With so many industries impacted by the unprecedented circumstances, the fashion industry has also borne the brunt of the pandemic. Most fashion brands have adapted by optimizing their e-commerce efforts since a majority of consumers choose to shop online from the safety and comfort of their homes.
In keeping with this shift, brands too are accelerating their online presence as they aim to emerge stronger than before and reach more customers than ever before.
“When the lockdown began again this year, customers put a hold on their discretionary expenses, but with the nation unlocking gradually, we foresee the market moving at a faster pace. The Covid-19 Wave 1 brought a myriad of changes within the industry and with Wave 2, e-commerce has taken on an increasingly important role in our lives. Today, as a large part of the population stays indoors, there is little desire to wear formal clothing, but demand for comfort wear and work-from-home clothing and footwear has seen a stark increase,” says Saurabh Srivastava, Director & Head – Amazon Fashion India.
The shift in Consumer Buying Patterns
In recent times, there has been a continuous shift in consumer buying patterns and shopping habits.
“Fashion styles like athleisure and relaxed casual wear have gained momentum over the past year. Transitional attire that seamlessly ‘transition’ across seasons and occasions remains the focal point of Fashion as individuals are opting for easy and breathable styles. With respect to beauty, while the eye category saw maximum acceleration, the lips category is slowly picking up pace with the demand for transfer-proof and matte lipsticks growing. The focus on professional skincare and haircare products has also multiplied,” he asserts.
Presently, Amazon Fashion is witnessing a growing demand for products like women’s western wear, athleisure, comfort wear (T-shirts, shorts, track pants and athleisure in general), and fashion jewelry among Gen Z customer base, while sportswear, ethnic, kids apparel, women’s shoes are more favoured by millennials. Also, comfort wear also saw a massive spike in the past year.
“We observed an increased demand for maternity wear and newborn apparel as well (rompers and clothing sets). For Beauty, the eyes categories have seen the maximum acceleration. We have observed customers experimenting with DIYs and using professional beauty products. Customers are now veering towards transfer-proof and matte make-up products, cognizant of the usage of face masks,” he states.
Technology: Personalizing Shopping Experience for Consumers
Since consumers have been sheltered in the safety of their homes for a long period of time, fashion brands aim to make their shopping experience seamless and personalized by providing virtual guidance and using the power of technology.
“Amazon Fashion has launched a variety of initiatives on the platform over time, helping customers across India including Tier II and III markets make the right decisions while shopping. There are brand-specific size charts, multiple-angle product imagery, and videos, and technological features such as Outfit Builder, Style Snap, Brand Logo Farm, and Virtual Try-On. This is in addition to a no-hassle return policy for fashion products that will ensure that the customers do not risk choosing the wrong size or the wrong fit,” Srivastava shares.
“To cater to individual needs and further enhance the shopping journey of customers, we have launched specially curated storefronts like The Mask Store, Designer Boutique, Monsoon Beauty Store, duty-free Wanderlust store, and Yoga Store among others, offering them an easy and exciting browsing experience,” he further adds.
What Does The Future Hold?
With the advent of the ‘video conference call’ culture, arose the need for smart waist-up fashion and it is here to stay even as the country gradually unlocks.
“The pandemic has also brought back the idea of ‘no rules’ in the fashion space, giving the industry an opportunity to explore multifunctional values of clothing. The previous year witnessed a growing fondness for sustainable fashion, leading to sustainability holding a solid grasp over the fashion industry. Customers are also keeping themselves engaged at home through self-pampering, spending time on grooming, and experimenting with make-up. The beauty industry has seen the emergence of the demand for joyful colors, clean beauty, and professional hairstyling products along with the revival of make-up. These beauty trends are bound to grow as we advance towards the next year,” he asserts.
Wardrobe Refresh Sale
Keeping the trends in mind, Amazon Fashion is back with the 9th edition of the Wardrobe Refresh Sale (WRS) - starting from June 19 until June 23 - which will showcase the trendiest styles of the season to the customers. The upcoming sale will offer deals across 1,000+ top fashion brands and 40K+ styles from top brands like Levi’s, Adidas, Hopscotch, BIBA, and GIVA, among others, along with 12Lac+ beauty products and 10K+ luxury beauty selections from top brands like Lakme, Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Kama Ayurveda, and PacoRabanne, among others, to meet the unique demands of customers across markets.
“During our key events like the Wardrobe Refresh Sale, there is a demand across all categories. However, we witness fashion categories like formal wear, western wear, sportswear, and smartwatches, in addition to athleisure wear and comfort wear perform increasingly well for both men and women. Since last year, we have also observed higher growth across the kidswear category. For beauty, we generally see skincare, haircare, make-up, and perfumes growing in popularity,” he concludes.