Tier II & III Cities Exhibit Robust Growth Potential for the Fashion Industry
Tier II & III Cities Exhibit Robust Growth Potential for the Fashion Industry

Consumers, not just in the metro cities, but in the interiors of India are adapting to the evolving fashion industry. They are becoming more experimental in their choices because of the flexibility and convenience offered by e-commerce. Tier II and-III cities now stand as priority strategic markets for many fashion retailers and e-commerce platforms. This is primarily because of an increase in disposable income, deeper internet penetration, rising exposure to new age media and influencers, innovative marketing, and technological advancements in these cities. This has also led to an increase in advertisements, technology, digital, and traditional marketing tools by brands to build prominence in these Tier II and-III cities.

Altering Consumer Behavior

The shopping behavior of consumers is evolving in the smaller cities at a brisk pace; they are becoming increasingly aware of the latest fashion brands and trends because of the accessibility and flexibility offered by online shopping. Consumers are willingly scanning their favorite brands online to shop in the comfort of their homes. Fashion e-commerce continues to boom after the pandemic, not only because it provides accessibility and affordability, but also because consumers are growing fond of the hassle-free process of surfing their favorite brands, buying with one click, and availing of fast delivery and easy return facilities.

Additionally, many brands have started introducing specially curated designs and collections to offer uniqueness and cater to the specific demands of the non-metro cities. Amazon Fashion delivers 100 percent serviceable pin codes in India with assured 2-day delivery in more than 200 top cities. We have witnessed an increased penetration and coverage of online shopping from Tier II and-III regions with more than 80 percent of our new shoppers from these markets. In terms of fashion, we have witnessed shoppers from these regions opting for ethnic wear such as Lehenga Cholis, Sarees, Kurta, Sandals, and summer essentials like Shirts, Tops, Sneakers, or Sandals.

In Beauty, customers are preparing for the season with Serums and Day Creams, Face, and Hair Cleansers with rising interest in treatments like oils and masks, and ingredient-based products like Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and more. Within Makeup, we’ve seen increasing demand for face and eye makeup.

Digital Transactions

Cashless payments have witnessed steady growth and acceptance in Tier-II and-III markets, hence driving growth for online shopping and widening the scope for e-commerce to penetrate these geographies to gain a larger share. During the pandemic, nine out of ten Indians preferred digital wallets citing it made ‘shopping easier’ as the main reason. This rapid adoption of digital payments supplemented by rising e-commerce transactions is fueling the payment gateway market growth in India.

Vernacular Languages to Woo Shoppers

To remain relevant in today’s time, e-commerce is providing vernacular services to further push consumers to adopt online shopping and provide a holistic experience to increase consideration and retain consumers from the non-metro cities. Customers can shop on Amazon in 8 languages, including Hindi, English, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and the newly launched Marathi and Bengali. They can read product information, manage their account, make payments, and track their orders in these regional languages.

Influencers are Transforming the Fashion Industry

Social media influencers are immensely impacting the shopping preferences of consumers in Tier II and-III cities. The constant exposure to branded content with a quick CTA (click to action) option has led many consumers to take the online shopping route, in the desire to follow the newest trends and jump on the bandwagon. The reach of rising influencers from these cities has grown enormously in recent years. Regional influencers continue to curate content vital to their distinct and regional style, accumulating a larger following and altering the fashion industry. In India, social commerce shoppers, who account for 53 percent of total online shoppers, are expected to reach 228 million at the end of 2022, a 45 percent increase from the current consumer base, as consumers are exploring new ways of shopping for products online through social media apps. With growing programs like the Fashion Influencer Program, Live Shopping feature, and more, Amazon has been partnering with creators to cater to both the information and product needs of these customers.

Steadily Shifting Dynamics

With shifting market dynamics and the increasing popularity of online purchasing, the fashion e-commerce marketplace has grown more adaptable in engaging with Tier II and-III cities that provide considerable prospects with increasing competition, cutting edge technology, and improving marketing and digital spending in non-metro cities. The fashion industry has become more customer-oriented as opposed to being purely business-focused, since tailoring consumer experiences and letting customers lead, their own way is seen as the way forward.

(To know more about what is happening in the retail, D2C, and e-commerce industry, please attend IReC.)  

 
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Top 15 Technology Trends Reshaping Fashion Retail in 2024: Dress for the Future
Top 15 Technology Trends Reshaping Fashion Retail in 2024: Dress for the Future
 

The fashion industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, with technology weaving its way into every aspect of retail, from design and production to marketing and customer experience. As we step into 2024, the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, presenting exciting opportunities for both established brands and emerging players. To stay ahead of the curve, understanding the key technology trends reshaping fashion retail is crucial.

This article dives deep into the top 15 trends that will have a significant impact in the coming year, providing insights and examples to help you leverage them for success. Whether you're a fashion designer, retailer, or simply an avid consumer, buckle up for a journey into the future of fashion.

1. Immersive Shopping Experiences:

Gone are the days of static images and basic product descriptions. Consumers crave engaging and interactive experiences, and technology is delivering. Here are the key drivers:

  • Augmented Reality (AR): Imagine virtually trying on clothes before buying them. AR superimposes digital clothing models onto users, allowing them to see how garments fit and look on their specific body type. This reduces returns and boosts customer satisfaction. (Source: The AR/VR Headset Market is Expected to Reach $20.4 Billion by 2024, Statista)
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Take things a step further by stepping into immersive, 3D virtual showrooms. Brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Tommy Hilfiger are already offering VR experiences, allowing customers to explore collections and interact with products in a realistic setting.
  • 3D Product Visualization: High-quality 3D models give a detailed view of products from all angles, zoom levels, and even in different lighting conditions. This enhances online shopping experiences and increases conversion rates. (Source: 3D Modeling Market to Reach $3.8 Billion by 2027, 3D Printing Industry)

2. Personalization at its Peak:

One-size-fits-all is a relic of the past. Consumers expect personalized experiences, and technology is making it possible:

  • AI-powered Recommendations: Leverage customer data and purchase history to suggest relevant products, predict styles they'll love, and offer personalized styling advice. (Source: 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer personalized experiences, Epsilon)
  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: These AI-powered tools provide real-time customer support, answer product inquiries, and offer personalized recommendations, 24/7.
  • Dynamic Content: Showcasing products and offers tailored to individual preferences based on demographics, browsing behavior, and past purchases creates a more relevant and engaging experience.

3. Livestream Shopping Takes Center Stage:

Livestream shopping blends entertainment and real-time commerce, allowing brands to connect with audiences directly and generate instant sales. Expect to see:

  • Interactive Livestreaming: Viewers can ask questions, interact with hosts, and purchase products in real-time, creating a dynamic and engaging shopping experience.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Partnering with relevant influencers for livestream shopping events leverages their audience trust and drives sales.
  • Shoppable Livestreams: Products featured in the livestream are tagged and instantly purchasable, removing friction from the buying journey.

4. Omnichannel Integration Seamlessly Blends Online and Offline:

The lines between physical and digital retail are blurring. Here's how:

  • Click-and-Collect: Customers order online and pick up in-store, offering convenience and flexibility.
  • Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS): Allow customers to return online purchases to physical stores for added convenience.
  • Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS): Empower store associates with mobile devices to assist customers anywhere on the shop floor, enhancing the in-store experience.

5. Sustainability Takes Center Stage:

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of fashion. Technology is helping brands become more sustainable:

  • Transparency through Blockchain: Blockchain technology enables tracking the origin and journey of materials, ensuring ethical sourcing and responsible production.
  • Sustainable Materials and Production Processes: Utilizing recycled materials, organic fibers, and low-impact dyeing techniques is becoming increasingly important.
  • Circular Economy Initiatives: Resale platforms and rental services encourage clothing reuse and extend the life cycle of garments.

6. Voice Commerce Emerges as a Powerful Tool:

Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are changing how we interact with technology, and fashion is no exception. Expect to see:

  • Voice-activated Shopping: Purchase clothes hands-free using voice commands, ideal for multitasking or busy consumers.
  • Product Information and Reviews: Ask voice assistants for product details, size recommendations, and customer reviews for informed decision-making.

7. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Streamlines Operations:

AI is automating tasks and boosting efficiency across the fashion value chain:

  • Demand Forecasting: AI algorithms analyze sales data and trends to predict future demand, optimizing inventory management and reducing stockouts.
  • Automated Design and Production: AI can generate design ideas, personalize patterns, and even optimize production processes.
  • Fraud Detection and Prevention: AI helps identify and prevent fraudulent transactions, protecting both brands and customers.

8. The Rise of Social Commerce:

Social media platforms are evolving into powerful shopping destinations:

  • Shoppable Posts and Stories: Allow customers to purchase products directly through social media posts, eliminating the need to switch platforms.
  • Social Proof and Influencer Marketing: Leverage user-generated content and influencer partnerships to build trust and drive sales.
  • Social Gifting: Social media platforms are introducing gifting features, making it easier to purchase and send fashion items to friends and family.

9. The Metaverse Beckons:

The metaverse, a virtual world where people can interact, shop, and socialize, is still in its early stages, but fashion brands are already experimenting.

  • Virtual Fashion: Design and sell digital clothing items specifically for avatars within the metaverse.
  • Virtual Showrooms and Experiences: Create immersive virtual spaces where customers can explore collections and interact with brands.
  • NFTs and Digital Ownership: Offer unique, limited-edition digital fashion items secured through NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

10. Data-Driven Decision Making:

Data is king, and fashion brands are leveraging it to gain insights and make informed decisions:

  • Customer Analytics: Analyze customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history to understand their needs and personalize offerings.
  • Marketing Attribution: Measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across different channels and optimize advertising spend.
  • Trend Forecasting: Identify emerging trends and styles based on social media data, search trends, and sales patterns.

11. Robotics and Automation Take Over Repetitive Tasks:

Robots are taking over repetitive tasks in warehouses and factories, improving efficiency and accuracy:

  • Automated Picking and Packing: Robots can speed up order fulfillment and reduce errors.
  • Quality Control and Inspection: Robots can inspect garments for defects with greater precision than humans.
  • Automated Customer Service: Chatbots powered by AI can handle basic customer inquiries, freeing up human agents for complex issues.

12. The Power of Community and Co-Creation:

Brands are building stronger relationships with customers by fostering a sense of community and co-creation:

  • User-Generated Content (UGC) Campaigns: Encourage customers to share photos and videos wearing your clothes, leveraging their authenticity and reach.
  • Crowdfunding and Collaborative Design: Allow customers to contribute to product design and development through crowdfunding platforms.
  • Loyalty Programs and Exclusive Experiences: Reward loyal customers with exclusive access to products, events, and experiences.

13. Cybersecurity Becomes Paramount:

As technology advancements create new opportunities, cybersecurity threats also evolve. Brands need robust security measures:

  • Data Protection: Implement strong data encryption and access controls to protect customer information.
  • Payment Security: Ensure secure payment gateways and transaction processing to prevent fraud.
  • Cybersecurity Awareness and Training: Educate employees about cybersecurity best practices to minimize risks.

14. The Future of Retail is Phygital:

The physical and digital worlds will converge further, creating seamless and engaging experiences.

  • Interactive In-Store Displays: Interactive displays with AR features and product information enrich the shopping experience.
  • Personalized In-Store Recommendations: Utilize customer data to offer personalized product recommendations while they shop in-store.
  • Frictionless Checkout: Implement self-checkout options and mobile payment solutions for faster and more convenient transactions.

15. Continuous Innovation is Key:

The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve requires embracing continuous innovation. Here are some key strategies:

  • Invest in Research and Development: Allocate resources to explore emerging technologies and experiment with new solutions.
  • Partner with Tech Companies: Collaborate with technology providers to develop innovative solutions and access expertise.
  • Adopt an Agile Mindset: Be open to change, experiment quickly, and learn from failures to continuously improve.

By embracing these top 15 technology trends, fashion brands can unlock new opportunities, enhance customer experiences, and thrive in the ever-evolving retail landscape. Remember, this is just the beginning. The future of fashion is brimming with possibilities, and those who embrace technology will be the ones shaping it.

 

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