Fashion Retail: Inching Towards Normalcy

Fashion styles like athleisure and relaxed casual wear gained momentum and formed a very important part of the COVID recovery trend, taking precedence over almost everything.
Fashion Retail: Inching Towards Normalcy

2020 was a year that changed the way we live. While the speed of the Coronavirus spread affected every sector and business, it also brought us all closer virtually. Within the Indian landscape, a large part of the population stayed indoors with little desire to wear formal clothing, and the demand for comfort wear or work from home wear saw a stark increase.
    
After several months of lockdown, as the country slowly resumed to the routine life, a lifestyle shift was seen in customer’s buying pattern and shift in shopping habits, as they slowly started broadening the definition of ‘essentials’. The sudden disruption in normalcy brought about the emergence of e-commerce as an essential service with customers depending on e-commerce platforms to fulfill their daily needs safely. 

In terms of fashion, people found many ways to adjust to the new normal and the love for comfort wear soared high. Fashion styles like athleisure and relaxed casual wear gained momentum and formed a very important part of the COVID recovery trend, taking precedence over almost everything. Transitional attire came to be the focal point of fashion as individuals opted for easy and breathable styles, making it a seamless closet choice for most. The urban fashion trends combined with active wear started to gain preference over seasonal lifestyle trends. While this tendency resided well within the fashion sector, it escalated exponentially amidst the customers during the pandemic. 

The Connected Culture and Waist Up Fashion 

Evolving circumstances led to the revision of priorities and work from home became the new normal. The advent of the ‘video conference call’ culture, arose the need for smart waist-up fashion as being seen on video became an important element of conference call etiquette. The pandemic brought back the idea of ‘no rules’ in the fashion space, giving the industry an opportunity to explore multifunctional values of clothing. 

The sheer number in which consumers have diverted their preference towards sustainability is also quite impressive. The previous year witnessed a growing fondness for sustainable fashion, leading to sustainability holding a solid grasp over the fashion industry. 

High Adoption of Online Shopping Among Customers in Tier II-III Cities 

As restrictions were further lifted on the movement of individuals, many customers shifted to Tier II and III cities bringing their habit of online shopping with them. The trend of seeking for digital solutions, as a reliable source for shopping with utmost safety was habituated amongst these individuals. This led to the e-commerce sector witnessing the greatest shift to online shopping across varied cities.

Individuals preferred to shop in a manner that was convenient, safe, and hygienic and the e-commerce space met these requirements. Products like men’s shirts and women’s salwar kameez were in demand as opposed to kurtas, kurtis and sarees. 

Today, with most restrictions being lifted and the new normal becoming a way of life, even with the resuscitation of physical shopping experiences, the demand for trendy online fashion only grows stronger. At Amazon Fashion, our aim has been to consistently to ensure that we provide convenience, widest selection, affordability, maximum reach, timely delivery, and value for money to our customers regardless of the occasion.

Today, the fashion category is driving the next phase of growth for e-commerce in India, especially in tier II and tier III cities, where the tech-savvy generation is slowly catching up with their urban counterparts. This has led to a wider customer base for e-commerce platforms.

Technology Support to Offer the Right Shopping Experience and Access To All 

Fashion has emerged as a popular choice amongst new customers due to low entry price points and rising popularity of social commerce.

While e-commerce platforms and brands alike have undertaken several innovations to help the customers make the right shopping choices, lifestyle bloggers and celebrity influencers too play a major role in this.

In addition to this, the option of conveniently shopping in preferred languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Kannada and now Marathi, has helped further ramp up demand and build trust amongst customers on Amazon.in

We have also launched a variety of initiatives on our platform over the time that helps customers make the right decisions while shopping. There are brand-specific size charts, multiple-angle product imagery and videos, and the newly launched feature, ‘style snap’, an image-based search tool that allows customers to upload an image and get recommendation of products similar to the ones found in the image. This is an addition to a no hassle return policy for fashion products which will make sure that the customers don’t risk choosing the wrong size or the wrong fit. 

Besides this, Amazon Fashion has undertaken several innovations to enhance the shopping journey of customers, with the launch of topical storefronts like The Mask store, Spring-Summer’21 store and The Wanderlust store and more, further offering them the best experience. 

Given the variety of restrictions and the need for safety, we have implemented close to 100 changes in our operational processes across our fulfilment and delivery network, including social distancing and daily temperature checks, increased frequency of cleaning, regular disinfectant spraying within the sites and have mandated all associates to wear a face covering at the site or while making customer deliveries.

We continue to expand our value fashion portfolio offering trending styles at affordable price points from brands like Easybuy, Max fashion, Globus, Honey by Pantaloons amongst others. We also have a wide portfolio of designer brands like RIVER*, Satya Paul, Ritu Kumar, Payal Singhal, to name a few.  

As we slowly move towards normalcy, it is essential for decision makers and brands alike to look out for hopeful prospects. Fashion companies undertaking new strategies in alignment with the current consumer trends and landscape, will likely emerge stronger than before and be ready to take on the challenges that come in with new opportunities and thrive in the next normal.  

*River is an affordable, multi-designer brand created in partnership between Amazon Fashion and some of India’s most celebrated designers. It was launched in October 2020 with carefully curated lines from leading designers like Ashish Soni (The Millennial Man), Suneet Varma (Garden of Eden), JJ Valaya (Royal Sport) and Manish Arora (Disco Gypsy) at a price range of Rs 999 to 9,999.

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