When people think of “fashion trends”, they usually think about the designer clothes that rule the recent catwalks or the outfits that are made popular by celebrities. But “trends” can take on a different meaning: they also refer to the practices that fashion brands have adopted to strengthen their brand, attract more customers, and increase these sales. In this context, entrepreneurs from other industries will want to adopt these methods and use them to grow their business.
Ready to start? Here are some of the fashion industry trends you’ll want to incorporate into your business strategy:
Getting ideas directly from customers
Crowdsourcing has become almost synonymous with fundraising, but it’s not just about getting financial support people. In the fashion industry, crowdsourcing now refers to gathering ideas from a brand’s target market. This has gained traction in several parts of the industry because it highlights exactly what customers want to see on the shelves and gives companies a clear idea of what they should produce. This eliminates guesswork and minimizes the risk of spending thousands of dollars on unprofitable products.
Design crowdsourcing can be applied to almost any industry, so you’ll want to give it a try in your business. Reach out to your customers and ask them what they really want — you’ll be surprised at the amount and quality of input you’ll get.
Using technology to drive growth
The fashion industry is one of the least “techie” sectors out there, but it actually has grown to depend a lot on modern hardware and software. This is mainly due to the fact that millenials (who make up a big percentage of the industry’s demographics) use technology at every turn. As a result, fashion brands have no choice but to keep up or else risk losing their customers.
Some businesses, for example, use machine learning to analyze customers’ past interactions with the brand and “predict” what they want to buy in the future. The companies can then offer personalized recommendations to each customer and increase the likelihood of folks buying these recommended items.
Of course, not all tools used by fashion brands are applicable to your business. Still, with some research, you can find the right piece of technology that will help you gain a competitive edge.
Building on social and environmental advocacy
Many people nowadays have become more aware of their impact on the environment and on other people. This awareness is reflected in the clothes they wear, which they buy from companies that take their social and environmental responsibilities seriously. This, in turn, is why fashion brands like Tonle, Eileen Fisher, and People Tree are become more popular.
The lesson: find ways to reduce your ecological impact and incorporate fair trade practices into your methodology, then let your customers know about what you’re doing. It’s a great way to have a unique selling point and impress your target audience at the same time.
Prioritizing big data
Historically, fashion has been defined by the handful of people that decide what the society should wear and which direction the industry should go. This gives fashion designers large amounts of power, but it has also caused retailers to end up with high numbers of surplus clothing that have to be sold at a discount.
Many of them are fighting back, though, by focusing on big data and including it in all the decisions they make. As a result, they can streamline their inventories, offer tailored products and services that customers are likely to buy, and eventually increase their operating margin.
Learn more about these fashion industry trends and use them as a guide in improving your business!