Social Media, Fast Fashion, and the Supply Chain

Keeping up with the latest trends is essential to success in the clothing industry. To beat your competitors, you'll need to learn how to use social media, fast fashion, and the supply chain to your advantage.

The Increasing Importance of Social Media

Research from the Pew Internet Project shows 74 percent of Internet users also use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Perhaps even more importantly, 89 percent of people between 18 and 29 years old use social media.

This creates multiple opportunities for companies to reach new customers. Some of the most effective opportunities don't even cost anything. While retailers can advertise their products on social media, it often makes more sense for them to encourage shoppers to post reviews on their own timelines.

Personal reviews are effective because people trust their friends more than ads. Reviews posted by shoppers can also help influence trends as they're developing. As more people write reviews online, products experience a snowball effect that attracts even more shoppers.

Historically, the apparel industry has lagged behind in market-research-led innovations. Plus, the industry has begun to move away from traditional merchandising; the new operating model focuses on sales and market-driven data. That's why social media is a boon to apparel because you can get in front of marketing innovations and establish yourself as a leader by jumping on the market trends.

Why Fast Fashion Works So Well

You may notice that social media has much in common with fast fashion. They both rely on fast, often short-term trends; they both disrupt established business models; and they're both popular among young people.

Fast fashion thrives because it makes affordable, attractive clothing that keeps pace with the market's whims. By shortening their supply chains, retailers can release several collections within a year. New designs go from the drawing table to the store racks within 55-65 days now, between receiving, cutting, sewing, and packing the materials.

Leading manufacturers leverage that short lead time as a unique selling point. Speed and flexibility are perfect in a world where the influence of social media shapes opinions daily.

Taking Advantage of Social Media, Fast Fashion, and Supply Chains

Simply acknowledging the positive traits of social media and fast fashion isn't enough for your business benefit. You have to find innovative ways to shorten your own supply chain so you can keep pace with other retail stores.

This is a difficult challenge for most businesses. Popular stores like H&M, after all, have connections all over the world that make it easier to design and release new fashions quickly. Most small businesses do not have those connections.

However, that doesn't mean your store needs to suffer. Connecting with a 3PL is one of the easiest ways to make your supply chain shorter and more flexible.

Once you have these benefits, you can start to use social media more effectively by offering discounts and prizes to customers who promote your business online. As your products become more popular, the 3PL can scale up to ensure you keep items on your shelf, whether it's an actual shelf in a brick-and-mortar store or a virtual shelf on your website.

You can learn more about taking advantage of social media, fast fashion, and efficient supply chains by requesting a free consultation with one of the experts at the Apparel Logistics Group. After you fill out the form, one of the company's representatives will contact you within three days to discuss your options to benefit your business.

Posted: 3/30/2016 10:39:01 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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