14 June 2021
Covid-19 has accelerated a transformation of consumer habits that is forcing the retail sector to reinvent itself. Confinement, uncertainty and the jump to the digital world have caused a series of fundamental changes in social and consumption patterns. More and more consumers are turning to alternative and more sustainable digital ways of accessing, consuming and paying for products and services.
Fashion is one of the retail sectors that is undergoing more intensely this transformation. It has probably been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. According to consulting firm McKinsey, in 2020 there was a decrease in store purchase intention of 70-80% and a 30-40% decrease in online purchase intention, both in Europe and North America. E-commerce hasn't made up for the drop in offline sales, despite being a lifesaver for brands, many of which were forced to keep stores during the quarantine months. Despite this, the role of online commerce will be key to economic recovery.
The way in which the consumer relates to brands is increasingly changing along with the technological transformation. To begin with, the fact that social networks and online stores are already integrated into the lives of consumers has led to think about alternatives derived from Social Commerce such as shoppertainment and livestreaming eCommerce, which focus on the customer experience. They are tools that have proven their effectiveness in reaching customers thanks to conversation and the humanization of the brand, providing sales of content and entertainment. This strategy to capture includes tools such as voice commerce, augmented and virtual reality and omnichannel strategies to achieve this perfect experience.
Customization is no longer an option, it is an obligation in a world where impacts are constant and consumers are saturated with information. The only way to stand out and differentiate from the others is to plan and use technology to try to adapt the message to each person.
Likewise, the pandemic has boosted creativity, promoting the use of art and technology to build a unique and captivating customer experience. The combination of art and technology enables customers to improve their experience with a more attractive and creative aesthetic. Concepts such as design thinking and impact stories are part of this concept.