The Past, Present, and Future of Fashion E-Commerce

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The things in the world are changing rapidly. These changes have arrived because of the fast development of Internet technology. Because of that, the lives of people started to be a lot faster. These changes have had a huge impact on businesses all around the world. This especially includes the fashion industry.

So, why fashion businesses had to change almost everything around their business?

The reason is simple – the mindset and habits of consumers are changed. Older generations started to adapt to the current situation. Besides that, the younger generations have completely new needs and demands. That’s why only innovative fashion companies have been able to survive.

Still, by analyzing only things that are happening now we won’t get a clear picture. That’s why we need to get back to the past and try to understand why things are different now. Besides that, by analyzing the present in the e-commerce fashion world, we can understand things that are ahead of us.

The fall of Fast Fashion (Past)

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The entire past of the fashion industry can be described with only two words – Fast Fashion.

Is Fast Fashion something good or bad? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask people from today’s consumer society, you will get a lot of negative comments. Yet, we can’t skip it because it truly had a significant impact on one period of the fashion industry.

There are several different definitions of Fast Fashion and we will use one of them. It is cheap and trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.

Let’s describe how purchasing of clothes looked like 20 years ago. HM and Forever21 are two places where younger generations usually purchase the items they need. When they get it, there is always relaxing music that makes people feel more comfortable. Everything there was cheap and it looked like the clothes that celebrities were wearing. For most teenagers, this was a moment that they were talking about for a long time.

Yet, the fast growth of this sort of fashion started to raise the number of difficult questions related to consumer’s ethics. These retailers became notorious for poor factory working conditions. Besides that, they were stealing intellectual property from some of the most successful fashion designers. Under these conditions, these companies were not able to survive. They had to change their selling strategy.

Quality over Quantity (Present)

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Together with Internet development, e-commerce fashion retailers have made a huge success. As we previously said, people started to live faster than ever. One of their demands is the opportunity to order the clothes they like with a couple of clicks while sitting in their room. Everything in the fashion industry has been modernized and that is the only way to become competitive on the market in today’s world.

Still, modernization is not the only reason why some companies are successful. First of all, the newest generations appreciate quality over quantity. This especially counts when we talk about Generation Z. Generation Z includes youngsters born between the middle ’90s to middle 2000s. Let’s use an example. A teenager would rather choose to buy a T-Shirt that costs $50 than 5 T-shirts that cost $10. It is important to them that their close is made from quality material. They do not strive to have more of them that are not enough quality.

Many small online fashion stores are afraid to raise the price of their products. They think that a high price is not going to attract new customers. Well, as we already explained, this tactic for attracting customers is wrong. Leading experts from say that you need to focus on quality and the “newest” consumers will be ready to spend money on that.

Another thing that fashion entrepreneurs should know is that people today admire brands. For example, they won’t like to buy a white polo t-shirt because it looks too usual. Still, if there is a logo of a famous brand on the same t-shirt; that is going to attract their attention. This is a realistic picture of today’s society. You can like it or not, but if you plan to become a successful e-commerce fashion entrepreneur, you have to adapt.

Becoming a recognizable brand in the market is not an easy task. Stop reading for a moment and try to count how many fashion brands you know. You will probably be able to count at least 50 of them without focusing too much. These companies did not become successful only because of the quality of their products. They are investing a lot of money and knowledge to find out what their customers want to see. This includes everything from nice customer service to investing in an eco-friendly environment or anything else.

Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) (Future)

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Something that fashion e-commerce stores need to do in the future as well is to follow the trends. That is something that lasts forever. Their online reputation depends on that. One of the things that already started to develop, but it will be more popular in the future are augmented reality and virtual reality.

These two things have changed the way how people are shopping. It gives them an impressive and interactive experience. For example, customers are able to discover through layers of digital enhancements how a current item from the store is going to be useful in their everyday life.

We can use Sephora as an example. Their users can use an app to discover which tone of makeup is closest to their skin tone. This is something that online fashion stores will have to do soon. For example, customers won’t be able to try out the clothes from the website. They won’t be sure if the piece of clothes is perfect for them before they get it. So, a good choice would be to develop an app where users can upload their photography and add the piece of clothes they want to buy.

Of course, this is just an imaginary example, but something similar is definitely going to happen in the future. Always follow the things that your competitors are doing. Try to understand why some brands became so popular among people and improve their tactics and methods!