The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to its knees and it is proving to be a testing time for businesses across the globe. As extended lockdowns, social distancing and working from the confines of homes have become the new reality, fashion brands and retailers across the world are struggling to mitigate disruptions and cope up with revenue reductions.
We are in uncharted territory where nothing is certain. Nobody knows when businesses will come back to normal.
While it is hard to predict the post pandemic scenario, it can safely be stated it will take some time before things to come back to normal. In the meanwhile, players across the value chain can definitely utilise this time to up their career skills. We bring you a few basic steps that will help you prepare your brand/business to shine though the times of uncertainty that awaits us all.
11 KEEP UP THE COMMUNICATION
Brands can use SMSs, emails and social media platforms for direct interaction with customers and gatherable data on their preferences. They should also focus on changing campaign strategies, providing digital entertainment, and coming up with products that are relevant to the times. These will go miles in establishing a deeper connect with consumers and ensure positive returns in the long run.
Modern consumers tend to resonate with brands with strong sense of social responsibility. Hence, you can also consider delivering simple messages that address the support for efforts the ongoing pandemic.
Similarly, it is equally crucial for brands and retailers to keep communicating with staff members and employees. Just
like everyone else, they are scared too and are banking on their employers for some semblance of support or security. This will give them a sense of belonging thereby boosting their morale and optimism is in uncertain times as such, which in turn will ensure high loyalty and dedication in the turbulent times that lay ahead.
Even after the lock down ends the footfall is expected to be thin. Hence, this also is great opportunity to encourage employees learn new skills and grow in their professional front.
22 INCREASE SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY
Even in India, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has unfolded a welcoming phenomenon – a sharp rise in the number of first-time e-commerce users, who had been so far uncomfortable with shopping online.
Brands and retailers will have to ramp up their digital footprint – their main lifeline in these times of crisis. Use social media to assure your existing consumers and advertise your product and services to new consumers. Expand your google search marketing by keeping a close tab on keyword ranking and searches. Check your PPC too because keywords targeted yesterday may not be the most relevant today.
This is also an excellent time for brands to grow their digital follower base through contests, engaging content, or via targeted ads — because the entire world is spending far more time on social media than they did a few months back.
33 ANTE UP YOUR BRANDING GAME
44 RELY ON TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE
A plethora of brands might be dipping their toe into the digital space for the first time. They can start with basic tools like chatbots that can aid brands to keep lines of communication open. There are myriad technologies available today including, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing, etc., that brands can employ in their own capacity.
As e-commerce gears up to be the mainstay of the retail industry, data is all set to become the new oil for competition and the fashion industry will no longer be able to afford to not utilise modern technologies like AI, Data Mining and Machine Learning.
Even physical stores would be compelled to bank more on technology for their day to day operations – right from technologies that gives flexibility in ordering and fulfilling to tools that help in assortment, allocation and forecasts.
55 THINK SMART, ADAPT FASTER
the momentum going once the state of normalcy returns.
Post the crisis, businesses will have to extol a combination of scalability and agility with resilience at the fore of every strategy. This crisis will compel us all to think and act at an unprecedented speed so as to not compromise with customer experience and fill gaps.
Finally, the fashion industry is no stranger to disruption. It has been through pretty exceptional times over the years yet somehow managed to move on, stronger than before. In hindsight, the pandemic has presented fashion brands and retailers with the rare opportunity to reflect and introspect and come up with much-needed changes required to take their businesses and the industry to the next level.