The Spring Festival was originally a time for clothing companies to “harvest”, but due to the impact of the epidemic, many clothing brands such as Evely and Peacebird suspended business or shortened their business hours, which brought a certain impact to offline retail. Therefore, in order to clear winter inventory, companies have turned to the line and invited consumers to “go shopping in the cloud”. However, how to meet the “try-on” requirements of consumers is also a test question in front of clothing companies.
Online “Cloud Open”
Garment companies that were supposed to reap a wave of dividends during the Spring Festival could only hang out a notice of “suspension of business”. However, while closing offline stores, many clothing companies have begun to turn to online and achieve “cloud opening”.
A recent investigation by a reporter from Beijing Business Daily found that brands such as Lyersdan (Hong Kong stock 00738), Yin’er, Peacebird, and Cabin (Hong Kong stock 02030) have established WeChat shopping groups to facilitate consumers’ purchases.
Some shopping guides said that some of the products currently sold online are much cheaper than those in shopping malls. “We have cheapened the deductions in the mall to customers, and the leather clothes are cheaper than 1,000 yuan.” The above shopping guide said.
The shopping guide of the clothing brand Bemanfi sent a message to the customer, saying that each product sent out was sterilized and disinfected by professional service personnel, please rest assured to sign for it. During the event, SF Express will receive free shipping. In addition, an imported mink ni overcome the original price of 36,999 yuan, the current price is only 15,000 yuan, and can enjoy preferential activities such as recharge discounts.
In addition to the shopping guide in charge of the store is accelerating the inventory clearing, a number of clothing companies have also launched mini programs, set up live broadcasts, etc., to comprehensively adjust their sales strategies. The Mulsanne Group, which owns brands such as GXG, has also opened mini programs and released a number of discount information.
From February 3 to 10, Cabin Group launched a social distribution strategy and realized national online sales services. Inman, a brand of Huimei Group, adjusted its strategy and carried out community marketing with more than 600 store owners across the country.
Cheng Weixiong, a textile and garment management expert and general manager of Shanghai Liangqi Brand Management Co., Ltd., said in an interview with a reporter from Beijing Business Daily that for the current suspension of offline stores, clothing companies turning to online development can always supplement the sales of winter and spring products that have been produced, but in the current impact of the epidemic, users’ purchases will still be affected.
“Anti-growth” under pressure
Affected by the epidemic, many clothing brands have temporarily closed offline stores. On February 11, Anlifang Holdings (Hong Kong stock 01388) issued an announcement that the group suspended the operation of a number of stores in China’s epidemic-affected provinces.
The relevant person in charge of La Chapelle (Hong Kong stock 06116) said in an interview with a reporter from Beijing Business Daily that the Spring Festival holiday was originally a golden period for offline store sales, and due to the outbreak of the epidemic, some stores were temporarily closed, and the sales of clothing companies in a short period of time were also affected.
In addition, the shopping guide of a number of clothing brands also reported to the Beijing Business Daily reporter that compared with previous years, the sales in the store fell sharply. “Under the epidemic, for apparel companies, the sales pressure, labor costs, warehousing and rental costs are driving enterprises to think about self-help measures.” The relevant person in charge of La Chapelle said.
Economist Song Qinghui said that under the influence of the current epidemic, the inventory of clothing companies will show a serious backlog compared with usual, on the one hand, the backlog of inventory in winter, on the other hand, the spring can not be new, many clothing companies as soon as they open the door to losses, which is also a difficulty that cannot be ignored. Under the current epidemic situation, apparel companies should vigorously develop online markets to gradually digest and control inventory.
In order to alleviate the impact of offline store closures, many companies have switched to online and achieved certain results. Zhang Jiangping, chairman of Peacebird, said that in recent times, the company has actively sought new retail paths, through the launch of WeChat online membership sessions, WeChat flash sales and other forms, achieved sales in half of the suspended stores, Peacebird’s daily retail sales have increased from the lowest point of 4 million to 5 million yuan to more than 10 million yuan, and some regional stores have achieved performance growth compared with the same period last year.
Cheng Weixiong said that in addition to online self-help, clothing companies can also try to re-plan product planning and capacity replacement for spring and summer products that have been produced, as well as new autumn and winter products that will be ordered or have been ordered.
Try-on mode to be examined
One of the challenges that online sales can’t avoid is trying it on. In this regard, e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Jingdong, etc. have previously provided online virtual fitting services, and some independent apps such as virtual fitting rooms, fitting sunglasses, fitting boxes, etc. can also meet the needs of online try-on, and some clothing brands will even launch their own virtual fitting apps, such as Uniqlo launched the “Uniqlo 4D Online Virtual Fitting App”.
It is worth mentioning that at present, virtual fitting appears more in the new retail scene of offline stores, while virtual fitting on online platforms mostly exists in fast fashion brands, and domestic clothing companies are less involved.
Industry insiders said that virtual fitting can solve consumers’ try-on needs to a certain extent, but not all companies have the strength to do so. Song Qinghui believes that the current online try-on technology is not mature, the overall experience is poor, and such virtual try-on methods are difficult to apply to all clothing companies.
At the same time, the apparel industry has always taken offline retail as the main source of income, and the sudden epidemic has not only allowed clothing companies to open the “cloud shopping” model, but also pushed online sales to the peak again. In Cheng’s view, many companies did not pay enough attention to online business and regarded online as a channel for clearing inventory. The epidemic will make apparel companies pay more attention to the integration of online channels and invest resources more in online business, which may lead to an intensification of the online business competition pattern.
“Live broadcasting, community, micro-business, etc. are only supplements at best, and whether clothing companies will focus on online sales in the future remains to be tested.” Popular standard products rely on online sales enough, but high-end, personalized, functional and other products cannot be satisfied by a single channel. The future trend is still the omni-channel model of online and offline interconnection. Cheng Weixiong said.
This article is from Beijing Business Daily