Time For Change: Challenges And Implications For Fashion Startups In India

Fashion Startup: The year 2020 has brought about a major change in the shopping behavior of customers, leading to new implications for this industry. After navigating through these changes, businesses are now poised to make a comeback after facing unexpected consequences due to the pandemic. With the shift to remote work, people were forced to alter their purchasing behaviors, resulting in changes to both workplace and home attire. While the pandemic has posed serious challenges to the fashion industry, it has also created opportunities for change.

Some of the changes that have come about due to the pandemic include an increased focus on sustainability and ethical production. Customers are now more conscious of the impact of their purchases and are demanding transparency from brands. This has led to an increase in demand for sustainable and ethically produced clothing. Fashion startups in India need to adapt to these changes and incorporate sustainable and ethical practices into their business models in order to stay relevant in the ever-changing market.

Obstacles Ahead of Indian Fashion Startups

Startups in the fashion industry are facing obstacles in recovering from the revenue lost during the pandemic. In order to make a comeback, they need to implement relevant and wise strategies.

Improving Sales

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the sales of fashion startups in India. With physical stores closed for several months, startups have struggled to maintain revenue streams. Post-Covid, customers are more conscious of their purchases and are looking for a clear and compelling reason to buy clothes, footwear, and accessories. Given the current situation of partial lockdowns in different states of India, there is no scope for outings and parties, which adds to the challenge of improving sales. The apparel and manufacturing sector has experienced a discouraging decline due to store closures and stay-at-home orders from state governments. Fashion startups need to implement relevant and wise strategies to improve sales and adapt to the changing market to stay relevant.

Mapping Relevant Customer Demands

When it comes to demand, there are three key trends that are directly impacting consumers and their purchases: value for money, sustainability, and digitalization. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware and conscious of their shopping needs, and they are looking for products and services that meet their needs in all three of these areas.

Value for money has been an important consideration for consumers for many years, but this trend has become even more pronounced in recent times as a result of the economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. Consumers are looking for products and services that offer good value for money, and they are willing to shop around to find the best deals.

Sustainability is another key trend that is impacting consumers’ purchasing decisions. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that their purchases have on the environment, and they are looking for products and services that are environmentally friendly. This trend is particularly strong among younger consumers, who are more likely to be concerned about the environment and the impact of their actions on the planet.

Finally, digitalization is a trend that is impacting all aspects of our lives, including our shopping habits. With the rise of e-commerce and the increasing use of mobile devices, consumers are becoming more comfortable with shopping online, and they are looking for businesses that have a strong digital presence. A digital presence is key to acquiring and retaining customers, and businesses that fail to embrace digitalization are likely to fall behind their competitors.

Cost Controlling is Critical

In the early stages of their business, many entrepreneurs may not prioritize investing in technology and instead may have to manually reconcile transactions with both buyers and suppliers. This can involve a tedious computation process to assess GST, leading to a lot of back-and-forth and time-consuming record keeping. To address this challenge, it is important for startups to consider innovative strategies such as reducing inventory costs, improving marketing efficiency, streamlining shipping processes, and managing order returns effectively.

Also read, Top 8 Common Challenges Faced by D2C Brands and How to Overcome Them

What Are the Implications for Fashionpreneurs?

The fashion startup ecosystem has been significantly impacted by the outbreak of the pandemic. As a result, several implications have emerged.

Sustainability First Approach

In the fashion industry, “sustainability” now refers to many things, like CSR, diversity, and inclusion. People are more likely to buy from brands that support issues they care about.

The demand for sustainable fashion is expected to continue growing as consumers become increasingly aware of the damage caused by fast fashion and the scarcity of resources. It is imperative for brands to shift their focus towards creating products that are ethically made and economically feasible. Wastefulness and cruelty are no longer attractive to customers, and fashion brands looking to generate profits must adapt their thought processes and strategies to navigate the post-pandemic fashion tastes of their customers. Slow fashion, which nurtures and protects the environment, is key to ensuring future business profits.

Importance of Digital Marketing

With the pandemic causing physical stores to close, businesses have had to shift their focus to online sales. As a result, digital marketing has become more important than ever before. Fashion startups need to invest in creating a strong digital presence in order to attract and retain customers. This includes developing a user-friendly website, creating engaging social media content, and utilizing email marketing to stay in touch with customers.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Collaborations and partnerships are great ways for fashion startups to increase their visibility and reach new customers. By partnering with other brands, startups can tap into new markets and expand their customer base. For example, a sustainable fashion brand could partner with a vegan makeup brand to create a curated collection of eco-friendly products.

Investing More in Creative Marketing Strategies

In order to stand out in a crowded market, fashion startups need to be creative with their marketing strategies. This could include hosting virtual events, creating engaging video content, or launching a social media campaign that encourages user-generated content. By thinking outside the box, startups can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract a loyal customer base.

Respecting Customer Sentiments

In the coming years, millennials will become the largest demographic worldwide, with a significant portion of their spending allocated to fashion. As a generation that prioritizes the overall sustainability of the planet, fashion brands will need to cater to their demands. Everything from the methods used to grow and treat raw materials to the conditions of laborers in the industry will have a significant impact on future business. Consumers will want to buy from brands that align with their values and care about their emotions.

Closing Note

Fashion brands, whether established or startups, are responding to evolving consumer shopping behavior by offering comfortable clothing options. Fashion brands can increase their business during and after the wave of the pandemic is finally over, by gaining insight into current market trends and future potential, as well as implementing effective marketing and pricing strategies.

Holding an optimistic future for the Indian Fashion Ecosystem, especially the one driven by digital technologies and is much more resilient, is definitely not too ambitious.

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