In the same way that digitalization has had an impact on fashion consumption with the creation of new sales channels, the Internet and new technologies have also introduced new ways to approach the sector.
Digitization came to the sector to stay. Throughout the year, MDS will publish a series of
reports sponsored by Facebook that will analyse how several technological transformations have generated new ways of operating fashion companies and, especially, new ways of interacting with the consumer in the new omnichannel environment, where technologies such as Internet, mobile phones, the Internet of things, social networks or big data come into play.
From Vogue to Chiara Ferragni. Digitalization has changed not only the way that fashion is ditsributed and multiplied the channels for interaction between the client and the brand, but also it has entailed a revolution when it comes to communication and, therefore, the way in which consumers approach the sector. If magazines were before the Internet the great prescribers of trends, the power of influence has multiplied and spread today through blogs and social networks.
Influencers are the new elite of the sector, with publications on the Internet than exceed in views the issues sold of specialized magazines such as Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. The industry has realized the ability of these new players to create community and become opinion leaders. “Fashion on the Net generates an accelerated speech that transforms the way to consume and experiment fashion,” explains Encarna Ruíz, professor at Esdi.
“Fashion on the Internet generates an accelerated speech that transforms the way to approach the sector,” says Encarna Ruíz.
With digitalization, fashion companies have been able to expand their presence and conquer new audiences, which until now were more difficult to reach. “Influencers are at the epicentre of this change,” points out Alison Bringé, director of Launchmetrics. “This way, the groups in the sector are
able to show their products in a way that costed thousands of dollars before,” adds.
Besides, brands have also realized the importance of generating their own content to seduce today’s costumers. “Technology and digitalization in the fashion sector have increased the speed in which such content is demanded,” explains Bringé. “This change stimulated the brands to also share their own content constantly in order to interact in a different way with the consumer,” continues.
“The more content, the more online sales,” explains Pablo Foncillas, professor at Iese. “To sell online the key is not to talk about your product, but about everything you can do around it,” adds the expert.
“Thanks to technology, the way to approach fashion is more personalized,” continues Foncillas. “Consumers can choose who to follow according to their style,” says. “It is not about excluding, but including, talking several languages to be understood by all kinds of consumers,” concludes.
80% of the conversation on the Internet about fashion is positive
The change in the consumer drives the influencer phenomenon
The change of direction in the consumer’s way of behaving is the first piece that the industry must face in the new game board. The mobile phone has become a new limb: 39% of people between 18 and 29 admit being constantly connected, according to the report The hyper-speedy consumer, by Wgsn.
Most of the time spent on the Internet is browsing social networks, where they follow and have contact with several influencers. Therefore, purchasing decisions are now materialized in social networks before entering the points of sale or e-commerce platforms to see the product, states the document.
According to the report The state of social networks in 2018, prepared by Brandwatch, 80% of the conversations in social networks about fashion industry are positive comments, and 98.8% of them are generated by the audience instead of the brands. “The use of social networks is not a trend, but a demonstration of the way the current consumer behaves,” adds Ruíz.
After the arrival of new prescribers, new metrics have been developed to measure its impact
“Fashion is now on the Internet and there is no need to go out to the street,” Ruiz explains. “Nine out of ten Instagram users follow an influencer, and brands take advantage of it,” continues. This is linked to the increase of sales through mobile, one of the channels where online sales are growing the most.
At the service of marketing and big data
With the arrival of new prescribers in the fashion industry with a better ability to convince and seduce wider audiences, new metrics have been developed with the objective to quantitatively collect the effectiveness of these players in the sector.
33.3% of the brands in the fashion industry admit that the relationship between the sales of a product and the corresponding advertising campaign with an influencer is effective, according to the report Influencers Marketing report 2018, by Launchmetrics. And the same percentage of companies also admit the increase of the consumer’s engagement.
Knowledge about the impact of the activity of influencers has led brands to adopt these industry players to collect data and implement new strategies to their business, and there are even companies that are developing new formulas to enter the market.
The technological giants are prepared to capitalize on this trend in the short term thanks to the use of big data and investment in innovation. Small companies, on the other hand, will be able to join this trend by replicating the formula of the big ones or specializing in a specific niche or service, according to 2018 Global Consumer Insights Survey, prepared by PwC.