State of Fashion Industry: How to bounce back during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is hurting all industries worldwide. The trillion-dollar fashion industry is one of the industries that received the greatest damage among all, as the virus not only harmed the global demand but also the supply chains. Even though the virus is still spreading and far from reaching its peak, fashion businesses all around the globe have to take swift actions to make a comeback in the following months when life turns normal.

Coronavirus and the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has been negatively impacted via the coronavirus outbreak on every possible level; manufacturing has ceased, retailers have closed, demand has dropped. Having arisen in the midst of the Fall 2020 Fashion Showcase Season, the Covid-19 pandemic forced many important players in the market to cancel their major events and shut down stores.

Many retailers and department stores across the globe have closed their stores. Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

High-profile brands like Gucci, Hermes, and Prada are taking precautionary actions to contain the virus. Armani, making a notable decision, held his women’s Fall/Winter 2020/2021 fashion show in an empty theater, and posted the record of the show on different social media networks. A long list of major retailers and department stores including Abercrombie and Fitch, Nike, H&M, Adidas, Zara, Louis Vuitton have closed their stores temporarily.

The clothing market is very sensitive to changes in economic conditions, and clothing sales in the regions that went on lockdown suffered dramatically from the economic slowdown. The economies of the main clothing consumption markets, notably the United States and China, are experiencing a slowdown in activity in early 2020 due to pandemic.

Normally, at this moment of the year, many of us would be organizing our best summer wardrobe as we prepare for sunny weather and foreign holidays. Instead, clothing sales dropped by 34% in March as lots of the world’s population is presently not able to tour abroad or socialize amid lockdown restrictions.

However, after the pandemic comes to an end, experts expect that the global consumption for clothing will increase gradually. The Business of Fashion estimates that revenues for the global fashion industry will contract by 27 to 30 percent in 2020 year-on-year, even though the industry ought to regain a positive increase of two to four percent in 2021.

On the contrary, the good news is starting to come out, especially from China. Now that the spread of the virus has come to an end, the biggest supplier of clothing apparel is recovering, and the capacity of production is moving towards the normal situation. It is also reported that major apparel production countries, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Portugal, and Morocco are operating at full capacity.

COVID-19’s Impact on Consumer Behaviors

As some fashion companies are going out of business, this might be an opportunity for others to fill the gap in the market. The global economy is bound to see a return to trend after this large temporary shock. Without a doubt, the coronavirus outbreak will affect the behaviors of the consumers and reshape the products in the market accordingly.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

With nearly all public gatherings called off, people are looking to connect with one another on social media networks like Instagram. The coronavirus outbreak has caused media consumption to increase in countries across the globe, social media usage seeing an increase of 70 percent. Social distancing has highlighted the importance of digital channels more than ever, and now companies have to invest in and strengthen their digital capabilities in the recovery phase of the crisis to further prevent damage in the longer term. Consumers expect to spend more via online and social channels than through offline channels in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. In the meantime, fashion brands, as well as influencers, have unsurprisingly enhanced their digital content and interaction with consumers on the platform to make use of this global lockdown.

To mitigate the dangerous impact of the pandemic and adapt to customer shifts, companies have to introduce new tools and techniques to their business models. The firms that keep up with the trends and understand the dynamic needs and wants of the consumers after the coronavirus outbreak comes to an end will be winners in the fashion market. If the firms can read the consumers well enough and use this pandemic crisis for their own benefit by producing the right product at the right time by the right amount, they can actually cover the damage made by the pandemic and enjoy the booming sales after the outbreak comes to a halt.

It’s Time to Rewire: Making use of social media for trend forecasting

At this point, fashion trend forecasting plays an extremely crucial role. Fashion companies have to adapt to the change that Coronavirus has brought to us and be ready to respond to this consumer shift beforehand. Bearing in mind the ever-growing power of social media and digital channels amid Covid-19, fashion companies are bounded to make use of media outlets such as Instagram to forecast future fashion trends and analyze the behavior of their loyal consumers.

We, as T-Fashionstep in at that very point to help the players in the fashion industry to avoid excess stocks piling up in the stores and warehouses by analyzing the social media. We provide customized trend insights and fashion reports to companies to help them produce the right product at the right time by the right amount. We analyze millions of social media posts for each of our customers with our cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence programs. With our visual reports, we help the players in the fashion industry to avoid missed revenue and overstocking.

Now that social media is reshaping the fashion world, we are making use of the ever-growing power of social media, especially Instagram. To see how T-Fashion is leveraging social media to help you grow your business, request a demo now!