E-commerce has dramatically transformed the traditional fashion industry model. Historically, brands worked to secure contracts with large, national retailers who largely determined their fate. However, the Internet age has given rise to the concept of the digital storefront; allowing companies to sell directly to consumers. By utilizing online stores, numerous brands have been able to establish a foothold in the industry “on their own” – eliminating the middle-man in many cases and often shortening the path to profitability and success.
Crowdfunding platforms have added another dimension to this new business model, allowing companies with few funds or resources to launch an idea and generate capital with just a few clicks.
Merging the Offline and Online Experience Through Showcasing
Abandoned shopping malls that once held crowds of bustling shoppers provide dramatic evidence that the brick and mortar retail business model is being replaced. But at the same time that online shopping is signaling the demise of traditional retail, some brands recognize the continued value of offering some form of a storefront where customers can touch, feel and try on their product for size, even if they will ultimately purchase it online. This practice, known as “show-rooming,” has broad appeal across the fashion industry. However, not every company has the resources to maintain a physical space.
Recognizing the value in complementing the online shopping experience with a physical, tangible shopping experience, smaller brands have started “showcasing” their products at industry tradeshows or in other shared venues and spaces. Through showcasing, companies with online stores but no physical storefront can still provide consumers with the opportunity to experience their products by offering a couple of racks of apparel and a limited number of employees on a temporary basis.
Technology, Customization, and Convenience
Today’s society values instant gratification and personalization. This is evidenced in the plethora of on-demand offerings and customized recommendations available at consumers’ fingertips. From streaming services to online shopping platforms, it seems everything is available now and just how you want it. Technology allows for these conveniences, and will further enhance the consumer’s experience and capabilities through AI, as well as innovations such as mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).
At Gerber Technology, we utilize innovative solutions, such as digital textile printing, to provide clients with the potential for unlimited creativity, greater flexibility, and faster time-to-market.
An Innovative and Proven Leader in Fashion and Apparel
Since we first automated the fashion and apparel industry 50 years ago, Gerber Technology’s dynamic solutions have helped the world’s leading apparel brands and manufacturers maximize quality and profitability, and improve operational efficiencies.