Mastering’s today’s digital challenges in the fashion industry
We started being a visitor in 2017, joined the FashionTech with our client QR-TEX in 2018 and this year we decided to attend with our own booth. The team behind FashionTech has done a great job in the last years, ultimately making this event the most important meet-up for connecting fashion with a digital mindset in Germany.
This year, FashionTech was held inside the not yet finished Aletto Hotel in Berlin. A unique location that showed visitors what the Hotel will look like and how they are tying together a hotel experience with a modern approach of incorporating pop-up stores into the lobby. We are excited to see the finished hotel this summer.
FashionTech aims to bring together the most important players in the digital fashion industry to discuss current digital challenges and how to master these. Brands, retailers and digital natives take the stage to share their experiences and offer detailed masterclasses to share their knowledge.
This year’s speeches had a strong focus on perfecting an omnichannel marketing approach. Brands and retailers are still struggling to deliver a seamless transition between their stores and online presence. Hence, why many keynotes also referred to the challenges of addressing generation z with a clear strategy. Tying everything together is retail’s superpower – data. CEO Kristin Savilia from JOOR shared her knowledge on how to digitally transform the wholesale industry. Data is key in gaining insights into current operations, customer behavior and what factors need to be adjusted to deliver a better experience for your target group.
Combining the digital world with human interaction
As mentioned, a continuous challenge in the fashion industry is building a seamless omnichannel marketing strategy. The customer’s expectation is higher today than ever before. Showing offline availability or offering home delivery from within the store is not enough anymore. Many brands are trying to keep up with the massive demand of marketing channels and are not concentrating on mastering them but rather being part of them in a minimal setup. This careless approach will depreciate the value of many brands and let digital native players take over.
Steven Lidbury from Eight Inc., Apple’s secret weapon for their retail success, shares his knowledge of the past 30 years. His keynote focused on building simultaneous physical, digital and human customer relationships. An inspiring talk about how Xiaomi builds a store where the digital and the human world transition into each other. Customers can experience the brand and products without the need of touching them. Xiaomi currently offers over 2000 products, but its new flagship store only offers 200 products on the floor. Together with Eight Inc, they were able to build the necessary digital touchpoints to experience and purchase the products without touching them in a physical store location.
You can read more about Steve Lidbury’s talk in our recap and opinion blog post here.
How to engage with new generations, what are the key challenges to be mastered?
The industry is struggling to keep up with the fast-moving generation z. The importance of touching a product before the purchase has been neglected. This generation looks for brand coverage, brand reputation, and social media presence. Brands that are not part of the conversation online are not at arm’s length to get their attention. This doesn’t mean that they must be part of new channels like TikTok but rather building out their presence on already established channels.
The customer is not engaged on only one channel at a time. Generation z is especially known for jumping between different platforms during the day. They expect the brands to run a cohesive communication strategy across all platforms. Delivering professional video content on YouTube, posting engaging posts on Instagram and delivering inspirational content on Pinterest.
Moving forward in 2020
Looking ahead, what are the most important topics this year? Keynote speakers and exhibitors focused on mastering online retail and delivering a more immersive retail experience for the customer.
We believe that the most important task at hand is perfecting your customer communication between these two worlds. All channels matter at this point, because each channel represents a different approach for the customer. Brands and retailers need to learn to prioritize these and manage their resources for the highest potential channels in their niche.
Each channel is being used for a different part of the communication funnel. Some channels will drive the inspirational content, many of them are heavily focused on sales, and then you have channels that drive customer loyalty for long term growth. Viewing your brand and customer communication as a single entity will help you understand what channels you need to focus on and how to incorporate these into your retail experience.
If you are interested in learning more about our core services for the fashion industry, you can use the chat icon on the bottom right-hand corner. Our team is looking forward to your questions. You can also check out our landing page with our available resources.