HOW TO FACE THE PERIOD OF MARKET CRISIS IN LUXURY FASHION
To face this particular period of crisis for Italy and the whole world as well as possible. The epicenter of the pandemic is moving from Asia to Europe, and the luxury industry now finds itself cut off from its main supply chain, apart from the severe drop in sales which has already manifested itself.
Italy, the pandemic and the luxury commercial activities
In Italy, most commercial activities have been closed down on the whole territory, and companies are adapting to new systems of “smart working”. It is crucial for Italian companies to know how to react and manage the crisis, otherwise they will be in serious trouble. This is demonstrated by the remarkable changes in client behaviours, changes that offer new scenarios for luxury brands, as for example hosting events, production of digital contents and the search for and discovery of new designers. All solutions and opportunities that have already been put to use in the fashion showrooms business.
The fight against COVID19
In the course of the last few weeks, coronavirus has become a global pandemic, with at least 167.400 people in over 136 countries concerned, and has caused large scale economic damage. Very many companies are undergoing serious economic harm both from the offer and demand side, whereas others are obliged to close their shops and offices, to protect their workers’ and clients’ health, but also so as not to bear excessive losses because of the complete lack of sales of their products.
Digital against the pandemic
What we all fear are the possible negative repercussions on the economy in general, and in particular there are a lot of concerns about the drastic drop in buying in the luxury sector. Generally, most of the people in the world of fashion prefer buying their products gross and personally. This activity could change, at least according to the forecasts for the near future. In this moment in time, brands that offer solutions of digital connectivity, such as e-commerce, configurators and visualizers of 3D products have an advantage.
The solution? To adapt quickly
Many brands that have had to close down their shops hope that pivoting towards e-commerce will compensate for some of the lost sales. The fact people are working at home or simply staying home will certainly increase buying through the web, and users will therefore spend more time online, which would give marketing people more advantages.
Online sales and new technologies
Indeed, the race is on to reinforce online sales, so some fashion companies are working on their websites, adding technological improvements to push them ahead in a moment of strong crisis and static market. Salespeople have tried for years to use 3D imaging and various solutions that make it possible to virtually try on the item before buying it online. Some are based on heightened reality, to increase the rates of conversion, with limited success.
“Live streaming” shopping
A technology that has been useful for some fashion salespeople while coronavirus spreads has been “direct sales”. It is therefore confirmed that live streaming shopping during the coronavirus period has been particularly successful: contacts between buyers and shops have been higher during the first weeks of March, compared to any other period of 2020.
Sector Fairs are suspended
At present, habitual consumers of luxury products have cancelled their trips and are working from home: they can therefore spend much more time online. Luxury brands should dedicate more resources to improving their email marketing systems as well as other “click” strategies, such as research, visualizing and social media.
As the post -SARS period proved, it is possible that consumerism will increase once the virus is controlled, and that buyers will once again be willing to spend part of their available income in exclusive goods.