The digital impact on the fashion industry has introduced new ways for customers to shop for their products or alter their style. Three of those ways will be explored in this article, so keep reading to find out more.
1. Fashion Subscription Boxes
The first new method is fashion subscription boxes. The concept involves paying a fee each month to have items sent to you in the post. When users sign up to the service, they are given a questionnaire with the aim to understand their personal style.
If you can't beat 'em, @GwynnieBee will let you join 'em. CEO @CMHunsicker is bringing the brand's Netflix-style subscription model to traditional, mall-staple retailers so they can meet the ever-changing demands of the consumer that would rather rent than own. #CheddarLIVE pic.twitter.com/SjhMsOscdr
— Cheddar? (@cheddar) May 7, 2018
Is it really as good as it seems? The process of simply filling out a form and then a stylist picking out a collection of algorithmed clothes sounds like it couldn’t possibly fail. In fact, statistics show that as consumers we are fascinated by the idea of subscription boxes. With traffic to their websites increasing by 800% since 2014.
Stitchfix is another subscription company, they cater for both males and females, as well as offering a children’s edition each month. Although they do not currently operate in the UK, Stitchfix are renowned for their inclusiveness and carry sizes 0-24 in womens clothing alone.
The nature of the style box means that whatever products that subscribers don’t love, they can return. The return fee is free for the customer but not for the business. As I’m sure you know, shipping prices aren’t cheap, and return shipping costs can add up and hurt profit margins for the style box companies.
Style boxes are a unique way to shop for something out of your comfort zone or keep up to date with the latest trend. But, are they worth the unpredictability that they pose to customers? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
2. The Virtual Fitting Room
ASOS have adopted a new application, ‘Virtusize’, which acts as a virtual fitting room for shoppers. The tool has adapted the way we shop by utilizing technology to help find the best fitting clothing.
For customers, this means they will be able to see whether a piece of clothing will fit their body type. The tool takes their measurements and will advise the best size based on what other customers have bought and not returned with similar body types.
Find the button "Fit Visualiser" on ASOS USA and Australia pic.twitter.com/5haWp1koXW
— Virtusize (@Virtusize) February 27, 2014
The tool could be a potential lifesaver for ASOS as a company. Since they do not offer a storefront for customers, we can assume their return rate is high. Virtusize have proven to reduce fit-related returns by up to 50% on other e-commerce sites.
One reviewer of Virtusize approved of the experience, saying “the tool inspires confidence during the buying process, particularly when comparing products against garments that you’ve previously bought from ASOS.”
Being a corporation of their size, ASOS could benefit on a large scale by reducing the number of returns fees per month. Therefore, Virtusize could be a product of the digital impact that benefits both customers and businesses.
3 Buy Now…Pay Later?
An interesting concept that has been adopted by giant fashion retailers such as ASOS and Topshop is Klarna.
What is Klarna? – I hear you ask…
Well, Klarna is a finance scheme where customers are able to purchase their items in two main different ways.
- THREE PAYMENTS – if a customer spends over £60 online, they have the option to split their payment into three equal installments over a period of sixty days.
- BUY NOW, PAY LATER – the customer receives their items and if they chose to keep them, will have to pay the full amount within thirty days. Whatever they don’t like they can send back free of charge.
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BREAKING NEWS: We’ve just launched Slice it in 3 with our friends at Topshop! Check out their website where you can now shop for the latest styles and pay in 3 equal instalments. ??? . . . #klarna #klarnait #topshopit #topshop #sliceit #sliceitin3 #merchantmonday #fashion #style
The payment scheme is designed to allow customers to buy all the items they want and not have to wait until payday. The company boasts no interest, fees or late charges. Customers are judged by a soft credit check, which doesn’t show up to other lenders, customer’s credit history, age, and other factors.
But what are the risks?
This is all sounding rather perfect, but what happens when you don’t pay? Klarna reported that they will attempt to automatically take the money and if this doesn’t work, after several reminders you will be forwarded to a debt collection agency.
— Sabrina Chakici (@sabrinachakici) February 26, 2017
Klarna has been raved about by bloggers and shoppers alike. however, is it encouraging bad habits, overspending and fuelling our shopping addictions? Let us know in the comments.
Until next time!
– Alice x