Yes, the pandemic has affected us all in many ways than one. There is no reconsideration about it.
But to look at it in a positive light, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst to the brick and mortar fashion retail which was anyway facing a lot of challenges pre COVID too. It has created an urgency to act on that wish list that’s been dangling on the memo board for long. There is no turning back now. Fashion retail post-COVID is definitely not the same.
We present here the ways to ease that transition:
Go the Omnichannel Way: There can’t be a better time to start that online store which has always been in the back of your head. You need not shut the physical store, the online store can just be complimentary. With the obvious sales improvement, this can also act as a marketing bonus. Being empathetic to your loyal customers and adapting to their needs is the best way to retain them and show that you care about them.
If starting and maintaining an online store feels overwhelming at the moment, test the waters by listing your products on marketplaces. This may not be a permanent solution, but a first step towards making your products available online.
Omnichannel is the only way forward now. Be present everywhere your customers are likely to look for your products.#fashionretail #ecommerce#covid19CLICK TO TWEET
Considerate Promotions: This of course isn’t a new discovery in marketing, but this is so much more important now. Do NOT sell your apparel bluntly.
Make your promotions convey a feeling, an understanding of the situation.
Sell the small joys that a new set of clothes can bring during a lockdown.
Sell the comfort of working in pajamas.
Sell the need to look sharp for a zoom call.
Sell the warmth of a gift sent to a friend living far.
Store Hygiene: According to a report by McKinsey, 75% of the fashion companies could face challenges due to the duration of store closure. So it’s better to spend a few bucks to make proper sanitization than to contribute to furthering the store closure.
Get creative, provide masks to every customer at the door, take the opportunity to build the brand by printing the masks. Reinvent the store to ensure social distancing. Install contactless payment systems. Install a sanitization center at the door.
Maintaining hygiene is not enough. Yes, that’s a must. But sharing the procedures and frequency of your sanitization with your customers is very important. Make them feel secured.
Post your safety updates on all the possible mediums, social media profiles, website, store windows, emails. Everywhere!
Virtual Try and Buy: The most tricky part of fashion retail during these times is the try and buy culture. One of the prominent reasons your customers visit the physical store is to try and buy. Which can be a serious concern now, with the spread of viruses.
There is always a way out though, One simple solution would be to install kiosks with tablets in it having Product Configurator Software. The kiosks also ensure social distancing.
The software lets your customers mix and matches the clothes they like, finalize the look instead of trying it on.
If you are into bespoke clothing, even better. The software can let your customers customize the apparel according to their needs reducing the alterations and returns.
The same software can be integrated into your online store too. This is the most effective and affordable way there is.
Going a step further, you can install AR integrated product configurator whose screen can turn your customers into the models trying the clothes on virtually. As cool as it may sound, It comes with a hefty price.
On a closing note, going an extra mile or two is a necessity now to make your customers feel safe to come back. And it sure does pay off. But be sure to not wander too far away while the times are still difficult.
Wish you the best!