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The t̶h̶r̶e̶a̶d̶s̶ third presentation

We decided to exhibit our 3rd presentation in a “physical” way, without any digital displays. We used threads to create a fashion factory and found it a good way to create a continuous narrative about our trends.

We started presenting our trends map including the mega, macro and micro trends and which are global and local and from this map we found out the actionable trends that better match with our challenge

In the six trends that we selected we have Digitalization, already impactive from 2017, that is fundamental for other trends and also related to our signals like TikTok, filters, AR/VR.. and it is always producing new opportunities.

A must of this period is, of course, the trend about Covid safety. People worry about protecting themselves and others, through social distancing and customer care.

The shopping experience can’t miss the Brick and Mortar trend, in crisis due to the two lockdowns but essential for more traditional shoppers who want to try on, touch and have physical contact with the brands. It is basically constituted by visual merchandise, display and most of all consumer experience.

Through macro trends we also put community engagement, a trend about transparency of brands, inclusivity and interaction.

Last but not least, we mentioned two micro trends.

One we called “Purpose Driven” because it is about the inner values, the principles by which we live and singularity. As we have seen during the user’s research, the new generations look for honesty and singularity, also for their purchases.

The other is more local, but in a global way, “Glocalization” is a trend that changed a lot with the lockdowns. It is about thinking global and acting local.

We pulled our threads to create a trends framework (and it worked!!), in which the X axis indicated the years, starting from 2018 to today, while the Y axis was presenting the impact, from low to high and so we could finally come out with our scenarios.

We decided to use narrative/storytelling acting ourselves (more or less worked too!) and so we showed our three scenarios.

The first scenario includes the trends of Digitalization, Brick and Mortar, and Covid Safety, we named it “Seamless Shopping Experience”. So let’s imagine that Alfredo needs boxers because he didn’t do his laundry but is with a Tinder date. But he only wears Power Rangers boxers and doesn’t want her to know. They pop into El Corte Ingles to buy some nice wine. They leave the store with the wine but little does she know he also ordered his Power Ranger boxers which will be delivered to his house.

To sum up it:

  • Fluid - less intermediary steps

  • Best features of e-commerce + physical shops

  • More options to browse, purchase, and receive

  • Tech supports staff to sell and resolves customers’ doubts

Online shopping and in-store shopping are no longer considered two different paths nor will making a purchase be defined as doing one or the other. All the best qualities of e-commerce and physical shops fuse to become one fluid system for the mass market, allowing customers to have a variety of browsing, purchasing, and receiving options which also gives them more control.

Technology should advance to better support retail staff so that they can focus more on selling. Technology should also be able to provide information and resolve doubts for customers. This scenario would eliminate intermediary steps for both parties to sell and purchase.

The second scenario “Space-efficient retail spaces” contains Digitalization, Brick and Mortar and Glocalization.

Now we are with Giulia, who has a very important gala to attend tomorrow. She needs a dress and shoes to go with them. Instead of finding the dress, going to the back of the store to try it on, and then to the 3rd to try on shoes, she’s able to do it more efficiently. She got her perfect fitting dress, but they didn’t have the shoes in her size but they were able to order them and send them to her house the next day before her event.

To resume:

  • Shoppers may be eager to go back to shops

  • Touch, feel, see clothes + convenience

  • Reinvention of spaces

  • Multi-functional & technologically efficient

Although e-commerce has seen a boost since the pandemic, shoppers may be eager to go back to the shops to see, touch, and feel the clothes. At the same time, shoppers will still want convenience and options.

Many commercial spaces and first floor properties have been emptied due to the pandemic, and tourism in big cities is almost non-existent. As “glocalization” and shopping small grow, retailers have an opportunity to reinvent their spaces to perhaps be smaller and more dispersed throughout a city. In addition, large retailers are selling more online and likely do not need as much space to sell on the floor.

Multi-functional retail spaces can act as a showroom, pick-up/drop-off point, site to place orders, etc. Ultimately it would be more efficient and allow customers to use their senses to shop but also receive the same benefits of receiving orders quickly and efficiently.

It is very actual and could help lot of brands during this “recovery period”

The last scenario was acted by Eleni. Indeed she identifies as a Filipino-American but may not know many others in her small town. But she’s able to share snippets of her experiences and her culture as well as others’ content about being Fil-Am, creating a dialogue with her followers. Through social media she has also discovered Fil-am owned designers and has been shopping on their profile as well as sharing their content about cultural values.

This scenario about Brands/Retailers as social communities came out from Digitalization, Glocalization, Community engagement and Purpose Driven trends In points

  • Consumers are more skeptical and want more honesty

  • Purchase based on values

  • Community members > VIP memberships

  • Scroll, browse, watch, engage, discover, purchase

Consumers are more skeptical and crave more honesty from brands and retailers. They trust more user-generated content such as reviews, tutorials, try-ons - and therefore have turned to social media for information. In addition, users want more than just nice clothes. They purchase also based on values which are just as important as the item self. In this case, loyal customers don’t want enrollment in premium memberships as much as they want to be members of a community.

Shopping becomes more integrated with social media, allowing customers to not just scroll, browse, and watch but engage with their favorite brands and possibly discover new ones.

Instead of advertising to customers, brands and retailers should concentrate on their use of social media in order to engage with their shoppers in order to form loyal communities. But they should also convey honest beliefs in order to really connect to their core values.

Technology and social media should work together for retailers to connect better with their communities in an even more fluid and “natural” way.

So now we are ready to merge physical and digital in our last presentation! Stay tuned.

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