Satisfying the quest for newness and pre-empting what customers want, when they want it, is key to succeeding in fast fashion, retail directors told Drapers Fashion Forum this morning.
Fast and furious DDF2016
Speaking at the fashion industry-leading event at 30 Euston Square in London Sarah Welsh, brand director of Oasis, said being instinctive and knowing your customer inside out is crucial in an increasingly competitive market.
“You have to deliver what the customer wants, when she wants it. You have to be instinctive to satisfy that desire for newness. The customer won’t plan ahead any more – you have to put her at the heart of everything you do.”
Qasim Akhlaq, managing director of footwear etailer Public Desire, agreed: “It’s all about fulfilling what the shopper wants. We’ve noticed less emphasis on seasonal products, it doesn’t matter if it’s a long boot or a sandal we will stock it all year round if she wants it.”
Ash Kumar, founder and creative director of fast fashion brand Native Youth said the business saw a gap in the market for reactive product in menswear.
“We wanted to do fast fashion for men because that customer was looking for newness. We inject newness into the range every eight weeks to keep the shopper spending and excited about the brand.”
Kumar added that influencers on social media were a big driver of sales: “Instagram is leading the way for us and we see an immediate return. If we post an image of a celebrity wearing our product, our traffic and sales go through the roof.”
Akhlaq said creating a relationship with the customer was key: “We have a huge community on social media. Our customers follow us on Instagram and Snapchat. They come to us for the latest celebrity gossip and news- they want to relate to us. It’s not all about product, it’s about building brand loyalty.”