With many younger consumers constantly searching for style inspiration on everything from social media to the high street, retailers are under increasing pressure to turn around new lines in record time. Many have been working hard to reduce their lead times to meet this growing demand for fast fashion. One leading fashion retailer is now delivering new lines in two to three weeks; yet speed is only part of the success equation, says the research conducted by Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy.
"Retailers need to accurately analyse what is selling in real-time and be in a position where they can react quickly. According to one major fashion retailer, there is now only a 24 to 36-hour window from browsing to buying. Retailers that actively engage with their customers, analyse shopping and social media habits, and pre-empt future trends, will be the winners in the fast fashion market," said Dan Murphy, managing director, Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy.
Speed of delivery of online orders is also highly important to consumers. The research highlights that one in five of 18 to 20 year olds want same day delivery, and a further 13 per cent want delivery in less than half a day. Those in the age group of 21 to 37 years are slightly more relaxed with almost a third happy for their orders to arrive the next day.
The study found that shoppers buy for the present, with 53 per cent of all consumers surveyed wearing items within a week of purchase, and 15 per cent wearing items the very same day. For younger consumers (18 to 24 year olds), the numbers increase; 60 per cent wear items within a week of purchase, and one in five wear items on the same day of purchase.
While the majority of younger shoppers claim that ethical sustainability is a key factor informing their purchasing decisions, their behaviour suggests otherwise; less than half (48 per cent) of 18 to 24 year olds recycle their clothes. Additionally, half (50 per cent) of retailers surveyed say they are actively exploring new ways to extend the product lifecycle, using recycled materials, or facilitating clothes swapping and sharing.
"The insatiable appetite for fast fashion will inevitably continue as these shoppers age. There is no reason to believe that younger consumers, who have grown up wedded to devices and social media, will expect anything less than instant gratification in years to come, and continue to possess the same sense of style and image," added Murphy. (KD)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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