November 16, 2018

Every hour counts in the battle for the fast fashion consumer

Only a matter of years ago runway looks took months to translate and the fashion calendar revolved around two major seasons. Fast-forward to 2018/19 and the picture is radically different.  

At the sharp end of fast fashion, there are now ‘52 micro seasons’ with delivery of hundreds of new lines a week. Combine that with 24/7 browsing and suddenly instant gratification rules. Instead of curating a wardrobe from bi-annual seasonal collections, fashion enthusiasts want to get their hands on a continuous cycle of trend-led purchases…fast.

So what does this mean if you’re looking to make it in this cut-throat industry?

  1. You need to enable smart, snap purchasing decisions

AI (artificial intelligence) is your friend. It enables the creation of bespoke home pages serving tailored content to convert intent to buying. And smart search can perform predictive autocomplete and frontload the most popular products to speed up the buying process even further.

  1. ‘Out of stock’ is the ultimate no-no

Instant gratification doesn’t wait for ‘back in stock’. That’s why Monsoon’s figures are looking so healthy since they installed their new Fashion Finder service. The service consigns out of stock frustration to history by giving online shoppers access to stock from physical stores. Intelligent algorithms simply assign orders to stores based on shortest delivery times and maximum profitability.

  1. A slick, quick fulfilment service is a must

The 24-hour collection window has become all-important. After all, there’s a reason why one of the newest kids on the fast fashion block is called isawitfirst.com – being first out of the fast fashion blocks is all!

Over half (57%) of collections for one of our biggest fast fashion retailers are made on Day 0 (the day they arrive in store) and 80% are made by Day 1.

  1. You should embrace technology at every step of the consumer journey

Recent research from Hitachi Capital reveals that 69% of shoppers age 25-34 are more likely to shop with a retailer that enhances their experience with innovative tech.  

Embedding tech into every step of the journey creates the ultimate seamless experience. Our new Google Wallet / Apple Passbook integrations enable customers to save parcel details to wallet so that collection codes pop up the minute they walk into a Doddle location thanks to a geo-filter. Fast fashion at its best gives consumers what they want the minute they want it with minimal effort.

  1. Stock needs to be returned to sale as quickly as possible

One of the most brutal new realities of the fast in fast fashion is the narrowness of the full price window it has created. 

An item that is only weeks old and that would a few years ago still have been ‘new season stock’ is now sales stock. This means that quick returns are every bit as important as slick collections.  

  • Embrace VR to create realistic online changing rooms that decrease the likelihood of returns being necessary in the first place.
  • If you’re an online only retailer consider offering a third party C&C service that enables your customers to try on their purchases when they collect them. ASOS, Missguided and New Look customers can collect their purchases from Doddle counters at Debenhams where they can try them on and return them on the spot – allowing customers to get their refunds quicker and stock to be returned to the cycle within minutes rather than days or weeks of collection.

In summary, to make it in this ruthless sector, stick to the FAST code. Give consumers the…

  • Fashion they want
  • As soon as they want it through a
  • Seamless experience with
  • Tech at its heart

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