By embracing the latest technological innovations and streamlining back-office operations, retailers can accelerate their online growth and keep up to date with consumers’ ‘see now buy now’ mentality.
Fashion retailers, from fast-fashion labels to luxury giants, are now fully embracing digital commerce. Even luxury giants including Prada, Dior and Céline, who have historically shied away from all things digital, are finally jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon.
After all, as the breadth of the offer in fashion e-commerce increases, the consumer is naturally becoming more and more demanding.
In addition to a carefully curated, on-trend product edit or complementary content, factors such as efficient sample tracking technologies, global distribution infrastructures or web performance optimization are essential in accelerating a business’s growth and ensuring consumer engagement and sales conversions.
Paul Thomas, a retail analyst at the consultancy agency Retail Remedy, points to the fast-paced changes in the retail landscape and the need for retailers to invest in an omnichannel strategy and e-commerce sites that are up to date with the latest technological innovations, in order to keep up with increasing competition and accelerate growth.
‘It’s no longer enough to be present online, retailers need to be constantly innovating, keeping up with the fast-moving technology trends and ensure their back-office operations are streamlined in order to provide an engaging shopping experience,’ said Thomas.
As standards reach new heights, a delayed delivery or lengthy website loading time can immediately drive consumers away. Content acceleration services can ensure that an e-tailer’s website is working at optimum levels according to the requirements of its chosen market’s network, thus reducing download times and the amount of data transferred.
For example, when entering the Chinese market, Swiss luxury leather goods brand Bally optimized its local website in order to work with the country’s specific network requirements. The company said that by implementing acceleration technologies, page loading times were reduced by a staggering 81 percent while the data transferred dipped by 97 percent, allowing the label to scale up capacity during key trading periods such as Chinese New Year and avoid transactional delays which could impact sales.
Efficient sample tracking systems, are another means towards optimizing growth or accelerating a company’s launch to market following a new collection presentation or new product launch. As highlighted in Launchmetrics’ e-commerce whitepaper on the topic, by adopting a digital sample tracking system and moving away from traditional Excel spreadsheets, a company can not only streamline the process of lending samples to celebrities or influencers for media coverage but can use it as a powerful data resource.
By marking samples with unique barcodes, the day-to-day sample trafficking process allows companies to understand which styles are the most in-demand and how demand varies according to location and audience. The data can then be leveraged when designing new-season collections.
The system can also be used throughout the supply chain, to ensure that the e-tailer has the necessary inventory loaded in its warehouse and corresponding imagery shot in order to keep up with the demands of a ‘see now buy now’ consumer mentality.
In their latest chairman letter, ASOS noted that by implementing a barcoding system, the company was able ‘to get products on sale more quickly.’
As the fashion cycle continues to speed and digitally-savvy customers, aware of the myriads of options in the online marketplace, are no longer willing to wait for a product or service, streamlining operations is becoming a necessity for any retailer who wants to keep up to speed. It’s no longer only about getting your hands on the right product but about getting it first and in the most convenient way possible.