Interview with Footwear industry

Topic

What key consumer trends do you see when it comes to footwear?

Personalised and differentiated footwear is in high demand
If apparel covers the torso of the industry, it is footwear on which the fashion business stands firm. Fibre2Fashion spoke to a cross-section of people on trends in footwear market.

 

The FDRA is tracking a number of market trends that continue to emerge in this new retail environment we find ourselves in. More specifically, as the American brick-and-mortar retail correction continues, our members are having to adapt to ensure their products are being delivered via online sales in a timely fashion to consumers no matter where they are located. Most technologies are focused on speed-to-market opportunities and the movement of goods from emerging production markets.

Several long-term trends can be identified. Personalised and differentiated footwear has been in high demand for quite some time now: consumers want to be involved in the process of shaping the products they consume and shoes are a particularly popular product to personalise as they are seen by many as a means to express one's personality. New advances such as flexible manufacturing or 3D printing allow footwear companies to cater to these demands at lower costs than before and have made personalised and differentiated footwear more available.

Comfort also ranks high in consumers' expectations: footwear products must not only be stylish but also comfortable. The demand for ethical and sustainable products has also been growing during the past years. 

Indian consumers are smarter and more experimental. Experimental because they embrace new designs and colours than just the regular monochromes, and smart because they want both comfort and style.

Consumers want their shoes to tell about their personality and personal habits.

Footwear is not just for utility anymore; they are a fashion statement. Of late, however, comfort fares at the same level of being a determining factor for consumers in buying footwear. Casual couture has kicked in as a big trend and along with that the sales of sneakers have risen.

Consumer trends suggest that our clients desire personalisation and prefer to customise their goods to their own specifications. Another key consumer trend is that consumers prefer a wide range of selections over a selection of specially designed limited edition formal shoes. It allows them to choose what they prefer accordingly since they are purchasing primarily for special occasions and they already have a garment in mind to pair the shoe style with.

Women and men are getting more aware with respect to comfort and style; today's consumer wants to experiment with styles and colours.

Increased awareness and an aspiration for global trends and designs have created a massive shift in the buying behaviour of consumers. This has in turn led to a growth of integrated shopping malls, stores and boutiques that provide consumers with the latest designs and customisation opportunities as well as the entire touch and feel experience.

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Published on: 26/09/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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