What happens next?
BCG analysts suggest that “…with more people shopping online, the role of retail stores will change. Many directly operated offline stores will remain for brand image purposes, but the majority of physical locations are likely to be smaller, sell merchandise that’s customized for the area, and be set up to fulfill online orders. Some will also serve as hubs for community activities. To grab customers’ attention, brands will need to strengthen their online presence through customization, community-building, and superior online-shopping interfaces and deliveries.”
We expect this new environment to cause significant changes in the way store staff is trained. New skills will be needed; store managers will be asked to deliver a new sales ceremony and leverage the value of a more advanced set of information and tracking data both in relation to the product and to the consumer making the purchase.
At the same time, because the interaction with in-store sellers will be missing, the product will become more central to the purchasing experience. When it reaches the home of ecommerce buyers, the fashion product should be able to tell the brand story and reinforce the brand's allure. The unboxing ceremony will become a critical moment of truth to communicate with newly acquired and returning customers and provide a great opportunity for the brand to deliver ancillary digital services.
In the "Rising Value of Real" survey conducted by Certilogo in 2019, 1.500 fashion consumers interviewed in 5 top countries stated that they would value the possibility to interact with their connected products to access additional services such as “Certificates of Authenticity” (52% of the cases), “Registration of ownership” (39%), info on the ”Product’s raw materials” (41%), “Sustainability information” (32%), “Brand history & current activities” (36%) and Exclusive extra content (33%).