Competing in the always-on fashion clothing environment
The growing prevalence of digital technologies in everyday life is fundamentally changing how consumers everywhere behave. Equipped with smart phones, tablets and high-speed connections, consumers today enjoy 24-hour access to a digital marketplace unrestricted by borders and, above all, eager to win their business. All too aware of the competing offers online, digital-savvy consumers comparison-shop until they find precisely what they want at the most attractive price.
An all-new approach to fashion supply chain management
This collective change in purchasing behavior is in turn transforming the business practices of fashion brands and distributors worldwide. Continuous understanding of consumer needs and the technological capabilities required to meet those needs is essential to serving the new, digitally discerning consumer. At the same time, the emergence of automation technology and data exchange in manufacturing is helping to accelerate processes on the supply side. In the same way that brands are investigating opportunities to engage differently with consumers, the Industrial Internet is helping the entire supplier ecosystem to re-think the way it works.
Transforming the way supply chain players connect, communicate and collaborate, powerful new business solutions are accelerating the flow of information and facilitating management of large volumes of data. This industry-wide acceleration of business processes is opening the way to agile new approaches to developing and distributing fashion clothing, including on-demand production.
On the supply side, new technologies are facilitating online business and supporting more seamless collaboration among suppply chain players. But while digital technologies are enabling new forms of consumer-brand communication and deeper consumer intelligence, consumer loyalty itself is rapidly weakening. Connected consumers are basing their purchasing decisions not on brand loyalty but on their personal priorities—value for money, fast or same-day delivery, and unique designs that reflect their individual style. This shift in brand-consumer power dynamics means consumers now command the marketplace, driven largely by their quest for a satisfying customer experience. For established brands seeking to stay apace of these changes in consumer behavior, it is important that they shift their focus to more customer-centric practices enabled by Industry 4.0 principles.