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Why fashion retailers should embrace tech

fashion retailers must embrace tech

 Avery Dennison Corporation (NYSE: AVY), today announced the launch of a new report ‘Digital Consumer Behavior that will support its aim to help retailers better connect their customers’ offline and online experiences. 

Avery Dennison teamed up with audience insight company GWI to investigate the future of fashion retail. A consumer survey of over 5,000 fashion buyers across the U.S., UK, France, Germany and China revealed contemporary attitudes towards convenience, brand engagement, traceability, sustainability and circularity.

Embrace omnichannel or become obsolete

The report’s core finding is that to remain relevant in the post-COVID environment, physical retail locations need to adapt by building better links between online and offline touchpoints. Since the pandemic, online channels have taken on new meaning in the shopping journey, but physical shopping in stores remains highly desirable across all geographies and age groups, if made safe, convenient, relevant and engaging.

embrace tech

The survey found that three-quarters of fashion shoppers want retailers to offer more solutions, with self-checkout (32%), curbside pickup (26%), and mobile payment compatibility (22%) topping the list.

Over half of global shoppers surveyed said that receiving a personalized offer on their phone to use in-store would increase their likelihood of visiting a physical shop. Similarly, 44% said the same thing about digital experiences in-store, such as the ability to scan a QR code for product information, and 40% said that connected/smart fitting rooms would motivate them to visit.

Now is the time to reimagine omnichannel, where elements of the physical storefront connect to the online discovery, purchase, and advocacy experiences in new ways, facilitated by technology.

why fashion retailers should embrace technology

Time for transparency

The report revealed that globally, over 60% of fashion buyers wanted more transparency about where their clothing had come from and how it was made.

More than 40% of consumers surveyed in the U.S., 50% in Europe, and almost 70% in China say they want access to this information.

End-to-end ID technologies represent a viable solution, as they provide direct interaction with a product to allow consumers to find out how it’s been made, end-of-life options and more. They amplify value and visibility for products throughout each stage of the supply chain. Every stakeholder stands to benefit from this innovation, including multi-brand retailers, recyclers and consumers. For example, QR codes on garment labels can give consumers recycling information to aid fashion circularity, or product authentication allowing for verified secondary market purchases.

Commenting on the report, Mike Colarossi, vice president, product line management, innovation and sustainability, RBIS at Avery Dennison says, “We believe the need to bridge the on and offline experience is greater now than ever. Intelligent labelling of apparel can do that by driving the omnichannel, enhancing transparency and enabling solutions to some of the industry’s most vexing sustainability challenges. The garments we wear can become a lot smarter; they just need to be connected.”

“Data shows how receptive consumers are toward initiatives which further the sustainable agenda. One trend we’ve tracked is that ID-level solutions facilitate product repair, recycling, resale and rental exchange” says Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GWI “As consumer interest in sustainable fashion practices continues, ID-level tools are helping to facilitate the growing resale economy.  Authentication is a key use case for digital triggers, especially in the growing luxury resale market. Over 60% of fashion buyers want more transparency about the journey their clothes went on before making a purchase.”

This report was commissioned by Avery Dennison, a global leader in innovation and materials science, branding, and manufacturing, using online research carried out by GWI. 5,056 internet users aged 16-64 from China, the US, France, Germany and the UK were interviewed. The study investigates the future of retail and covers topics from digital consumer engagement, to tractability, sustainability and circularity to gauge consumers’ perceptions of the fashion industry.

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