When you work in the fashion industry, you’re often asked by friends and family: ” Tell me, what’s actually trendy right now?” With a mixture of subjective perception (I find myself pretty or totally horrible) and fashionable affinity (I read in the last InStyle or saw my favorite influencer on Instagram), I almost certainly answer from a gut feeling.
Who decides what trend is?
According to a Picalike survey, so-called “trend scouting” or “researching” works quite similarly for many German fashion companies, regardless of size and annual turnover: intuition, fashion sense, and creativity of buyers, designers and trend scouts are the basis for the selection of products we find in online shops. Well-founded figures can only be obtained by evaluating the market: what is being searched for in my shop, what products does my competitor sell and what do my previous sales statistics look like for individual products?
This means that determining a trend is a long-term process that can take up to two years from research to collection development, sourcing to the actual market launch or online launch of the products, depending on whether the products are produced in-house, white-labeling or for a multi-brand store.
But in the age of Instagram, Influencer Marketing and Co. is this method still effective, reliable and above all profitable?
Where previously there was the “push” strategy: designers, buyers, trend scouts or editors give (trend) forecasts for the market and the products are “pushed” into the market. Today, it is rather the “pull” strategy that is more promising: The trends are determined by the consumers, who are inspired by Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or Pinterest and symbolize with likes and shares “I like this thing, that’s what I want”. Generation Z, in particular, is characterized by rapidly changing preferences. Today seen at Influencerin XY on Instagram, tapped on the picture once and I would like to be taken directly to the online shop, where I can order this product here and now. So in the best case, I can put it on tomorrow, because tomorrow I might discover a completely different product again, which I like even better.
Fast, Faster, Fashion-Market!
Inversely, this means that the market must react quickly in order to meet demand and make the articles in demand available as quickly and directly as possible.
Products and collections move away from the established seasonal cycle and focus on the on-demand sourcing strategy.
The on-demand strategy, of course, has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, as a company, I can react quickly to trends and satisfy the market. On the other hand, on-demand and near-shore productions often produce smaller quantities that are more expensive to produce.
But what if I don’t have to manufacture anything new to react to trends? Can I simply restructure my existing assortment and rearrange the products?
The key questions are here: What of my existing assortment is trendy right now? What is in demand, what is clicked, what is bought? And not measured against my own KPIs, but in relation to my market environment. What do my competitors do? What do online shops do that I orient myself towards in terms of trends? Are certain products prominently placed with competitors because they are bought particularly frequently or at least placed in the shopping basket?
Checking all this manually, with your own eyes, so to speak, is very time-consuming and in most cases, there are no resources available for it, as our survey also showed. In addition, there is the problem: Perhaps a trend is emerging in one of my competitors, which I would not have recognized at all if I had scrolled through the page, or maybe I did not have the competitor on my screen at all? With Computer Vision-based market analysis, millions of products can be scanned in all desired online shops in a short time and sorted according to trends. Thus, marketing, purchasing and production decisions can be made, which not only refer to internal analyses and reports (e.g. top sellers/losers lists, sales data), but also evaluate my products in relation to the overall market, my market niche, my customers or competitors. OnSight as a market intelligence solution provides information that relates to the business environment and provides direct recommendations for buyers and marketers.
If you also want to get an overview of customers, partners, competitors and fashion leaders, then become an OnSight Pre-Live Partner now and benefit from cross-company insights. Recognize trends at an early stage in order to react to existing demand with your existing product assortment at short notice and to operate effective and analytical trend scouting in the long term.
Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +49 40 468 95 17 – 0.