The fashion industry is completely dependent on the needs of the customers. In a world where trends can change in the blink of an eye (and brands are meant to be able to keep up), companies need to have the tools to stay ahead. With buying decisions based on a number of things, all factors need to be considered.
Being out of touch with your customers can lead to lackluster insight, loss of opportunity, and little to no growth. That’s where technology can help. By constantly gathering and analyzing customer information, brands can stay ahead of the trends.
Here’s how technology can help fashion brands get closer to their customers:
- Drive agility: New fashion brands are springing up every single day. Trends change with a single post from the top influencers. Clearly, the need for speed is crucial. Brands today constantly strive to understand trends and customer preferences and tweak their strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
Being nimble enough to serve the changing needs of the customers is crucial to make the most out of market opportunities as they emerge, but brands can struggle to get their products to their customers. A typical go-to-market plan involves multiple processes across numerous locations and teams. Technology can help brands drive more agile manufacturing and supply chain operations. Analytics, for example, can enable brands to enhance product tracking and traceability, improve product flow management, optimize inventory levels, and manage warehouses with higher accuracy. Enhanced efficiency can help brands maintain the optimal levels of inventory and bring the right products into the market at the right time.
- Identify trends: Fashion trends come and go so quickly that there is no way to accurately predict what will come next. While some trends stay relevant across multiple seasons, many die off after a short run to be replaced by something completely different.
However, the sooner a fashion trend is spotted, the better it is for a fashion business. Brands have multiple tools at their disposal to do just this. Getting this insight early helps them incorporate the required changes into their product lines. Technologies such as AI, machine learning, and analytics can examine data across multiple relevant platforms to focus in on the trends that are about to emerge. For example, brands can apply analytics to the data collected from social media. They can keep an eye on what posts are gaining traction, what the influencers are promoting, and what is being shared. This data can help in uncovering potential trends.
- Understand Consumer Behavior: Imagine if you could know in advance what a customer will buy even before they visit your website or store. There are dozens of factors that influence consumer behavior and technology has the ability to simplify those variables.
In fact, technology can help brands understand their customer’s needs before they realize it themselves. Using platforms such as Google Keyword Planner, brands can not only analyze historical data/searches, but also predict future needs.
- Enable personalization: In the new customer-centric era, customers prefer brands that offer a great degree of personalization.
Modern technology allows brands to personalize the customer experience. Using machine learning and AI-powered software, brands can deliver targeted product recommendations to their customers. By monitoring what products resonate with consumers, brands can customize the shopping experience by customer. For example, if a company tracks that a buyer has been looking at a certain silhouette of a garment, the website can then recommend similar styles that match what they’ve been looking at. This level of personalization not only drives user retention, but allows the consumer to feel as if the shopping experience was tailored just for them.
- Create experiential stores: Today, customer experience is king. The modern consumer invests in experiences rather than just the products.
Today’s customers want more than just the traditional shopping experience. They choose to shop at your store to enjoy an immersive retail experience that establishes a connection to the brand’s mission. Using technology such as AR and VR, brands can now mix shopping with entertainment. They can provide customers with an interactive and fulfilling in-store experience through greater engagement. Brands can use AR and VR to allow shoppers to try different products, give a sneak peek into their upcoming line or even suggest new styles based on what they know of the customers.
- Improve customer service: At the heart of any brand’s success is having great customer service. Customer loyalty can be solidified if a brand’s service exceeds expectations.
With thousands of brands to choose from, it is imperative to be responsive to all of your customers’ needs. Companies need to be able to respond immediately to customer questions, complaints, and inquiries. Technologies like AI can power how brands are able to respond to their consumers. AI-powered chatbots allows customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues while the chatbots can handle the most frequently asked questions. Chatbots can not only provide multiple customers with answers instantly, but can also anticipate their needs. This intelligence will enable brands to tailor their processes to best serve them and improve loyalty.
To sum it up, brands must partner with reliable, forward-thinking, and data-driven manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in order to achieve success in today’s market. With thousands of competitors, having the right tools at your disposal will be what sets your brand apart from the rest. Partnering with a company, such as Suuchi Inc., allows your brand to stay lean, react quickly to market trends and focus primarily on innovation and your customer’s needs.