- Social media has created an endless trend cycle
- How do retailers break through the noise and decide which trend to invest in?
- What is automation?
- How the tools within EDITED helps users determine which trends are investment-worthy.
Understanding the Trend Cycle
With Twitter’s shaky future and algorithm strikes on Instagram, TikTok has become the go-to social media platform for all content and trends. Considering it has over one billion monthly active users, visibility is sky-high, causing trends to go viral quickly and frequently. The aesthetic-obsessed platform has encouraged a behavior of romanticizing characteristics and categorizing styles, resulting in an endless cycle of new ‘cores.’ The evolution of social media usage has caused trends to become consumer-established rather than dictated by designers on the runway. This means its lifecycle is based on preference, making demand forecasting difficult.
Nestled in the Balletcore family, shrugs were expected to take off in FW22 and so, in response, retailers doubled down on styles, however, the accessory experienced an average advertised market depth of 48%,and reached as low as 84%. Contrastingly, the hype around hot pink hues and Barbiecore has sustained for nearly three years due to the global hype surrounding the long-anticipated release of the Barbie movie. A nod from the runway would be another indication of trend relevance - have any elements of the trend featured under the spotlight where leading designers, press, media and fashion enthusiasts may draw inspiration? Similarly, buyers and merchandisers will consider the promotional adaptability of a product before investing - if interest levels off, can the product be reframed into an alternative narrative? For example, can cowboy hats from this summer's Coastal Cowgirl trend be repositioned into vacation shops?
What Is Automation and How Can It Help?
Automation is more than a productivity-enhancing retail technology solution. It causes nearly every aspect of the organization to become more efficient: it allows brands to become more relevant to their customer, reduce costs, resources and boost customer experiences. It often includes software that consistently completes a singular task, which otherwise would require the time, money and effort of an employee. Some examples include chatbots, retail analytics dashboards, competitive shopping and personalized marketing. This allows an employee’s' skills and expertise to be better invested elsewhere within the business.
While business is operating under such harsh economic conditions, there isn't room for any mistakes when assortment planning. Investing in a viral trend, just for the inventory to pile up and face excruciating markdowns, would be dangerous. Although the initial onboarding requires a financial and timely commitment, retail automation allows retailers to perform at their optimum level in the market. McKinsey & Co. estimated that applying integrated digital solutions to merchandising could lead up to a 50% faster time to market, an 8% rise in full-price sell-through and a 20% decline in manufacturing costs.
How EDITED Helps Retailers Decipher Which Trends To Invest In
EDITED is the world’s leading AI-driven merchandising experience platform that empowers world-leading brands and retailers to make their most profitable decision every day. Using AI-driven Market and Enterprise Intelligence, we help retailers understand what, where and when to invest their time and money.
Using EDITED's market data, retailers are able to identify how and which of their competitors are investing in the latest viral trend. The assortments' performance, number of sell-outs vs. arrivals and percentage of markdowns would be their next point of assessment. Following this, Buyers and Merchandisers would evaluate the assortment's pricing structure to determine whether they could compete with their prices. Contrastingly, with a market-wide view, users are able to identify areas of opportunity where demand isn't being met.
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