Too tight. Too loose. Too small. Too big. Uncomfortable. Longer straps, ugly marks. No pain, no gain. This is the perfect illustration to describe the big frustration during the customer journey of many women pursuing the dream bra. Spending hours in a fitting room fitted and measured by a stranger to end up empty-handed. However, this annoying reality can be a matter of the past.
The fashion branch is especially innovative when it comes to new developments in e-commerce. Curated shopping had been received well by customers. Shops like Zalando have now taken on this trend. In this case, the customer gets suggestions for a complete outfit on the basis of preferences they provide. The fashion branch is trying to declare war on high return rates with other features, such as interactive fitting rooms. Handelkraft regularly reports on current developments and interesting projects in the area of fashion.
Many voices anticipate the burial of brick and mortar stores however, it seems they will have the chance to retrain into something else taking advantage of their strengths to survive, coordinating together with digital solutions to offer experiences instead of only products and services.
The world is already digital, e-commerce and online shops are breaking their current horizons, transforming business models, changing drastically the role of every agent involved in the business process and creating new concepts.
For example, shoppers are changing their behaviour because of the free use of smartphones and similar devices. Today people, especially millennials, check their phone at the store, comparing prices and features in the competition. Others prefer to go to the store, try and touch the products they are interested in and afterwards order online.
What makes Zalando so exciting? That they keep finding and inspiring investors without ever showing any profit? No. It is exciting to see how they have developed a feel for the internet which you rarely find outside of the usual US digital giants.
The Power of the Platform
Zalando has understood that in the future, having a platform will be decisive. Infrastructure, not traders will be a big topic. In the face of the digital changeover, who wants to lay all their eggs in one basket?
E-Commerce is is moving the fashion world to news ways of thinking – and vice versa. You feel this in the way fashion topics often outweigh everything else at innovation oriented conferences.
E-Commce has long been more than just a sales channel; it offers fashion retailers and brands new opportunities to present themselves. From a customer perspective, online shops have transformed from a more comfortable catelogue order and way to cover your needs to source of inspiration.
Recently, development has been taking the next steps: fashion traders are increasingly bringing everyone involved in the fashion world together on their platforms. Brands, trendsetters and customers make a fashion lifestyle a shared, tangible experience.
Nothing works without fashion bloggers, photos from the crowd, and social media platforms like Instagram and Interest anymore.
And while shoe veteran Deichmann has already brought the third blogger collection to the market, Zalano is waking up and opening up to the crowd: with Style In Real Life, they’re giving the “model” next door an immediate platform. The buy button is hot on its heels.
Apple’s products have always been pretty, that is just as it should be. But the tech-company’s current aspirations take this to the next level: Apple is kind of becoming a fashion label.
I realised this watching this video: fashion reporter talks with Management Consultant Mimma Viglezio about the future of the luxury segment in e-commerce and why things still haven’t got going there:
The Otto group clean up continues: as was announced in yesterday’s customer newsletter, 3suisses is closing operations in Germany after all. The distributers of French fashion have been going badly for a while now. Over the past year, the Otto group, which has had up to 51 percent of the company since 1981, made a take-over offer to stop the downward spiral.
The company take over bore fruit: e-commerce and service companies of the enterprise group have belonged to Otto since January 2014. They take part in the usual activities from the area of financial services, real estate, and B2B trade. It seems that nothing came of the recue plans, and 3SUISSES left the German market on the 30.06.2014.
One of the online fashion industries problem zones is the rate of returns. Doesn’t fit, don’t like it, looks different from the picture – in order to save time and nerves, and to raise the hit rate, customers often order the same piece of clothing in multiple sizes. The rest is then sent back, or even all of it, if it isn’t liked. No one wins here, it costs the retailers and the extra effort does not make the customer happy. Zalando is the most obvious example of the problem of returns.
In the past, the mail order business had already heightened the attractiveness of their online shop through customer service, better descriptions, photos, and sometime also with videos and customer reviews. However, this didn’t do much about the basic problem.
Where have all the teenagers gone? This was how the New York Times headlined recently. It is high time to focus on the young target groups. How are young people shopping? Why are American retailers struggling at the moment and what is the situation with developments in Germany?
Germany’s ‘Dressing Men Well’ – Three start-ups took in the lead in this mission in 2012: Modemeister, Modomoto and Outfittery. Now it is all over for Modemeister; the site is closed. This step is not entirely surprising; with three competitors, the start-up idea was overcrowded from the beginning. Further competition came in 2013 with 8select (for business) and Kisura (for women).
Admittedly, 8select is the runt of the curated shopping providers. It also is currently difficult not to disappear in the shadow of Outfittery, who have millions in funding, shine with a TV spot and who brought home the prize for “Leader in the Digital Age” at the CeBit 2014.
How to survive? Be just as fast paced. Hone the concept, before Outfittery goes in the direction of the mass market. Because even if the Berlinians have the media buzz on their side at the moment, I find the innovations at 8select more interesting.