Probably for the first time in a long time, the global fashion eCommerce market witnessed a decline – from $531 billion (2019) to $485 billion (2020).
However, the pandemic’s repercussions haven’t stringently persisted, and that’s excellent news. In fact, the market is set to achieve a value of $672 billion by the end of 2023.
Truth be told, the growth was only a matter of time. But that doesn’t mean the same traditional practices would suffice the market dynamics.
According to McKinsey, while “- setting a course through the turbulence ahead, now more than ever, requires companies to be attuned to their environment and agile in their response,” and rightly so.
And, isn’t that essential for almost every eCommerce endeavor? After all, being sustainable and efficient is the key to realizing industry dominance.
Regrettably, a host of operational challenges inhibit fashion eCommerce businesses from establishing authority and streamlining the process to retain customers.
As such, this article expands on those challenges and presents a holistic solution to accelerate the fashion eCommerce efforts.
Challenge 1 – Making the Payment Process Efficient
Today’s fashion eCommerce landscapes are characterized by a complex payment infrastructure – one that entails the meticulous planning of the transactional procedures for efficient conversions.
From stale information about pricing, promotions, and shipping to unclear return policies, the processes lack transparency and may lead to overpaying for services and an altogether neglection of the client’s needs. Not to mention the disparity that different payment gateways bring along.
This is particularly pertinent considering the fact that a majority of clients transact through a variety of channels. So, there is a dire need to streamline the payment processes and simplify the order management procedures to build trust with clients.
Challenge 2 – Driving Omnichannel Availability
When it comes to apparel, customer retention is the name of the game. However, for fashion eCommerce businesses, it is not as simple as providing top-notch customer service and offering exclusive discounts.
Today’s customers are diverse and value unique purchasing experiences, which means that businesses need to integrate the digital sales channels and customize the messaging across them. Research outlines that 75% of the buyers prefer cross-channel mix and tout it as essentiality rather than an option.
Since concerted efforts aren’t put into ensuring seamless omnichannel integration, fashion eCommerce businesses miss out on opportunities of reaching out to new clients and retaining the existing ones.
Challenge 3 – Ensuring On-Time Delivery
Limited access to digital catalogs, outdated supply chain processes, increased volatility in lead time analysis, and inconsistent quality checks often lead to last-minute issues in the delivery of orders.
An incompetent order management system and limited fulfillment and distribution channels compound the problem and make the deliveries even more haphazard.
And, that’s where fashion eCommerce businesses face the challenge of maintaining their reputation. A fatigued buyer ends up either taking the online search to a competitor or throwing in the towel altogether.
Challenge 4 – Facilitating Real-Time Inventory
The presence of a dynamic inventory is a must for fashion eCommerce businesses. Inadequate inventory control not only affects customer conversion but also leaves the industry wondering about its status as an established player.
There are several complexities such as managing the inventory and changing the processes based on the changing seasons. Some products may need to be continued across all seasons, whereas some may be discontinued. It is also important to manage the data of the past seasons to make more informed decisions in the next season.
For instance, the mismatch between the available inventory and the advertised product is a common cause for a downtrend in sales and a ranking slump in the online marketplace.
While all these challenges address unique issues, they eventually converge to reflect upon the big picture of ailing integration of departments. This fragmentation and the resulting data silos prevent organizations from delivering unique selling experiences, especially when they are aiming at managing different product lines under multiple brands.
Often, the digital transformation initiatives in the fashion eCommerce space run into a brick wall due to a lack of technical prowess. And as elucidated by the above challenges, the problem is only exacerbated by the intertwined departmental structure.
To address this problem, businesses need to re-engineer their processes and adopt time-tested strategies. As it stands, Sapours’ FashionCX is a fashion-focused Quick Deployment Framework (QDF) that helps increase the YoY business volume for fashion portals by 40%.
This is made possible by:
- Expediting a holistic view for disparate product lines: The solution facilitates synchronous access to the different product lines from different brands across different geographies, thus, allowing buyers to access a comprehensive catalog of products, warding off any unnecessary hassle, and speeding up the purchase decision.
- Easing up on the assortments: The facility of a catalog-laden virtual showroom is perhaps the best way to ward off the fragmented sales approach. As a result, dealers find it easier to manage their stock of products across multiple brands, assortments, and distribution channels.
- Enabling a high-performance warehouse management system: FashionCX can be integrated with the SAP-powered inventory management system to attain real-time inventory visibility. Not to mention that our SAP Hybris solution makes it extremely easy to manage and monitor stocks by offering a multi-dimensional view of the products, applying color-codes for real-time stocks management (present and future stocks), and empowering sales managers to help customers throughout their purchase endeavors.
- Simplifying the order management processes: As mentioned above, FashionCX comes integrated with SAP (SAP FMS, SAP ECC, SAP S/4 HANA), empowering the system to manage the bulk of the sales orders, and monitor the order status, gather dealer feedback, and maintain the inventory record.
In a Nutshell
Indeed, the challenges plaguing the growth of the fashion eCommerce industry stem from the interdepartmental fragmentation – especially pertaining to the isolation of ERP, CRM, payment gateways, and POS.
As such, our solution can be leveraged to address the problems plaguing holistic integration and streamline the order management process. Evidently, it takes the business closer to realizing its overarching vision and opens up more avenues for growth. Connect with us to realize benefits such as
- 40% YoY business volume increase for fashion portal
- 60% increase in online traffic to the site within a day!
- Reduction in dealer onboarding time – from days to minutes