The fashion industry could be on the verge of a comeback after a slowdown during the pandemic. To make the most of a potential rebound, fashion brands are focusing on maintaining brand loyalty, reducing cart abandonment, and encouraging repeat transactions by shopping through e-commerce platforms. and reopening physical stores. To maintain customer retention rates and increase customer acquisition efforts, fashion brands like Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People are adding subscription-based subscription programs that combine discount benefits. and free delivery with sustainable clothing rental options.
The fashion industry looks to the future
With many offices closed, very limited travel, and in-person events canceled, demand for fashion has plummeted during the global pandemic. According to McKinsey & Co. report, The State of Fashion 2021, the fashion industry has experienced a 90% decline economic profit in 2020. However, as the pace of vaccinations increases, there is hope of recovery in 2021.
The McKinsey & Co. report offers two scenarios for the fashion industry’s comeback. In the first “early recovery” scenario, which assumes effective containment of the virus, the fashion industry will experience a strong rebound this year, equal to or slightly lower than 2019, and a full recovery in the fashion industry. ‘by the third quarter of 2022 is expected. . The report also provides a “later recovery” scenario in which the sector is down. 10 to 20% in 2021 relative to 2019 earnings, with a full recovery by Q3 2023. Either way, the fashion industry should prepare for customers needing new wardrobes after wearing sweatshirts and hoodies. t-shirts for a year, leveraging digital activations for consumers who have developed online shopping habits and expectations for smooth digital interactions.
Subscription programs focused on convenience and environmental sustainability are a strategy being tested by fashion brands looking to retain and acquire customers after the pandemic. “The pandemic will accelerate trends that were in motion before the crisis, as shopping goes digital and consumers continue to champion equity and social justice,” States the McKinsey & Co. report
The rise of fashionable subscription programs
Stitch Fix was one of the first companies to create a fashion subscription service. in 2011, offering clothing and accessory choices to members of over 1,000 brands chosen by algorithms derived from style quizzes and live stylists. Today, Stitchfix has 3.5 million active customers. Amazon pioneer the recurring membership model for online shoppers when Prime launched in 2005, initially attracting members by offering a wide selection of products with free two-day delivery. By 2019, when the online retailer added Prime Wardrobe, Prime had over 112 million members. Prime Wardrobe gives Prime members the opportunity to try on clothes before purchasing them, and for an additional price, offers a “personal shopper” option with functionality similar to StitchFix. Both of these subscription services decrease the products they sell and earn members based on their loyalty to the brands they offer. Stitch Fix and Amazon Prime Wardrobe are setting the stage for other fashion brands to explore the subscription option as fashion returns to center stage in 2021.
Ralph Lauren’s “ Lauren Look ” rental subscription encourages the brand’s social responsibility efforts
Ralph Lauren heritage brand ad the launch of their Lauren Look subscription program in March. Lauren Look members browse the e-commerce platform and choose items for their “dream wardrobe” wishlist. The company then selects and ships four wishlist items for short-term “rental” or purchase. As soon as the member returns or purchases items from the box, another box is automatically sent from the wishlist, providing constant wardrobe updates. In an analysis for MarketWatch About Lauren Look, Wells Fargo financial services company, notes: “The service offers another way to interact with existing consumers while helping to acquire a new, younger consumer who is more inclined to use a service platform. rental of clothing. ” Wells Fargo predicts the rental clothing market will grow to $ 2.08 billion in 2025, from $ 1.26 billion in 2019.
The $ 125-per-month price tag for Lauren Look is an affordable option for consumers familiar with the brand, and the membership’s rental feature is appealing to consumers concerned with sustainability or wanting to try out new fashion brands without s. ‘fully engage. The Lauren Look membership program circulates an item of clothing until it has “reached the rental threshold” and then donates it to Delivering Good, a non-profit organization that provides clothing to those in need. Awareness of sustainable development is increasingly influencing purchasing behavior. In an IBM Institute for Business Value 2020 survey, 57% of consumers were “willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce the negative environmental impact” and 77% indicated that sustainability was “very important” to them. On the Global Citizenship and Ecommerce Sustainability page Lauren Look Platform, says the company: “By joining our rental program, you help reduce clothing waste by extending the life of clothes that you might otherwise buy and wear only a few times.”
Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s UP Membership Program Capitalizes on E-Commerce Growth
Urban Outfitters Inc., the parent company of fashion brands Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People, did not experience the same level of decline as some fashion companies during the pandemic, and that may be due to their ambitious digital marketing. Marketing dive reports that the company’s fourth quarter 2020 sales only fell 7% as of 2019. However, its number of digital customers has increased by 50%. Building strong relationships with loyal brand customers through apps, rewards programs, and now a subscription program, could position the business for a strong comeback when life returns to normal and purchases of mode will resume. From the company UP Membership The program, launched in the Dallas and Atlanta markets and available at two price points, $ 48 and $ 98, includes member discounts, coupons, free shipping and returns, and exclusive, online offers. and in store.
Currently, Urban Outfitters and Anthropology each has separate rewards programs, but UP membership will allow members to access all of Urban Outfitters, Inc. brands, driving brand awareness and customer acquisition across brands. Membership also drives traffic to web platforms and physical stores through alerts for exclusive offers and special events. “UP is designed to increase frequency, capture more portfolio share, improve retention, provide opportunities for greater cross-brand exposure, sell and attract new customers,” said Richard Hayne, President and CEO from Urban Outfitters. Marketing dive.
UP membership has a clothing rental feature to increase sustainability and potentially attract environmentally conscious consumers. About the UO community page of the online platform Urban Outfitters, the brand says, “Our sustainable design strategy centers on the idea of preservation through reuse.” The company supports this claim by including in the UP membership a discounted membership in a clothing rental company. nuuly, another brand in the company’s portfolio.
Fashion brands are ready for a comeback using digital strategies, subscription initiatives and social responsibility
The Ralph Lauren and Urban Outfitters, Inc. subscription subscription programs deliver the benefits online shoppers have come to expect from subscription programs. By making fashion affordable, creating seamless and personalized shopping experiences, and connecting with growing consumer demand for social responsibility and sustainable fashion, apparel retailers have the potential to capture new segments of the business. audience and build brand loyalty. By offering incentives for engagement and regular shopping, these fashion brands are positioning themselves for a comeback in the post-pandemic fashion world.
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