After a year like no other, 2020 is ending with an impressive number of changes, which have impacted each of us both on a professional and personal level, allowing new trends and consumer behaviours to emerge. Never in such a record time have we experienced so many profound changes which are expected to last. Being more specific, the fashion, lifestyle brands and retail sector have embraced digital and moved even-closer to the consumer within the last 8 months, catching up with a trend already well established in China and the Asia-Pacific – Out of this pandemic, there are to my view 3 majors take aways’ from 2020:
- The acceleration of digital and the amplification of e-commerce, leaving space for the outburst of digital stores on mega platform, such as TMalls “luxury pavillon”. Gucci announced recently the expansion of its footprint reaching 750 million Chinese customers thanks to this partnership with Alibaba. The shift of advertising from physical to digital, a process already in progress pre-pandemic, has sped up; thinking of Ikea, the Swedish firm took the bold decision to drop their well-established catalogue of 300 pages (!) and reinvest those costs as part of their strategic digital transformation. We’ve seen greater convergence of social video and commerce as well with Amazon and Facebook who have already made significant strides in live shopping, adding commerce functionalities to their sites.
Connecting the dots between content creation, engagement and the ability to purchase directly, has become paramount for brands and retailers, to enhance their customer experience.
More luxury brands have shifted towards livestreams event on Twitch for their catwalk and there is a high probability to see this trend staying for good. And as conversational commerce channels are growing, shopping AR in 2020 is no longer wishful thinking but a reality that retailers physically embraced even more.
- The emerging trend of “Resale-Reuse” as a new way of thinking and buying. Impossible for luxury brands to think of this model a couple of months ago….Interesting to see that well-known brands such as LVMH, Gucci, Aigle, Levis’ launched their initiative of resale in Direct to customers claiming strong commitment towards sustainability and the necessity to bring more transparency in the fashion/ luxury industry.
If resale as a potential initiative to increase longevity of product lifecycle, you can also argue that it gives extra opportunity for those brands to sell their stock or products they would have normally destroyed. In any case, you can only celebrate this trend towards a different way of consuming, that individuals from all ages embrace via marketplaces such as RealReal. A luxury online fashion marketplace that offers authenticated luxury items reporting a total revenues of $318 million in 2019, up 53 percent from the previous year.
- The change in organisations and the enhancement of collective intelligence. During this period, you could see initiatives which encouraged co-creation both with internal employees, consumers, partnerships, associations in order to reinvent their business model towards a more strategic sustainable model. Encouraging cross functional expertise, enhanced with external partnerships from wide variety of sectors became even more strategic. Lego is one of them to invest 400 million euros to accelerate its engagement towards sustainability, taking its brand responsibility to the next level.
What 2021 will bring, is hard t see in a crystal ball. However, prioritising DtC, enhancing data capabilities and e-commerce with AI experience through social networks don’t seem idealistic. To strive for better customers centricity, combined with an “Hyper local” distribution model could be an opportunity for brands and retailer to amplify a strong sense a community and create additional customer experience with authenticity. In any case, whatever 2021 brings, we believe in turbulence there is opportunity.
As we end the year, at parallell advisors, we have one wish for 2021, ….we wish to talk to you again soon and wish you an optimistic and creative start in the year 2021
Best wishes and Merry Christmas.
Claire, Debbie, Samuel
sharper focus – smarter work – stronger brands
parallell advisors is a business, marketing & organisation solution led advisory firm based across Brussels and London.
follow us on linked-in