “locations near me” are proof that consumers still want to get their hands on their purchases before they spend money.
Luxury Fashion to Embrace the Digital Age
In 2015, sales for women’s luxury fashion made up a scant 3% of the online clothing market. That number is expected to reach 17% by 2018. Until the last few years, designer clothing stores have dragged their feet and outrightly refused to join the ecommerce sphere for fear that selling online would cost them the mystique that comes with their reputation of exclusivity. Recently, however, many luxury brands have branched off from this attitude and begun to reach out to the online market.
Houses like Rebecca Minkoff, Diane von Furstenberg, and Burberry are adapting to the ways in which customers want to be reached and courted in regards to how they make their purchases. Many have started selling designs online right away, ditching the luxury brand tradition of debuting clothes six months before the season they make their appearance in stores.
Omni-Channel Will Keep On Growing
If your phone didn’t already give you the update, here it is: mobile is outpacing desktop. The number of consumers who use their smartphones to make online purchases continues to climb and the consumption of latest fashion trends is paramount to that equation. But, get this. Users aren’t exclusively spending browsing time on mobile. According to DigitasLBi, consumers utilize five different devices on average when making their purchases. That’s quite a boost from the 2.8 device use seen in 2014.
It’s important for clothing retailers in 2017 to consider this trend and aim to provide customers a seamless experience between various technological touch points and their devices. Those who don’t will risk becoming fashion roadkill.
The New Consumer
2017 will bring a new consumer altogether. With the tech space allowing shoppers to be better connected with others, they will become more aware of retail worth, ethics and authenticity. Anyone who is interested in creating a fashion brand, or has already invested the time into making one, should know that in 2017 their audiences will continue to be more conscious of their purchases and what’s available to them, broadening their choice in clothing providers and blending concepts from various brands and designers. The driving force behind this new emergence comes from the desire for personalization.
These “conscious consumers” will completely change the landscape for brands and retailers. As such, brands will have to reconsider concepts they once held for future stores and consider how they can leverage omnichannel by creating a seamless consumer experience.
The winners of 2017 fashion will likely be companies that embrace the changing technology trends. Working to tap into the unmet needs of consumers while continuing to establish and reshape their brand, will be the greatest challenge for those begging to establish a fashion brand.