As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear – fashion retail has changed forever, with many of the old certainties washed away by fundamentally changing customer needs and behaviours.
It is now well known that lockdowns put consumers through crash course in ‘digital everything’, with more shopping regularly online than ever before - but that shift is just the tip of the iceberg.
For fashion retailers, adapting to the new retail reality is not just about rebalancing the roles of instore and online. The truth is that fashion consumers now shop via a diverse mix of channels – in-store, by mobile, marketplaces and more – and expect outstanding experiences everywhere.
As a result, brands must rapidly acquire the ability to engage consumers wherever they shop – and here, ambitious fashion retailers can find competitive advantage over larger, less nimble competitors.
This new playbook from Remarkable Commerce - Post-pandemic Possibilities: How Ambitious Fashion Retailers Can Find Advantage in a New Retail Reality – explores that changing customer behaviour in detail and sets out how a new breed of ecommerce platform is helping fashion retailers to drive growth by elevating the customer experience across all channels.
Eroding the Big Brand Advantage
In the new reality, fashion shoppers are more digitally curious, more willing to explore and less tied to ‘big brand’ retailers – and that is born out in the numbers.
During the pandemic 33% of consumers tried a different brand, 29% used a different retailer, store or website and 22% tried a new digital shopping method – from mobile to marketplaces – and across all those metrics at least three quarters expect their new shopping behaviour to stick long term.
Advantage from Adversity
All this means that the real challenge is just beginning. Fashion retailers must now adapt at speed to a new reality in which customer experience innovation, efficiency and flexibility will be crucial to success.
The Remarkable Commerce playbook turns conventional wisdom on its head, demonstrating that ambitious, growth-orientated fashion retailers can be best placed to find advantage in adversity:
- Adding technological agility to an organisational flexibility that larger retailers often cannot match.
- Delighting consumers by rapidly deploying digital experiences that engage shoppers everywhere.
- Acquiring the operational adaptability and agility to stay one step ahead,
The catalyst for these post-pandemic possibilities? A new breed of digital commerce platform, for the first time designed for mid-market fashion retailers that have for too long been forced to ‘make do’ with a binary choice between inflexible, lightweight platforms and cost-prohibitive enterprise technology.
Headless+ commerce platforms bring all the flexibility and scope for experience innovation of headless, but with two crucial differences:
- Front accelerator built in: Headless+ combines all the benefits of headless with a pre-integrated, endlessly customisable front end, with data connections to the storefront in place ’out of the box’.
- Dedicated technical resource: Headless+ vendors offer rapid, affordable access to all the technical and developer skills required to power growth through innovation, without adding expensive headcount or working with multiple vendors.
Reaping the Rewards
Forward thinking fashion retailers are already migrating to Headless+ platforms to deliver the mix of convenience, usability and immersive experience that is so crucial in winning in the new fashion retail reality:
- Yours Clothing is blazing a trail, delivering innovative customer experiences - from Endless Aisle to ship from store - that have helped to establish it as the world’s fastest growing plus size retailer.
- Roman Originals is delighting customers with an outstanding mobile shopping experience that has transformed mobile engagement, grown mobile traffic by 5 million in one year and driven an 81% uplift in mobile conversion rates.
- Suit Direct has effortlessly extended its reach via marketplaces, to engage a vast potential audience via a trusted, ‘go-to’ brand like Amazon – and grow marketplace sales by 580% in year two.
- Moss Bros developed and launched its ‘Tailor Me’ 3D suit customiser in a matter of weeks, to bring bespoke tailoring to online users - digital shoppers created 18,000 custom suit designs in three months, and average order values increased by £150.
Accelerate Your Digital Vision
The ability to innovate at pace, to meet customers wherever they shop – and delight them with engaging, slick experiences everywhere – has never been more important.
The good news, however, is that delivering these innovations and more has never been easier for mid-size fashion retailers – drawing on the power and flexibility of cloud-based Headless+ commerce platforms could be the key to finding advantage in adversity and to winning in the new fashion retail reality.
For further information on how Headless + platforms help fashion retailers to innovate at pace to engage customers everywhere, drive efficiency and realise rapid growth, download the report: Post-pandemic Possibilities: How Ambitious Fashion Retailers Can Find Advantage in a New Retail Reality
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