“Come Embrace Me”, says Internet
“When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love.”
- Bob Dylan
Such has been certainly the call of Internet to all retailers including apparel marketers. Retail sales of apparel in Europe have been hit hard by the economic crisis and retailers are struggling through this storm. As seriousness measures kick in, consumers have become more careful with their money. Footfalls at real stores have fallen and the customers are shifting Euros to the web as they weigh in the advantages of on-line buying.
One after the other, research firms like Forrester, Mintel and Cap Gemini have been advising apparel retailers about the paradigm shift in the choice of customers. With wide availability of the broadband, almost all communities of customers have fallen in love with the web. People know brands and if they get value on the Internet, then why would they go to stores?
And what was the advice of experts to retailers as regards steps to cope up with changes in customer choice – to embrace the Internet. Considering the advantages of convenience, selection, value and price for online shopping, the retail chains were advised to adopt multi-channel approach and have on-line platform to promote their fashion and products. Many reputed retail chains heeded their advice and have opened the transactional web sites, which has enabled them to remain ahead of the trend. These firms have weathered the recession quite well as online sales have consistently outperformed in comparison to stores growth. At iShopShape, we are happy to observe that we were able to help many of the successful apparel retailers to invest in latest technology to ensure faster updates on their websites. However, there are many apparel retailers who have yet to embrace Internet. We remain committed to bring these firms on-board and help them to become winners in the competitive market.