Loss in sales
The effects of the corona crisis in the fashion retail sector are dramatic. Bankruptcies and closures of small companies as well as major warehouse chains. Retailers who had been in a good position in the
e-commerce sector before the crisis were able to compensate at least part of the sales loss during lockdown. But after the easing of the restrictions, shoppers are still very cautious. There are many reasons for this.
Reasons for reluctance
The obligation to wear a face mask is an unpleasant experience for many consumers – even if the necessity is not questioned. The hesitation to use changing rooms and to try on clothes that others have tried on before adds to the uncertainty. The cancellation of family celebrations and corporate events has changed the demand as such – less festive or business clothing, more casual fashion for working from home. Financial worries because of short-time work are a further reason to focus on the bare necessities rather than buying new clothes at the moment.
What can retailers do to win their customers’ trust and to adapt to the changed consumer behaviour? For one thing, a convincing and transparent hygiene concept is important. Most companies have put this into practice very successfully – access control, disinfectants, one-way aisles, contactless payment, disinfection of changing rooms after each use are the “new normal”. For another thing, it is essential to seize the opportunities of a good customer loyalty: make shopping experience digital with online events and days of action, use of social media for creating a community, click and collect offers, increased use of artificial intelligence … there are many ways. Maintaining structures that may have proven to be right in the past but which, due to the current disruption, are not future-oriented is not an alternative.
Chances despite Corona
What are the options? Massive upheavals can prove to be a chance for reorientation. Flexible adjustment of the product planning to the changed consumer behaviour, emotional customer retention by expanding the technical possibilities and strengthening the sense of unity by organising creative community events can make a difference. A challenge? But not impossible. The crisis has shown that many things are possible now that seemed unthinkable before.
Learnings from the crisis
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Loss in sales