"At the recent seminar held hosted at the 26th Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer, industry leaders discussed latest trends in fashion and how the industry can identify new opportunities in this industry. The seminar was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). Titled "New Retail Era: 'Fashion x E-commerce' Strategies", the seminar was attended by Alin Dobrea, Head of Brand Partnerships at Zalora; Eddie Lee, Regional CEO, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, ECMS Express"
At the recent seminar held hosted at the 26th Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer, industry leaders discussed latest trends in fashion and how the industry can identify new opportunities in this industry. The seminar was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). Titled "New Retail Era: 'Fashion x E-commerce' Strategies", the seminar was attended by Alin Dobrea, Head of Brand Partnerships at Zalora; Eddie Lee, Regional CEO, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, ECMS Express; Edwin Wong, Founder & CEO, Cloudbreakr; and Raymond Yeung, Senior Sales Manager, Publications & E-Commerce Department at the HKTDC.
Boosting boost through AI
Dobrea said, the information provided by e-commerce channels can be used to identify the latest market trends which can further help retailers to improve their procurement processes and boost sales. Online fashion retailer Zalora boasts of a pool of over seven years' data that gives the company a better understanding of the differences and similarities between the Indian and Southeast markets besides highlighting the most popular items, patterns, colors and brands in these markets.
One way e-commerce companies can boost businesses is through cost, speed and reliability of logistics, which can be elevated through artificial intelligence (AI). Cross-border logistics solutions enable customers to track their orders even if the delivery process is outsourced to different suppliers. This reduces their costs significantly.
Logistics firms have now entrusted the entire responsibility of managing their returned goods to e-commerce companies to manage returned goods. This constitutes a considerable portion of sales which significantly impact their profitability. These firms can set up their returns centre around the world to collect the goods, inspect and repackage them, or even directly send them to neighboring countries from the centers to satisfy new orders. This enables them to operate in areas where they do not have an operations office and rely solely on remote monitoring, resulting in significant savings in money and time.
More companies investing in e-commerce
The trade friction between the United States and Mainland China has prompted many companies to develop their own e-commerce businesses. As Eddie Lee, Regional CEO, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, ECMS Express explains, the infrastructure of a single website can cater to many markets like Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. While this new e-commerce business might only constitute a small proportion of a company's overall revenue, it may be the only sector that sees strong growth compared with the largely stagnant traditional markets. This makes it natural for companies like Giordano to allocate more resources to e-commerce.
Influencer marketing to boost conversion rates
Since it is important for brands to raise their influence in the market, e-commerce companies need to use influencer market and tell the right story on the most appropriate social media channels. This will help brands to increase their influence in the market and boost conversion rates. Tools like AI can help social media companies analyse the most relevant topics based on what people post on their pages using natural language processing and image recognition. These companies can identify everything from brand matching, interest affinity, audience group, social performance metrics and content style.
Edwin Wong, Founder & CEO of digital marketing firm Cloudbreakr feels, brands can use a mix of different content such as an instant video feed, short video clips, an image on a post or even a long video tutorial. He cites the examples of video sliders using66 multiple images to grab fans' attention and drive viewership. He views instant video polling, before-and-after trials and full product tutorial videos as other good ways to boost fan awareness. Wong believes the way people interact on various social media platforms can differ markedly. He points out that since that fashion and accessory brands are highly appeal-driven and affected by peer opinions, they are more inclined to give free samples to multiple influencers at the same time to drive an instant trend.