Digital innovation and a return to physical shopping: the rebirth of Fashion

Fashion brands are starting to get back on their feet. As always, digital approaches will play a central part; a new trend, however, is sweeping across the industry: the return to physical shopping experiences.

It has been a difficult 2020, but luxury brands are already looking to 2021, ready for a successful restart after the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands will be required to strengthen their online presence once and for all – although strategic experts do agree that nothing will be able to replace in-store reality. It is clear that an omnichannel approach can provide a valid solution.

The physical Fashion experience: a timeless classic

“Concrete, real-life experiences remain unparalleled. Multi-brand clients yearn to go back to physical shopping experiences, and, once this unprecedented pandemic is over, most of the industry will revert to the pre-COVID way of operating, organizing exhibitions and showroom events.” These are the words of Claudio Marenzi, the chairman of Pitti Immagine, as reported by Fashion Network. In the very same magazine, the manager of the company, Agostino Poletto, expressed a similar point of view.

“Virtual showrooms present their own strengths and advantages, yet they will never be able to take the place of shopping experiences in physical stores,” states Mr. Poletto, adding: “Digital environments can indeed offer lots of important information – but by no means are they to be considered a definitive solution. When immersed in the digital universe, we tend to search for what we are already familiar with; non-virtual spaces, such as fairs and exhibitions, give people the chance to discover new products, thus promoting exploration. Things that happen in real life, such as unexpected encounters, a greater stimulation of the senses, the exchange of new information, and the unfolding of events in real time, simply cannot take place on the web.”

The outlook of the iconic Italian fashion promoters is clear. Although digital technology has indeed become an essential factor in the fashion business arena, it cannot become the new physical format, as this remains irreplaceable thanks to its sheer charm and uniqueness. We can conclude that the omnichannel approach is highly preferred.

Reinforcement of E-commerce and diversification to fuel recovery

Brands returning to normality after the transition we are currently living will be needing the precious boost given by the online dimension. Many companies are now taking the chance to improve their E-commerce platforms and are turning to technology in order to give the selling experience a fresh new groove. These new websites will offer a high level of personalization and simplified payment procedures, as well as a mobile-first approach. Customers will be able to rely on a vast selection of omnichannel services, such as the possibility of in-store order pickup.

Digital strategies, diversification and the amalgamation of physical stores and online platforms will be the magic words over the next few months. We have observed how E-commerce has managed to drive sales, offering vital support to brands at the peak of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. For this very reason, brands are now aiming to push online commercial transactions to account for over 50% of their turnover.

New digital opportunities for luxury brands

QR codes located in stores which are also incorporated into online platforms, information provided via messaging systems and live streaming: opportunities for luxury brands to engage and communicate with their customers are on the rise. Nevertheless, these technological advances are still rooted to the world of physical reality and can hence offer a rich variety of experiences – and we have yet to discover the full range of these exciting new solutions. Bizeta offers the right technology for exploring and leveraging this vast untapped potential.

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