Apparel Logistics and Seasonal Demand

Managing logistics in the apparel industry is predictable only in its unpredictability. When viral social media posts and celebrities' snap decisions determine the trends, it's nearly impossible to anticipate when a sudden surge in demand may occur. Fortunately, online tools and smart third-party logistics solutions have made it easier to keep up, even with the breakneck pace of today's seasonal fashion trends.

The Customer-Centered Landscape

Today's apparel industry is a far cry from what existed even a decade ago. Consumers no longer rely on store shelves to meet their fashion needs. The vast landscape of online retailers puts just about everything within a few clicks of the buyer. Sixty-three percent of online shoppers hit the internet with a specific item in mind, and 64 percent will complete the purchase online without ever hitting a brick-and-mortar retail store.

Retailers no longer need to estimate how many items to hang on the rack or which products to keep on the floor. Streamlined apparel logistics with drop shipping from third-party suppliers allow sellers to list more items than they could even keep in the warehouse. What the customers buy rather than what retailers set out are what determine today's trends, changing the supply and demand balance dramatically.

Shifting Away from Seasons

While you'll still see seasonal trends in your apparel sales, they won't be as distinct as what traditional retailers are accustomed to. When you're stocking a sales floor, you have limited space. This means you need to choose which items are most relevant to the season and stick with a small selection.

Online, you don't have these constraints, and customers are free to shop for what they really want regardless of the season. This better reflects buyers' real-time needs, as consumers in a warm climate such as Florida don't really need heavy jackets in winter, and vacationers may want swimwear and sundresses in any season.

Analytic Advantages

The best indicator of seasonal demand for your apparel line will come from your analytics. Make sure you're working with a detailed online analytics system that will give you a clear picture of shopping trends. Examining your sales in past years will help you identify seasonal shopping trends you would have otherwise missed. You might find that you have a strong customer base in northern states who want jackets and sweaters well into spring, or you might uncover a vacation boom at an unexpected time of year. Ignore the weather forecast and follow these numbers instead.

Automated Ordering

A well-maintained logistics system will help you respond promptly to seasonal trends, even when they're unexpected. The apparel industry is highly responsive to customers' moods, which are extremely difficult to predict. Set up automated ordering when your stock reaches a certain point to make sure you always have top items in stock, even when an unexpected rush of purchases hits you.

If you're looking for a fresh way to respond to seasonal shopping changes, request a free consultation from The Apparel Logistics Group, Inc. and learn how 3PL services can change your supply chain.

Posted: 3/15/2017 12:30:50 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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