In order to guarantee sales and achieve planned profitability, it is no longer enough for today’s fashion brands to be on the cutting edge. In seconds, from anywhere in the world, even without leaving home, the office or while enjoying a good coffee, current and digital consumers can find and share a trend on social networks. As a result, “hot models” can be sold quickly, while “erroneous models” are not sold, even with large discounts.
So how can fashion brands outperform their competitors?
The traditional product creation system is very slow.
When comparing the market leaders with the rest, the big differences can be perceived and it is very clear that the best results are obtained by those brands that use daily their deep knowledge of the new consumer. Not only that, but they use that knowledge from the very beginning of the process of developing the collections, managing to have in their stores and on the web the different styles ready for sale in weeks, NOT months. As we all know, “time is the ultimate resource of current fashion”.
“The analysis of data and the exhaustive knowledge of the consumer allow fashion brands to remain at the forefront and obtain the best possible results”.
The problem is that organizations that are more traditional and less versatile in the product creation process have great difficulty in achieving this. Evidently, this must change because new brands are breaking stereotypes, rules and generating new customer expectations.
Winners gain market share.
Fashion retailing has become a business of winners taking market share, where size or equity matters much less than before.
How can this success be explained?
These companies are more diversified, more responsive and adaptable to take on category, channel and consumer changes, something that substantially differentiates them from their competitors! You can easily understand it by reading this article: Retail and the digital customer.
In the report The need for speed: Capturing today’s fashion consumer – By McKinsey that originates this post and provides it with its title – it is shown that the research, coordinated with Women’s Wear Daily, revealed another a few other incredible differences:
Optimal results for creating concepts – different collection styles – and purchase planning are achieved through the routine use of data analysis. This is nothing less than the heart of the creative process. Low-performing brands also get the data, but do so much later during the process, after the product has been developed.
Optimal results make the speed of commercialization a top priority and the organization becomes increasingly faster. High-performance companies deliver styles to the market in less than six to eight weeks; it’s the new sourcing and merchandising model called Ultra-Fast Fashion. Traditional brands have excessively long lead times to get ahead of consumers and put in front of them the product they want and are looking for.
To understand the essence of this new system, I recommend you read this previous article and get this comprehensive report for free from McKinsey: Ultra-Fast Fashion.
Understanding what the client wants in order to give it to them quickly.
The vast majority of fashion brands already understand the imperative need to make quick decisions based on data analysis. Thus, two-thirds of professionals surveyed expressed that improving marketing speed was the priority or top priority for their organization. Leading and high-performance companies have adopted a more sophisticated system based on understanding what the future customer wants. This system allows them to add to their stores what is selling today and have a rapid response to what is generating sales.
“The next generation model is based on the need to anticipate what the consumer wants. Driven by predictive analytics and AI, this system moves from design to delivery in near real time”.
To grasp the idea and understand in depth this disruptive change in the industry, I recommend reading these two previous articles where we analyzed the change from a prospective model of fashion to a predictive one and the incorporation of new technologies in the creation process through 3D design: Data analysis is in fashion & 3D design and predictive analysis in fashion.
In the next post we will continue with the analysis of this exhaustive report from the international consulting firm listing the actions that global fashion leaders take on the web to predict what the current fashion consumer wants.
I’ll see you around!