The future of fashion is set to change, with the pandemic the catalyst. The increased need for technological advancements to aid shopping is more present than ever. There is now an inability to leave our homes without concern and risk. Thus, online shopping has become the more responsible and efficient way to buy. The growing trend of using machinery throughout the supply chain from manufacturing to final delivery also reduces the amount of human contact with the products so the risk of spreading the virus decreases. It also aims to quicken the production process. Will the online shopping trend continue post-COVID-19? Only time will tell, yet, it seems prudent to invest in this sector as it is set to grow regardless.
In store shopping on the line
The developments in online shopping result in a more efficient time for shoppers when purchasing their items. The growth in this area means that the descriptions and filtering on products has improved, as well as the purchasing experience. However, there is now more than ever an increasing demand for a more accessible online system from all stores. The pandemic has highlighted the need for an improved shopping experience. When considering the statistics shown on Statista that ecommerce traffic grew from 16.2 billion visits in June 2019 to 21.96 billion June 2020. There is evidently, due to COVID-19 and worldwide lockdowns, an inflated requirement for online access.
Another factor in online ordering is the basic prerequisite of returning items with ease. The technical improvements within this area have now also turned to considering the environmental impact. Some stores have recently opted for online return slips to save from the excess paper being wasted. It also spares you from remembering to save a piece of paper when you obtain your order.
Other advances that aid a smooth online shipping experience are new payment methods. Apple Pay, for example, is an easy and time efficient way to buy products; with the security of Face ID and your address saved alongside it. That said, not all stores offer these options when purchasing. Less stress when shopping is something every shopper will look for, especially now, in such a stressful time for the world. The growing appetite to buy online makes more efficient online shopping a necessity. In fact, for numerous retail businesses this investment may be critical to survival.
New and improved?
In recent years there has been a real evolution of automation in the fashion industry. The use of machinery helps to cut out more risk of infection in the production line. A major worry during this challenging time is reducing our risk when leaving our homes or what we let into our homes. It aims to make clothing in a more proficient way, and future aims include making clothing more sustainable with new materials and methods. The hope is that its products can be manufactured faster, which in a very unstable period, such an ability to make new products quickly has proven necessary.
This necessity was made visible by the pandemic. The sudden need for everyone to wear a mask depicts a true requirement for technological advances. The need to produce and distribute masks quickly and widely to enable people to continue their lives as best as possible presented itself. There is now an inability to shop without this simple accessory. There will doubtless be developments, for prosperity, in masks and these will be stimulated by the technology industry.
Some may not deign masks a fashion item. However, if they were not fashion, the abundance in designs and focus on individualisation would not be a marketable sector. It has become an accessory for people, and they have adopted it to become part of their outfit. An item of safety and style in one.
The future of fashion
The legacy of this pandemic will be an amplified awareness to the unpredictable. It has created the need for a new accessory which may remain, it also accelerated the need for online shopping and ease within this realm. Nasdaq has estimated that by 2040, 95% of retail sales will be facilitated by online shopping. Thus, the investment for a smooth online shopping experience is something that shops should be sanctioning. It has generated an impressive demand for less human contact involved in the buying experience.
Will this spell the end of shopping in stores or its human workforce? Perhaps not, but this pandemic has certainly opened our eyes to alternative means. Investment in online retail is still necessary, whether or not consumers return to the shops. There is an understanding in recent memory of the possibility of a pandemic. Technological development is key to accessing all markets and safeguarding the future of fashion.