It’s Fashion Week time, and the industry’s most creative talents are at it once more — dazzling the world with their sense of style. This month it’s possible more eyes than ever before will be watching as models grace the runways in the latest fashion looks. The Internet and social media are revealing runway fashion to a much larger audience in real time. Design houses are adapting with brand new business models to give fashion-loving consumers an early — even instant — taste of their freshest inspiration.
Some point to this shift as an important turning point in the democratisation of fashion. As Fashion United reported in its article, “Reinventing Retail With London Fashion Week,” leading brands are ditching the traditional runways “in a domino effect, repurposing them as platforms to sell to customers, as opposed to events for industry experts.”
“Linked closely to this trend of immediacy is the rise of social media and virtual reality that has transformed fashion shows into digitally engaging, consumer facing marketing events,” the article said. “Retailers were missing out on huge sales opportunities with the outdated six-month long lag between seeing and buying. This reinvention of retail with its more accessible, personalised runway now instals a further sense of emergency in consumers and builds on this sense of excitement.”
Indeed, UK fashion retailer Topshop invites the general public to “tune in” Sunday 17th Sept. for its London Fashion Week show. It promises to take its latest styles to the streets of the city’s Soho neighbourhood. Last September, the retailer officially launched its Runway-to-Retail strategy, making styles available for sale to consumers right after their catwalk debut. A trailblazer in catwalk-to-consumer commerce, Burberry also invites the world to watch its London Fashion Week show live Saturday 16th September and to shop styles immediately afterwards.
Amid this period of dramatic change in fashion’s traditional go-to-market model, the key is to maintain a sense of specialness. This requires a well-orchestrated customer relationship management (CRM) program and well-oiled processes for merchandise management and supply chain logistics. Both demand software that supports retail’s digital transformation, transcending the digital and physical worlds.
“For the technology to work, it must be implemented from top to bottom and become fully integrated into the business. There is little point investing in an ambitious social media campaign without an e-commerce website, and no point in having an e-commerce website without an effective logistics operation,” according to a report on designer fashion, digital technology and business growth by the British Fashion Council.
Here are just a few technology tips to help make the most of the fashion weeks present and future:
– Leverage CRM to facilitate personalisation. Create tailored interactions. Think personalised product recommendations, targeted upselling and cross-selling.
– Use your retail system platform to connect all customer touchpoints, from social media to the store experience to the e-commerce website. Craft an engaging fashion week plan to make the most of each channel.
– Empower associates to be true brand ambassadors, giving them the tools to send targeted communications about fashion week specials.
– Gain a real-time inventory view and unified vision of the entire purchasing process so that you always know your on-hand inventory position. Only then can you make good on promises to deliver hot-selling fashion week styles to consumers.
Yourcegid Retail offers a complete technology stack to provide all of these capabilities plus 360-degree visibility to customer interactions with your brand. This holistic view of shoppers, products and the value chain — globally — is essential to master runway-to-retail programs.
Cegid is ready to help you execute your fashion week strategies. Let’s connect soon so that this season of fashion can be especially fruitful for you and your retail business.