Electronic transformation: the greatest difficulty facing the fashion industry

the greatest difficulty facing the fashion industry

In Switzerland, Roger is in charge of Deloitte Digital’s Marketing practice. He specializes in assisting major organizations drive innovation and in the creation and implementation of digital strategies and has over 15 years of experience working mostly with multinational companies in the fashion and luxury industries.


  • There are significant changes happening in the fashion sector because of the direct impact of technology’s development on customer behavior, which requires adaptation
  • Electronic transformation is the method for safeguarding a brand’s and reputation in a volatile and complicated environment.
  • Analytics and big data are accessible can be strategically employed by fashion businesses to customize the consumer experience and let the buyer decide what happens next.
  • The greatest difficulty facing the fashion industry is undergoing a complete digital makeover of its organizational culture.


How is the fashion industry changing as a result of digitization?

A substantial portion of the world economy is driven by the fashion sector, which includes everything from exclusive luxury companies to large international bargain stores. One of the most difficult industries is fashion, which is greatly impacted by both the general economic unpredictability and specific trends and industrial changes. Many brands have launched a number of initiatives to increase their speed to market and include sustainable innovation into their core product design, production, and supply chain operations in response to the push for growth and cost effectiveness.

The fact that many fashion firms are falling behind consumers’ expectations is a major problem for them. The consumer’s position has changed from one of enabled domination to one of passive observation. They desire interaction, belongingness, influence, and to be the brands they patronize. They are knowledgeable, picky, and in charge; they care about how they appear in public and on social media as well as how their purchases and possessions are perceived. The great majority of consumers use digital channels to make purchases, whether they do so first, later, or both.

As a result

developing a digitally savvy brand can no longer be viewed as a distinct business. Instead, it will become more and more essential to businesses and the overall customer-brand relationship. There are no longer traditional consumer segments, geographical regions, or universally applicable solutions. New benchmarks for customer service and experience are being established, and they primarily center on shifting from being a product brand to one that develops and deploys contextualized, customer-centric propositions — a brand that takes into account the full experience eco-system. When compared to these new standards, legacy businesses with analogue systems and procedures are found wanting and out of date.


But many companies are still unsure of how to close the digital gap. It is a very delicate route to tread given what is at stake—the brand heritage and identity. Any digital extension of the brand, including social media platforms and outside distributors, must align with newly defined brand values and be customized to the demands of the customer. A generic or mismatched digital product could potentially exacerbate the digital divide and endanger business and reputation.

Protecting the brand in times of change: reputational risk

A successful brand can take many years to develop, but can be destroyed in a matter of months. Fashion companies have always had to be prepared and able to handle problems with risk, reputation, and uncertainty at various points in time.


But in a world that is becoming more complex and volatile, brands will need to strike a balance between their operational ambitions for growth and the strategic risks they confront. This atmosphere is caused by a number of things, such as:

  • Adaptive regulation
  • Using social media, communicate
  • more avenues for consumers
  • wider geographic scope
  • “Faster” dangers

Therefore, it is imperative that businesses enhance their vigilance, with brand and reputation being the most crucial assets to safeguard.

Organizational change, risk management, and bridging the gap between customers’ expectations and the service and experience they receive are all achieved by businesses through digital transformation. Instead of simply digitizing the buying experience for the real world, a fashion brand must rethink how purchasing should function in the digital world.


To become more relevant to customers, a company must challenge and alter engrained ideas about who it is, what it does, and what it says. Although there is a clear and rising shift toward omni-channel, the great bulk of fashion revenue still comes from offline, physical channels. While it may still be true for some fashion brands that location is still the key to capturing offline retail demand, creating a consistent omni-channel consumer experience that includes emotional, virtual, and physical elements from communication to conversion and beyond will be a critical success factor.

The role of digital in clienteling

The need for cohesion in brand experiences will intensify as traditional and digital marketing channels combine and consumer power increases. As a result, information and analytics will become more valuable.


Imagine being able to predict what each customer would buy before they even enter the store.

Imagine being able to engage customers at precisely the appropriate time and being able to develop unique and individualized connections with each one of them.

While developments in clienteling—the practice of developing long-term connections with clients based on their habits—are bringing the dream closer, it may seem unachievable. Clienteling may not be a novel concept for fashion firms because sales staff may easily identify important clients. Yet, the rise of the global customer, who uses various channels and operates across borders, makes it more difficult for organizations to completely comprehend their client base.


Digital customer service (containing cutting-edge procedures, analytics, and technology advancements in Digital Marketing, Commerce, and Sales & Service platforms) is providing a personalized customer experience across numerous channels, ultimately enhancing conversion rates and earnings.

Information regarding people’s purchasing patterns, behaviors, trends, and decision-making factors is more readily available than ever before. Big Data and analytics investments, however, are squandered if decision-makers receive inaccurate insights or lack the knowledge or abilities to translate accurate insights into business choices. The secret to understanding what the customer thinking is now and will probably be in the near future is to unlock this data.

Fashion firms will be able to better understand their clients, react to market trends, and customize their sales information and products thanks to the convergence of Big Data, the Internet of Things, and data science.


Getting digital transformation right

Many fashion companies approach digital transformation in pieces, concentrating on digitizing discrete processes or operations. Digital transformation is frequently limited to specific projects or programs that only have an impact on a few departments. Occasionally it may even concentrate only on one aspect, like marketing or sales, with slow or insignificant results.

But as organizations re-imagine, reconfigure, and retool for an era in which old boundaries are dissolved, there is an urgency and momentum growing behind digital transformation. For many fashion firms, the quickening development of technology and consumers’ quick adoption of it warrant a different level of attention.


Significant opportunities or existential risks are typically the main forces behind digital transformation. And for business executives who are thinking about the future of their organizations and sectors, the opportunity—or existential threat—that these shifts offer should be the main point of interest. Re-imagining the products and experiences a company provides in order to boost sales and relevance can frequently seem like a long-term project that requires a substantial investment.

Finding the ideal balance between putting bets—provoking quick results with cutting-edge ideas—and laying the foundation for a digital transformation is crucial. Release of the potential of data and analytics, brand and reputational risk management, controlling the entire value chain, and closing the digital technology gap are not the only significant problems for either. An whole shift in organizational culture that puts the customer at the center is the key component of the ultimate digital challenge facing fashion companies.


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