Although technology took a while to break into the fashion sector, it is now omni-present. The arrival of the Internet, smartphones and the development of digitalized spaces have ensured that consumers are ever more connected. Fashion Network journalist, Matthieu Guinebault, offers a closer look at these innovations.
The changing face of retail: focus on new technologies
The digital area
Long viewed as a fashion phenomenon, Internet is no longer an optional extra. Although apparel shopping is very personal, consumers are increasingly interested in solutions that enable them to buy directly online. The success of mobile apps and voice assistants, like Alexa and Google Home, have reinforced this enthusiasm for quick and easy purchasing.
Another technological domain, logistics, is adapting to new applications and usage. Services offered by Jd.com include delivering packages directly to isolated villages. Drones and unmanned delivery vehicles are also being launched. Manufacturers are going even further and investing in autonomous vehicles which can transformed into mobile collection points or pop-up shops: a new and original form of retail.
Retail professionals understand that innovative technologies are popular with consumers. Zara, for example, is using augmented reality to showcase clothing on life-sized models in windows and store displays. Ebay has opted for virtual reality to offer users a totally immersive experience thanks to its cyber product space.
Change-makers in the textile industry: Ma P’tite Culotte, Gang of Earlybirds and Galeries Lafayette
In an apparel industry dealing with struggling sales, which have fallen by 3%, renewal is key. Technologies have failed to keep up with changes in consumer behaviour. We need to think differently and update current models.
Using transparency for success
Charline Goutal, founder of Ma P’tite Culotte, is shaking up established lingerie codes with a versatile range that is both comfortable and sexy. Launched five years ago, her brand’s e-shop and concept store generate several million euros using digital channels. However, this strategy is now threatened by competition from leading brands who are moving into digital purchasing. Charline Goutal views transparency as the ideal way to reassure consumers.
Stand out to win customers
The Gang of Earlybirds concept store was launched three years ago to make life easier for discerning fashion shoppers. Digital options and social networks encourage women who are interested in fashion to expand their horizons. Fanny Airault, the store’s founder, aims to make international products accessible and has built her store’s reputation on tracking down exclusive designs from high-quality, timeless brands.
Is fashion becoming more responsible?
Galeries Lafayette is taking an increasing interest in sustainable development with its Go for Good movement launched last September. This initiative promotes more responsible fashion. Hugely popular in the last few years, French-made products are sought by an increasing number of customers who want to make more thoughtful and ethical purchases, as highlighted by Damien Pellé, Sustainable Development Director for Galeries Lafayette.
Exclusive Encounters x Fashion Network – Matthieu Guinebault, journalist
Retail Talks: Charline Goutal, Ma P’tite Culotte ; Fanny Airault, Gang of Earlybirds and Damien Pellé, Sustainable Development Director for BHV and Galeries Lafayette Go For Good
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