“The joy of dressing is an art” said British fashion designer John Galliano. One cannot help but agree as we are aware about the positivity that surrounds the right fit. In the right costume, we are full of energy and optimism. Together with food and shelter, clothing is considered as one of the basic needs of a human being. And if the basics are strong, it goes a long way in keeping a person happy and dazzling. The most modern era of consumerism is rich in opportunities as well as challenges. Here are some smart moves through which your clothing and apparel business could keep its competitive nose ahead.
Website – The castle
For any modern day business, a neat website is the first tick in the box. And if you are into clothing business, its significance is so paramount that it literally does the magic of an actual physical store. Or perhaps even more. Global online retail sales is expected to reach 8.8% of total retail spending by 2018 and by 2020 worldwide retail ecommerce sales is expected to cross 4 trillion. If at all someone had a “why” concern about a good website, that figure should settle it! So, let us take a look at some of the immaculate websites for clothing and apparels.
Boohoo, the UK based online fashion retailer predominantly aims at teenagers and youngsters. If you are there in their colorful and eye catching website, you might already have your credit card out of your wallet! It is that impressive and tempting. See how they let their attires speak and observe how easy it is to navigate across their collections. It is great to have wide variety of choices but the trick is in presenting them in an easy to access manner. That is one of the many factors which goes in favour of the Boohoo website. Also note how they keep you aware of the deals and offers that you could make use of.
Take a look at this exclusive women wear retailer ‘Missguided’. In an instant, the website connects emotionally well with the viewers with its scintillating array of storytelling photographs. Additionally, it offers some unique options such as to shop for trend and occasions. See how convincingly they tell more by telling less! Customer services such as delivery and purchase queries, blogs on latest trends, offers, terms, invitation to receive updates are all there but no where do you feel overload of content! That’s what a smart website is all about.
‘Rue 21’ is a U.S based casual apparels and accessories retailer for young men and women. Without anything fancy or extravagant, they state their point loud and clear through their straightforward website. And that gives the viewer a feel that there is something in it for everybody. Their new arrivals are right in the center of the page where it would gather maximum attention and they also feature an interesting option for customers to upload photographs wearing their outfits. Every week one best photo will be declared as the winner!
Promotional Videos – Let your creative juice flow
“Everything’s a story… You are a story, I am a story” said the famous novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett. There is hardly anything out of which we cannot make a story around. And the one present day medium for engaging storytelling is none other than videos. Take a look at the number of short and unique videos the world share around everyday. There is immense likability for such videos today and it is absolutely important for your business to catch hold of it. Whether you are going to launch a new product, introduce a new offer or add another feature to an existing product, find an interesting story around it and convey it in the most interesting of ways. If you are looking for inspiration, here it is!
‘Lanvin’ is a multinational fashion house based in Paris. Have a look at their quirky 1 minute video that will get your feet tapping. The video just features a catchy background song followed by some odd dance steps on screen! It is delightfully playful and you cannot help but smile. When you wear ‘Lanvin’ you are immensely cheerful and doesn’t bother who or how will others judge you. See how even craziness can create a huge impact!
Here is another wickedly brilliant video from the Japanese casual wear designer ‘Uniqlo’. Similar to ‘Lanvin’, this also features a group of performers dancing, but in a different way… a Robotic way. The moves are brilliantly organized and there is a flawless symmetry to the entire performance. That is what the brand is all about..calculated…measured. Stuck wondering, if you find yourself checking your internet connection as you begin to play the video.. We wouldn’t complain!
Based on the poem ‘La Beaute’ by the famous poet Charles Baudelaire, ‘Oysho’, the spanish clothing retailer created this mystically beautiful video that keeps us involved till the very last frame. It’s visuals are stunning, music pleasant and the setting unique. Like in the poem the video focuses on the unquenching interest in the nature of beauty and aesthetics of perfection. Despite dealing with a complex subject see how calmful the entire video is. The end result is almost as if from a session of meditation!
Corporate Videos – Your very own signature
Your brand is unique. It has a definite mode of operation and a distinct bequest. It is that which leaves your own signature in the business world. But how would you let the world know this? The answer you are looking for is corporate videos. An efficient corporate video is your best spokesperson. It highlights your skills, achievements, vision and mission. Let us take a look at some of the well made corporate videos in relation to clothing industry.
‘Access Fashion’ corporate video takes us through a tour around their expertise in the manufacturing of clothes. How do they move on from the initial design to the final product is clearly communicated and that too without any voiceover. Visuals are well chosen and you immediately start generating a likeability towards the brand. Background music is intriguing and the ending lures you into a state of “wow”.
Take a look at this video from ‘Polimoda’, one of the leading fashion institutes based in Italy. They literally show you how they are moulding the future. The wide range of programs they offer, their serene nature of professionalism and achievements are well highlighted. The voice over gives you a feel of a master who is overlooking a meditative session. That works to get yourself engrossed in the video!
Apps – Always stay close.
It goes without saying that your customers today need an ever accompanying companion if they have to like your brand. Apps make it easier for customers to reach out to you and you in turn can serve them smoother and easier. Nothing works like a customer’s feel that you are there whenever he or she needs you. So, let us have a look at some of the best apps there is.
The ‘Cloth’ app lets you carry a virtual wardrobe in your smartphone. You can save and organize your favorite outfits clipping in the weather details. So if you wonder what to wear before you head out, ‘Cloth’ will notify you the best choice depending upon the weather, location, color, mood and more! The app allows you to grant access to the wardrobe for your friends so they can provide instant feedback about your outfit and also check out your collection. That’s not it. The app can be called as a social network in itself. You can follow others and see what they are wearing and you can also showcase your looks to multiple platforms such as blogs and social media.
The ‘Shopstyle’ app connects you to over 1400 retailers and brands. You can compare the prices of different products across various brands or proceed to check out the new arrivals in your favorite shop. You can even set up notifications to alert you when there is a deal in your favorite product or when it goes on sale! Shopping can be a tiresome task. See how they have simplified it.
‘Gilt’ provides mobile exclusive sales and that adds to the appealing nature of the application. Customers love it when they are the first to grab a deal and that is exactly what ‘Gilt’ achieves here. Besides this, the application also offer deals to exclusive experiences in your nearby city. New inventory is added daily and there are also Bonus sales happening everyday.
Presentations – Your pitch deck
Though videos are great, the value of good old presentations can never be ignored. They still play a vital role in convincing your potential clients, customers and investors. A lot of business also depends upon venture capital and presentations still serve as an impactful pitch deck to raise money. Let us see some of the interesting presentations in the clothing and apparel industry.
The Indian startup ‘Sundar’ was established to build world’s largest discovery and sourcing platform that connects fashion brands with manufacturers and suppliers of textiles, trims, components and specialist services. Take a look at their presentation. It is so simple yet clearly describes its business idea in a clever and creative manner. With flat designs, light colors and wonderful layouts, the presentation goes a long way in impressing a viewer.
‘Cladwell’ was launched as a wardrobe assistant. It helps you have an organized closet, set your favorites, and save better when you shop. Take a look at their interesting presentation that describes their line of work. In an easy to understand way, they introduce the market problem and how they intend to change it around. The striking feature of the presentation is that they were all positive about the new market trends and didn’t try to vouch for themselves as a trendsetter. Their solution is plain and simple for the modern day business trend and that is why it generated a great Month Over Month growth rate.
VR and AR – Fresh and Innovative
If channeled properly, technology is the best ally for any business. Adapting to contemporary changes keeps your nose ahead and also improves your reputation. No matter wherever you are in the world, you must have known about the uprising of these two giant technologies – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. But are they relevant to your business? Without a moment’s pause – YES. If you want to know how, nothing explains better than relevant exemplars. Here they are;
We know why cloth shopping is a time consuming process. It takes endless number of trials to get the attire that satisfy us. If you get the right fit at the very first go, you better go get a lottery too that day! What if there is a smart solution to this trial problem. ‘Topshop’ showed the way by introducing a Virtual Fitting Room that is powered by Augmented Reality and Microsoft Kinect. Using Augmented Reality, customers can choose the desired cloth out of the rack without having to physically dress and undress it. Customers could see their own 3D replica on a screen and they could simply control the program using gestures.
Similar to ‘Topshop’, ‘Uniqlo’ introduced a virtual dressing room called ‘Magic Mirror’ during the opening of its fifth retail location in the United States. The ‘Magic Mirror’ saves customers from trying on different colour and size variants of a particular product. Instead, you could just put one on and walk in front of the special mirror, a touchscreen that allows you to select other specifications and the corresponding results will be projected back to you.
They say what you wear shows who you are. Now, what if that’s true literally! ‘Aura’ an augmented reality fashion app allows users to design geometric pattern that can be printed on clothing and can be scanned and translated into personalized messages. Customer can interact through the app and make a connection with a fellow ‘Aura’. The next time you feel shy to connect with someone you saw on the street, you can just scan and strike up a conversation!
Partnering with ‘Myer’, ‘ebay’ launched the world’s first Virtual Reality department store that helps customers to shop across a wide variety of products including shopping. Once you download the app and access it using any of the VR headsets, you will see several categories such as clothing, electronics etc. As you move around, the virtual store would adapt to what you like the most. Most of the top products are available in 3D, so if you want to take a closer look at your shirt or tie… you can!
Startup ‘Machina’ has introduced a new feature known as ‘Out of Body Experience (OBE)’, a type of smart clothing that helps users to immerse in virtual environments. The idea behind OBE is to use body as an interface and the connected wears as a vehicle for electronics. Each sensor is compatible with one another and thus you can attach and detach sensors into the wear of your choice. The interaction comes in the form of an application and it can be anything from making music with your body movements to acting as a controller in a VR environment.