Opinión: Retailers need to get in shape to meet demand for fast fashion
The hottest fashion trend today is speed—and retailers need to be in the fast lane to remain competitive.
That’s according to new research from Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, which finds that speed and agility are the top priorities for every retailer competing in fast fashion.
With one in eight younger consumers (18 to 24 year olds) shopping every week and buying a fashion item at least once every two weeks, retailers need to gear themselves up to meet the growing demand for fast, on-trend, fashion-led styles, the report said.
“Young consumers have a ‘see now, buy now, wear now’ mentality when it comes to fashion, which has been driven by big fashion houses making the latest designs and styles available to buy straight from the catwalk,” said Dan Murphy, managing director, Kurt Salmon. “This is challenging retailers to improve their operational agility to meet rising demand for current trends.”
Retailers are under increasing pressure to turn around new lines in record time, according to the report, and many have been working hard to reduce their lead times to meet this growing demand for fast fashion. One leading fashion retailer is now delivering new lines in two to three weeks. But speed is only part of the success equation.
“Retailers need to accurately analyze what is selling in real-time and be in a position where they can react quickly,” advised Murphy. “According to one major fashion retailer, there is now only a 24 to 36-hour window from browsing to buying. Retailers that actively engage with their customers, analyze shopping and social media habits, and pre-empt future trends, will be the winners in the fast fashion market.”
Retailers should expect the insatiable appetite for fast fashion to continue as today’s younger shoppers age.
“There is no reason to believe that younger consumers, who have grown up wedded to devices and social media, will expect anything less than instant gratification in years to come, and continue to possess the same sense of style and image,” Murphy said.
Here are more findings from the report:
*Speed of delivery of online orders is also highly important to consumers. One in five of 18 to 20 year olds want same day delivery, and a further 13% want delivery in less than half a day. Twenty-one to 37 year olds are slightly more relaxed with almost a third happy for their orders to arrive the next day.
*Shoppers buy for the present, with 53% of all consumers surveyed wearing items within a week of purchase, and 15% wearing items the very same day. For younger consumers (18 to 24 year olds), the numbers increase; 60% wear items within a week of purchase, and one in five wear items on the same day of purchase.
*The majority of younger shoppers claim that ethical sustainability is a key factor informing their purchasing decisions, but their actions suggests otherwise. Less than half (48% ) of 18 to 24 year olds recycle their clothes. Additionally, 50% retailers surveyed say they are actively exploring new ways to extend the product lifecycle, using recycled materials, or facilitating clothes swapping and sharing
In addition to surveying consumers, Kurt Salmon conducted interviews with 23 CEOs and senior executives at leading global fashion retailers to explore the ‘see now, buy now, wear now’ trend and the readiness of retailers to deliver.
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