5 predictions for the apparel industry in 2019
A lot happened in 2018, some of it was predictable, and there were some things no one saw coming. Having said that, at immago we love having a go at predicting the future of the apparel industry, so we’ve come up with these 5 predictions for the next 12 months.
How accurate will we be?
There’s only one way to know!
Read this post again in a year and see what we got right!
Sustainability will be more important than ever
As we’ve mentioned before, the future of the apparel industry lies in sustainability, and 2019 will see a huge increase in the number of brands doing their best, to actively get their environmental message across.
Younger consumers are more mindful of their purchases and will choose to align themselves with businesses that support their values. This includes where the product comes from, how it’s made, and what impact it has on the environment.
Recycled fashion will become more popular, with major brands starting to offer recycled (second-hand) clothing, as they keep up with the demand for more sustainable and conscientious practices.
Artificial intelligence will play a larger part for retailers
The last couple of years have seen the introduction of chatbots, which have been very successful for providing that extra customer service.
These “smart” software systems can talk to customers online, and most of the time people don’t realise they’re not actually speaking to a real person!
Next year will see a rise in these applications, with Artificial Intelligence developing even more human-like qualities, allowing for more interaction with clients and a faster resolution time.
In the background, AI is streamlining the industry, improving everything from shipping routes to marketing decisions.
Up until now these systems have only been affordable to the larger companies, but the coming year will see the price drop significantly, allowing small to medium business enterprises the chance to harness the power of AI.
Social Media will play a larger role in marketing
Printable coupons, newspaper ads… even emails… are all joining phone books in the list of obsolete marketing tools.
Today’s brands understand the importance of reaching their customer base through online marketing, specifically social media platforms, and 2019 will be the year that online marketing takes over everything else.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the other platforms out there are now the playing field for customer relations.
Having meaningful dialogue with clients on a personal level will become the new norm, instead of leaving feedback forms or waiting for a reply from an email.
If your business isn’t chatting online with your customers, you may need to rethink your online strategy, which is especially important in the apparel industry.
Mobile phones will take over
Last year, sales through phones accounted for 35% of the online market, while this year it rose to 40%. Next year it is predicted that half of all online sales will be via customers’ smartphones.
With online purchasing becoming safer and with more options available, consumers (especially those under 25) are expecting brands to offer mobile purchasing apps, or at the very least easy purchasing on a mobile-ready website.
According to Google, 3 out of 4 consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to an alternative mobile site that makes purchasing easier.
As consumers become more comfortable buying online through their phones, any business which doesn’t have an App for easy purchase should seriously think about investing in one.
Global unpredictability will keep the apparel industry on its toes
2019 will almost certainly be a year of political and economic upheaval.
March 29th will see the UK leave the European Union, and as yet there is no agreement between the two parties on trade and tariffs. What this means for business, both in Europe and around the world, is anyone’s guess.
Since Donald Trump became President, the U.S. has focused on turning inward to protect itself, rather than looking to grow and expand free trade around the globe. This has led to tariff wars with China, which has caused turmoil in markets around the world.
Whether or not Trump is still President this time next year remains to be seen, but with such unpredictable times in the White House, the only thing that is certain is that we don’t know what’s around the corner.
The geopolitical landscape is extremely complex, making it almost impossible to predict the specific effects that they will have on your business, but it’s important to keep a close eye on what’s happening, to try to anticipate and prepare for any changes that could affect you.
We’re here for your business in 2019
Anyone can make predictions – getting them right is the hard part.
But after decades in the apparel industry, immago have their ear to the ground when it comes to what’s around the corner.
From natural disasters no one can predict, to man-made catastrophes that should’ve been avoided, we will be here to guide you and your business through it all.
From our larger, international clients, down to our small, novice designers, our promise is to keep supporting you every step of the way, no matter what the coming year throws at you.
If you would like to be a part of our family, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can make your 2019 a success story.