Nobody really knows what the world will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic. The sole certainty is that it’s sure to vary in 2020. The crisis has already ushered the worldwide economy into a recession and seems poised to go away from its mark on how consumers live, how they spend their money, and even how they dress.
Fashion, in fact, is one among the companies most susceptible to disruption from the outbreak since it relies so heavily on discretionary spending. Experts might not always agree on exactly how the pandemic will change different aspects of the industry. But the consensus is that it’ll, with many large-scale shifts that were already underway accelerating within the upheaval.
- Re-assessment of Value
Shoppers will reassess product values as per the marketing strategy. The outbreak and lockdown in various countries have forced customers to re-prioritize their spendings. People are only preferring to buy daily life essentials while avoiding other expenses.
After the outbreak people will reconsider their necessities and will spend accordingly. If we talk about the fashion industry, it is more discretionary than essential.
We can say that a low price does not particularly mean good value. Shoppers will not spend equivalent to before the coronavirus crisis, hence, we can say that shoppers will re-think and spend.
- Focus on Fewer but Unique Products
According to fashion experts, fashion’s frantic turnover of trends could possibly slow down and brands will focus on unique products. Emphasis will be placed more on core products that can never be out of trend because such products will be more profitable for retailers.
Also, clothes that are always in demand across seasons may receive more attention from the brands. Minimalism approach will be followed by shoppers and companies will launch products accordingly.
Although, not all the experts are so sure that shift faraway from trend-driven fashion would last. Shoppers will still be driven towards fashionable looks.
- ECommerce Will Go Boom
E-commerce sector will undoubtedly grow along with direct-to-consumer sales. Even before the Coronavirus crisis, the online sale of fashion was growing, but the global lockdown will only spur e-commerce sales as consumers get used to buying stuff online.
It is still unpredictable that shoppers will prefer to return to crowded malls and stores once they are open unless a vaccine for the new coronavirus has been devised. It’s another blowing opportunity for e-commerce and for companies to push more sales through their own online channels.
For years, companies from Nike to luxury sellers are doing more sales straight to shoppers instead of through retail partners. The prices are often high since they have to handle all the operations themselves, but they also get more control over their brand images and better margins on each sale.
- Divide Between the Strong and Weak Retailer will Widen
Every sector and retailer will suffer within the pandemic, but not equally. As strong retailers with advanced resources will somehow manage their sales through online channels.
Many unprofitable companies will be fighting for modest incomes like independent designers are going to face a nightmare scenario. The smaller, privately-owned companies may simply not have the cash to continue while stores are closed to take care of social distancing and shoppers are holding off on essential purchases.
The larger companies, including multi-brand models like department shops and lots of middle-market retailers, may survive but could shrink substantially.
The big luxury players are resilient because the rich will still be rich
Other models that would thrive post-coronavirus are digitally native, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies and fashion-resale sites. The DTC companies aren’t resistant to the issues that other retailers will face from COVID-19.
- Re-configuration of Supply Chain
The Coronavirus outbreak resulted in the closure of industrial activity around much of China. Many of the brands and companies around the world are hooked with China for their raw materials.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, however, over the subsequent two years, companies are likely to re-evaluate their supply chains and check out to make sure they aren’t completely reliant on any other country.
It’s not totally clear what the new supply chain might appear as but it could involve a mixture of nearshoring production to low-cost countries near major markets plus investments in additional advanced manufacturing and automation.