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Online retailers rapidly evolving to meet customer needs
May '18
Pure play retailers are benefiting most from the rapid growth of online shopping because their strategies are based on technology and they are focused on innovation, delegates at the ASBCI’s Digital Revolution conference were told. Online-only retailers can rapidly evolve their offering to meet the changing needs and style tastes of consumers.

Multi-channel retailers, on the other hand, have competing priorities for investment, but if they are to compete they need to invest in emerging technologies and prioritise mobile, the fastest growing shopping channel for today’s consumer, said the speakers at the conference organised by Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI).

As the ‘see now, buy now’ culture gathers pace, retailers also need to focus on getting products to market – and to consumers – faster than ever. Improved fulfilment options and delivery saver schemes can meet customer needs and increase order frequency, but they need to be backed up by supply chains that are more fluid and flexible than ever before. That means jettisoning traditional sourcing models in favour of more agile methods of production and bringing that production closer to home. It also means closer collaboration with suppliers and embracing technologies that can speed up product development so that design to delivery times more closely align with customer expectations.

Speakers at the conference emphasised the opportunities for UK businesses in the digital age and showcased some of the technologies that can help get them there. From PLM, augmented reality and voice assisted search to a new scientific approach to colour and innovative robotic production lines, the event covered the full breadth of the fashion supply chain from design to doorstep. But it is not just about technology. The overriding message of the day was clear: to survive in a digital-first future requires an agile mindset as well as agile processes. Throw out the old, embrace the new, and never stand still.

“We are delighted with the success of the Digital Revolution conference,” said Alistair Knox, ASBCI chairman. “It was our best attended conference to date and we had to add additional spaces to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. The feedback from delegates so far has been fantastic. We hope to replicate this success with our next conference on athleisure in November.”

The Digital Revolution conference was hosted by Dr Julie King, head of fashion for Northampton University and ASBCI event director, and was sponsored by Alvanon, Coats Group Plc and Advanced Supply Chain Group. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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