What are the key trends in fashion right now? We aren’t talking about mock croc, capes, and snake print. We are referring to the key trends that are dictating the direction that retailers and the industry are currently taking.
McKinsey reports that 2018 was a year of reckoning for fashion companies, while 2019 is going to be a year of awakening. It is time for companies to admit to themselves that some of the older rules do not work any longer. Today, the key is to be nimble, and to focus on things ranging from transparency to social issues to speed to market.
Briefly put, no one can take growth for granted these days. Let’s look at some of the key trends that are set to impact the industry over the next year.
Omnichannel: Combining In-store and Digital Experiences
For quite some time online sales have continued to grow at the expense of physical brick and mortar sales. However, the environment is quite confusing. It is suggested by research that customers still want to have an in-store experience, so putting all of your eggs into the online shopping basket isn’t the best way forward. This is why omnichannel shopping is currently such a huge trend.
As customers increasingly look online for customer reviews and competitive prices, search for product information on their mobiles while in the store, and return products in-store that they purchased online, instore and digital channels are clearly highly intertwined these days.
Mobile technology is the key to this integration. It is used for browsing, paying, and integrating augmented reality and social media into a complete shopping experience, ranging from pay-by-apps relying on mobile technology to smart fitting rooms.
AI: Shopping Options Tailored to the Customer’s Purchasing History
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly transforming how retailers interact with customers. McKinsey has conducted research that indicates that 75% of fashion retailers have plans to invest this year in AI. Gartner reports that those who are early adopters of visual search may increase their digital commerce sales by 30%.
Visual search is already being used by brands like ASOS and H&M to enhance customer experience. For example, it allows customers to photograph items they see at the store and find similar items on their website.
Fashion’s Hiring Trends
The fashion industry is definitely in a complete state of flux. This can be seen in the industry’s recruitment trends. Many marketers who are socially conscious and who aspired to a career in fashion due to it appearing glamorous are increasingly leaving the industry based on being fed up and disillusioned by fast fashion and the impact that it has on the environment.
Despite this, there are still areas within the industry where there are attractive options, which is where marketing recruitment agencies can help. We here at Stopgap have been placing an increasing number of qualified marketing professionals in roles with fashion startups and sustainable brands. The large high street names are also recognising that they need to have new digital talent to cut through the saturated market.
Jess Sinton, Stopgap Senior Consultant, says there is a shift away from generalist marketing positions as brands are looking to hire specialist marketers. High street retailers, particularly those that have a significant bricks and mortar presence, are having to play catch up when it comes to digital marketing and are looking now to hire email, PPC, and SEO specialists to break through into the world where fast fashion is consumed so easily online.
Jess continues to say that digital specialists need to have technical skills within the PPC and SEO space, such as indexing and crawling, while email marketers frequently need to have specific experience with HTML and ESP.
So What Should Hiring Managers Do?
Jess advises that they act fast. When you encounter a digital specialist, move quickly. You need to be aware that those candidates are in very high demand and will not be on the market for very long.
There are many of them that are juggling numerous opportunities at the same time. This allows those candidates to seek higher salaries. However, don’t let this put you off. Those are the people that digital-savvy online fashion brands hire instantly, and it is candidates who have experience with those kinds of brands that hiring managers would like us to source for them.
Talk to Jess today to learn more about the best ways to attract the best fashion marketing talent.