Impact of pandemic on fashion retail is continuing to see an accelerated reliance on digital and technological mediums for fashion retail experience. With the pandemic progressing with the adoption of stay at home approach, people are moving away from traditional retail shopping experiences. There is an increased demand in loungewear and activewear and as more and more businesses are transitioning into online platforms, fashion retail experiences are becoming more virtual. The impact of pandemic on how we shop fashion mainly are as follows.
Unavailability of trial rooms
With the closure of many fashion retail businesses as well as the inability to try on clothes in retail stores due to the pandemic concerns, many fashion retailers are thinking of ways in which they can come up with alternative ideas in tackling this problem. Customers are unable to return unsuitable products that they would have purchased especially due to lack of trial options prior to buying. Many fashion retail businesses are using digital try-on softwares, the most prominent one being Zyler, which enables customers to take their selfie and upload it in the software so as to regenerate how a garment would look like when they wear it, although shown virtually.
As the pandemic progresses, most places continue to face restrictions with regard to lockdown and health guidelines. With customers adopting a stay at home approach, there are not many people who visit physical stores for purchase. People are turning to online shopping and a virtual way of retail therapy. Fashion retail businesses that have an online presence have been able to find themselves adapting to the pandemic situation while businesses that do not have an online presence have been suffering in terms of sales. The reality of the situation is that digital presence is now an essential requirement for businesses especially retail, and many retailers are continuing to strengthen their digital retail operations.
Demand for casual wear
With the adoption of a ‘work from home’ and ‘stay at home’ approach, fashion retail businesses are continuing to experience a decline in formal business wear and accessories. However, this has brought an increase in the demand for casual wear or loungewear. With many people spending their time at home doing daily activities, brands are trying to capitalise on this by releasing ‘work from home’ fashion collections that are targeting at spending time home comfortable and relaxed.
Demand for personalised shopping
At a time when online shopping finds itself accelerated, people find themselves feeling more distant with this act of retail therapy. Most online shopping retailers follow a one-size-fits-all approach that fails to provide customers with a personalised shopping experience that is not engaging and interesting. It has become a monotonous activity for many and this can drastically affect sales and demand for clothes. The pandemic has brought a new era of shopping revolution for customers and retail brands needs are in the process of tapping this by introducing various formats of providing personalised shopping experience that give a very customised shopping experience that can enhance this online retail experience which in many ways feel mechanical in its act.
Impact of pandemic on fashion retail are many; the main being a transition to a digital medium of retail experience. With the situations imposed by the pandemic, customers continue to navigate ways of shopping that do not jeopardise their well-being while being able to safely browse within the comfort of their homes. This new era of shopping culture provides retailers with the opportunity to enhance by means of integrating more human-centric approaches on a platform that is already distant due to its technological nature. The future of retail shopping is expected to advance itself in the coming years and provide customers with the ability to gain a customised shopping experience. JD Institute’s fashion management course explores how the fashion retail management experience is evolving with the current times and what the future of retail experiences look like.