Focus on fashion: 2016 trends

by ShopperTrak on 11-30-15

Global fashion is a $1.2 trillion industry, and the opportunities for retailers and brands on the cutting-edge, continue to grow. However, the increase in shopper demands and ever growing number of sales channels make increasing market share a continual challenge.

There’s been plenty of noise around what the catwalks will be showcasing in 2016, but what about developments behind the curtain? Here, we take a look at the emerging trends for fashion retail in 2016 – and how they could potentially impact consumer footfall.

Trend 1 – fashion and technology will become even more closely intertwined

In 2015, a number of tech-led prototypes hit the catwalk – for example, Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen, debuted a jacket that changed colour based on the wearer’s brainwaves at London Fashion Week in February.

At a broader level, many international brands are joining forces with technology start-ups. For example, Fossil Group recently acquired wearables company Misfit for $260 million.

From digital fabrics to connected accessories, the Internet of Things in fashion will grow throughout 2016, and begin to filter into mainstream public consciousness.

Trend 2 – social shopping will emerge as a serious sales channel

We’ve already seen social networks experimenting with commerce opportunities, however 2016 will be the year that social shopping really takes off.

Facebook and Twitter are both taking huge steps forward with their buy buttons – Burberry, Nordstrom and Target have all been early adopters – while Pinterest rolled out ‘buyable pins’ earlier this year.

Trend 3 – big brands will fall, making way for new rising stars

Inevitably, as the industry evolves, some brands will fail to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour, and 2016 will see a number of major fashion labels shutter their doors.

24/7 Wall St. has already identified 10 brands it believes will disappear next year, which includes U.S. clothing retailer American Apparel. Though it was one of the country’s fastest growing brands 10 years ago, the chain filed for bankruptcy in October – with the emergence of faster fashion a major factor in its decline.

Trend 4 – pure plays will start migrating offline

At the same time as outmoded multichannel retailers wind up their operations, front-running online fashion labels will start experimenting with bricks-and-mortar opportunities.

One example of this is ecommerce and mail order brand Boden, which has announced plans to open stores in the UK and USA next year.

Trend 5 – the geography of luxury shopping will evolve

In recent years, Asia has been the biggest global market for designer goods. This won’t change in 2016, but where shoppers purchase their goods from, just might.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the majority of consumers in China – the biggest force in global luxury spending – will buy more goods from overseas than on home turf.

Add to this the instability in the Chinese economy causing a downturn in many designer brands’ Asian performance, and an increasing number of labels are likely to refocus their efforts on Europe and the Middle East in 2016.

What do these trends mean for bricks-and-mortar retail?

While some of these predictions are sector specific, one thing is becoming clear: bricks-and-mortar retail will have to fight harder for its share of consumer spending.

Increasingly sophisticated online touch points and the growing role of technology in fashion retail is pushing more and more retail traffic online; meaning retail stores and shopping centres must come up with more inventive, personalised ways to attract business.

Certainly, success in 2016 will rest on bricks-and-mortar businesses understanding retail footfall patterns to know where every opportunity is won and lost – to maximise the value of each customer.

FootFall’s Site Analytics solution enables retailers and shopping centres to increase profitability by understanding customers inside and out. To find out how we can help grow your business in 2016, visit our Site Analytics page.

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