The Rise of Digital Fashion: Why Now is the Time to Adapt Your Business

Since the early dot-com fashion start-ups of the late 1990s, the clothing industry has been incrementally shifting towards a digital future for over 20 years. 

In the last 12 months, fashion retailers have had to close their bricks-and-mortar stores. Customers have overwhelmingly moved towards online shopping, leaving the industry unsure about its future

Consumers have also bought less new clothing in the past year. With limited places to go and be seen, people did not view new clothing purchases as a priority. This in turn has lead to a tipping point in the industry. With many fashion retailers already closed and others uncertain about their survival.

Digital fashion and online retail experiences could be the answer. Online retailers such as ASOS, Net-A-Porter and END all had good trading years in an otherwise unstable economy. As customers moved online, many digital-first companies thrived. Digital fashion items are also becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst the gaming community.

As the UK economy opens again, customers will be looking for social experiences once more. They will probably have concerns about shopping in person again. Retailers who adapt to a blended model of digital and traditional retailing have a great opportunity here. 

Offering a personal styling service in store that leads to an online sale could be one way to integrate digital and traditional fashion retail. This would also limit the interaction between customers and surfaces such as carrier bags/fitting rooms. A key health and safety concern for many consumers. 

Sustainability could be another way to combat the impact of digital fashion retail. Made-to-order fashion brands, who seek to reduce waste and pay staff appropriately, are growing in popularity. Selling made-to-order online has become increasingly popular. 

Converting your bricks-and-mortar store into an atelier, stocked with sewing machines, cloth, threads, needles and scissors could help you move retail online while still keeping your business going. 

Retailers across the UK are looking forward to a speedy recovery after lockdown. The ones who recover quickest will be the ones who can adapt to a digital-first future. 

Offering your customers or clients the option of digital is essential. It will help you clients find you, either on social media or web search. It will help your customers grow affinity with your brand. Most of all, it will make your customers lives easier. Which is the easiest way to boost your business in a digital age.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.