The fashion industry is no more about ‘seasons’ as the rise of fast fashion and the ever-evolving consumer’ habits are decimating the biannual seasonality that has long structured the fashion industry. This, in post-pandemic era, becomes even more crucial and, in order to keep up with the changing trends, traditional apparel brands are now debuting around 11 seasons a year. On the other hand, fast fashion brands are going a step further and may issue as many as 52 weekly micro-seasons per year.
A famous fashion brand Topshop, for example, introduces around 500 styles per week on its website. Inditex-owned Zara is producing 20,000 new styles in a year and the social media is accelerating this cycle.
If we talk about India – a US $ 80 billion worth of fashion market – the consumers’ sentiments are getting stronger again and people are exploring stores – both online and offline – to check out what’s new in the brands’ kitty! All thanks to rising use of the social media that’s encouraging brands as well as consumers to create better synergies in such unprecedented times.
One can’t deny the fact that influencer marketing and other social media strategies help new trends travel fast, creating rapid consumer demand for hyper-cheap fashions. Shoppers act on that demand instantly, thanks to “See Now, Buy Now” tools on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Adept social media strategies on TikTok have translated to strong sales for companies like Fashion Nova, PrettyLittleThing, and Shein.
Fashion Nova is one example of a fast fashion e-commerce brand that has successfully leveraged social media to build its customer base and its brand. The company has more than 19 million followers on Instagram, as well as more than 3,000 influencers, known as #NovaBabes, promoting its clothes. The brand reportedly spent US $ 40 million in 2019 on influencer marketing alone. Fast fashion brand Boohoo has seen significant results by investing in influencer marketing, saying that its profits doubled after paying celebrities to promote its products on Instagram to 16- to 24-year-old fans. As far as Indian brands are concerned, a lot of fashion labels are actively involved in DTC revenue generation, base of which is social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Globally, the fashion retail industry is getting back on track. Fashion retailer Target saw its Q1 sales jump by 23% – all thanks to the newly buoyed up exuberant customers. TJX saw its first quarter sales jump by 130% to post US $ 10.09 billion from US $ 4.41 billion last year. Ross’ Q1 sales more than doubled to touch US $ 4.52 billion compared to US $ 1.84 in the previous year. Urban Outfitter’s net sales for the 3 months ended 30 April 2021 grew to US $ 927 million – 57.6% jump in 2020 for the same period. Macy’s Q1 net sales, notably, grew to US $ 4.71 billion in Q1 ’21 from US $ 3.02 billion in the previous year, while the profit was US $ 103 million.
In India, Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a 30% jump in its net sales during a period of December 2020-May 2021. In its first 6-month revenues of FY ’21, H&M clocked INR 836.6 crore, jumping massively from INR 645.86 crore in the previous year’s first half. The fast fashion giant operates 50 stores in the country as well as runs its own e-commerce channel and is active in e-commerce marketplace Myntra.
So, it’s an opportunity for brands to capture the sentiments of consumers and enhance their experiences in terms of shopping – be it offline store or online store. Technology can be of great help in their endeavors and the same will be discussed in our future blogs. Stay connected!
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