As retailers and fashion brands create so-called seamless shopping experiences for consumers, the relationship with shoppers is also becoming less transactional as people want context and experiential exchanges with the retailers and brands they favor. They also crave explorations, which is stepping up demand for new store concepts.
These were some of the themes discussed in the podcast, “Fashion Retail 20/20: New Concepts and Retailing Trends,” with Euromonitor International’s Bernadette Kissane, an apparel and footwear research analyst. The podcast was done in collaboration with WWD.
“Experiential shopping takes precedence over transactional shopping at the moment,” Kissane noted. As such, stores are assimilating fashion and technology to entice consumers back into the brick-and-mortar. Contemporary fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff employed virtual and augmented reality in her stores, allowing customers to virtually try on clothing. Sports and activewear brand Under Armour integrated in-store technology to help customers gauge their athletic ability. Alternatively, a slew of brick-and-mortar stores have evolved into concept stores and “guide shops” that operate exclusively as showrooms.
Mobile shopping is another critical channel for reaching existing and new customers. European cosmetics chain store Sephora witnessed a 117 percent jump in mobile sales, due to their app that allows shoppers to scan products, which then provides them reviews, access to loyalty points and purchase history.
Emerging areas include rental retail and “consumer-to-consumer” platforms that encourage a “sharing economy.” These consumers favor utilitarianism and potential purchases are determined by the full range of benefits the product offers.