Urban cities like New York, Paris, London or Tokyo have too much to offer, there are lots of entertaining varieties of services, while it’s all depends on the product we buy from the electronic portals (Internet buying). The more opportunities we can have in the big cities or urban area’s then in rural area. It’s not always about the living as orthodox but sometimes it’s about the passion and the search of creativity for the destruction of hunger or we can say like to mark the business growth upwards we have to stay in the cosmopolites cities.
There is a big connection in between the fashion and the mass populated areas, as the fashion business related peoples are keen to know the taste to develop the products according to the need of the customers as in mass places we can find different kind of peoples with different aesthetic senses. We have e-commerce and Internet which we can relate to the theory of Long tail in terms of culture and idea space now days.
By focusing on the individual products could have given us the beneficial approach but also it would leads to the drawback of saturation in the market or in terms of products. Mass customization, through Internet selling would further facilitate the idea and capital earning. In living in the mass populated cities will also give the ecumenical advantages as well as the mass variety to select the suitable strategy for the establishment of the business. Designers and fashion houses would get more prospers in these kind of area that they can offer more as well as they could have more customers to buy the products also cities have usually wide distribution demand becomes concentrated. Cities are the natural house for the shopping malls, super marts, pubs and cinema houses; it’s easy to find the peoples with idiosyncratic taste from 9 million peoples in the city. (http://en.wikipedia.org, 2005)
From retail space to Online
The role of shelves in a retail apparel store is same as the normal groceries store or book store. The more the product is visible, the more the product sells. (Anderson, C, 2006) So there is always a great demand for the golden shelves that are just below the eye level. Managing the shelves space is becoming more and more crucial to the retailers. The same is for the fashion retailing also. In fact the shelves have got a more importance in a case of a multi-brand retailer. In most of the cases the ‘new arrivals’ are given the preference and are placed in the shelves which are most visible to the customers. The retail space has to be managed in a way that the sales generated should be more than the rent of the store itself and in addition it has to make profits.
Well this problem can be reduced by removing the activity of buying goods from a store and replacing it by the means of online shopping. By introduction of online shopping, the storage of the products may be moved from a central location to a warehouse outside the cities, where the rent is very minimal. Also according to the latest estimates, by 2020 the retail sales in USA will be a mere 15% of the total sales. This doesn’t mean that the retail store sales will be affected until there is a huge shift of the wholesale to the online shopping. (Markham, J. E, 1998) The latest trend is that the retailers are focusing on having very minimal number of products in their stores and maintain a large amount in the central warehouses. The Point of Sales (POS) are tracked daily and based on this, the products are replenished accordingly.
The importance of small and large retail stores
The hyper marketing store and large retailer shop in recent year shows sign of decline in department store but the number of small size boutique or retailer shops which benefit from accurate interior decoration and adhering the gratification rule of marketing , seems to be increase due to several reason unless location prices and financial issue.( Matthew M. Chew August 2008)
As it mention in Small Fashion Boutiques and Retail Change in China wrote by Matthew M. Chew from Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, HKSAR, China (Project Code: 4450082) ”the two advantage of small retail store compare with large retail store categorize in relational marketing and store branding”, although the smaller retail shop cannot pay for expensive advertisement like cooperating with mass media or make use of innovative marketing value and tools due to their low space size and lack of capital but As it mention in Small Fashion Boutiques and Retail Change in China wrote by Matthew M. Chew from Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, HKSAR, China (Project Code: 4450082) ”their small size put them in position to develops relational marketing with their customer much more thoroughly and deeply than lager retail shop”.
This concept directly affected the customer retention and maintain reciprocal relation between customer and retailers which strengthening the customer base, obviously the small size retail shop run by one or at least two person which increase the chance for direct communications and relationship with clients which increase the level of trust and service, also the customer loyalty might be increase if the retail shop owner benefit from accurate communication skill or using marketing tricks like put some present or attractive personal massage in cloths or accessory package also building reputation can be based on providing qualified product with affordable prices or offering some exclusive or unique fashion brand
or upcoming designing, As it mention in Small Fashion Boutiques and Retail Change in China wrote by Matthew M. Chew from Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, HKSAR, China (Project Code: 4450082) “they selling selves not merely the apparel items ”.
Indeed the small retail shop try to develop the store as a brand this can happened in two way which are, establishing store brand due to characteristic, opinion and life style of the owner of small retailer shop or through the suitable interior design of physical store or web shops hence the personal afford of the owner essential for building reputation so the owner should has tidy and attractive apparent in any condition and dressed like a fashion guide, the owner should has specific and unique life style with proper communication skill. (Matthew M. Chew August 2008)
The store location and the degree of fashion ability combine with suitable decoration are important for small retail store to compete with other retail store in department store most of the small retailer shop are based in the middle flour of department store construction which is provide more comfortable, non invasive environment that customer can focus deeply on designer clothes or accessorise in small retailer shop, the recent matter cause progressing the level of service and reach more potential customer. The small retail shop free to mix and use different brands and they are very flexible on the other hand they cannot benefit from in- store events to increasing the amount of shopping value and overcome competitors but they are able to use proper decoration like exaggerating perspective, 3D dimensional spaces, spot light, light and fade colour even the location of high fashion or popular designer clothes is seems to be important usually they should place in the middle slab of the shelf. (Matthew M. Chew August 2008)
Fashion in Department Stores
For not long ago people tended to go to fashion stand-alone stores whenever they were looking for fashion articles. The stand-alone stores consisted of one main fashion brand and the articles offered by it. These articles could be anything from basic-collections to the newest collection of the season. Customers preferred to visit these stores and shop whatever they desired from the brand in that specific store. As a result of having a stand-alone store the range of articles within the store was of course wider and also the amount of garments within each collection was greater. And additional opportunity is the fact that stand-alone stores can easier create a whole experience around the brand that is offered by designing the store in that specific way that is appropriate for the that specific brand. (Geo Journal 45:255-264, 1998)
The concept of department stores could be seen as one of societies most innovative and influential establishments since it also changed the business world particularly from the mid
1800s to the 1930s. Not only did the concept give birth to the consumption culture but also to the modern shopping center, where everything could be found beneath one roof.
Hence, today, as a result of the growing market of fashion and the also the increased knowledge of customers, fashion brands and their products are being demanded in greater markets. Customers are enjoying their opportunity of having the ability to choose from several different brands and products and also to compare. Customers like the bigger format of department hence the retail formats are no longer being seen upon as the best safe option for the retailers. These demands have elaborated in more fashion brands locating themselves within different kind of department stores. (http://www.articlesbase.com, 2009)
Luxury fashion brands such as Burberry, Gucci, and Armani have their shop-in-shop stores in Illum department store in Copenhagen. (http://www.illum.eu/, 2009) Moreover, Harrods which can be considered as one of the world’s biggest department stores with over 330 departments of shopping spaces, actually have their motto saying “Omnia Omnibus Ubique” which basically means “All Things for All People, Everywhere”. Harrods have a much wider range of brands such as Christian Dior, Oscar De La Renta and Versace, however they also have less luxurious brands such as Adidas and Acne. (http://www.articlesbase.com, 2009)
With the establishment of department stores, companies are able to enter a larger market and make their brand more approachable to customers. However, usually in a department store, each and every brand is dealing with a smaller location to display their products in and these locations are called shop-in-shop stores. However, this means that brands have not enough space for all their products, as in their own stand-alone stores. Usually, in this case, the brand would have to choose the specific garments it would prefer to show and sell within that restricted space. The most usual way of selecting these items is to have the most significant items for that specific brand and additionally some basic along with the latest season’s and more procured items. The result would be that each and every brand within the department store would have their restricted space offering only some items from their collections. (Fashion Retail Marketing lecture 2009-11-13)
Hence, one can conclude that department stores can look more attractive and also give the customer the awesome feeling that he/she have a lot to choose from, however, by looking deeply into these shop-in-shop stores, one realizes that the variety being offered is not enough, since some articles would always be missing.
Online Visual Merchandising
Since apparel is a product that needs to be experienced, the visual merchandising of it in online stores is more critical than for other kind of websites offering other products. Hence it is off great importance that the result of visual merchandising in online stores really creates
the environment needed for visitors in order for them to obtain that desired experience. It is also important to offer more visual product information and various product presentations, in, for example, colors, styles, and sizes etc. (Ha, Y., Kwon, W.S, Lennon, S. 2006)
One of the main problems with physical goods is the categorization of the products within a store. This topic is very important for department stores and their shop-in-shop stores, since the restricted space makes it more crucial to create a successful visual merchandising so that customers can find what they want easily in the logically and visually created environment. (Ha, Y., Kwon, W.S, Lennon, S. 2006)
However, with the development of online retailing the concept of categorizing the products has been taken to another level since within online retailing, companies are more independent on their choice of categorizing and visualizing their products. Hence, by giving the customer ability to search for the product online one will actually make it easier for them to find what they are looking for. Additionally the overall customer service can be increased by providing your products online. (www.businessweek.com, 2009)
Although many luxury fashion brands are still very cautious about selling their products online, a great amount of them have understood the importance of online retailing and does actually offer their products on pages such as the online fashion boutique Net-a-porter.com. On their website, the customers are both given various ability to look for products in categories such as designers, clothing, shoes, bags, accessories etc and within these categories one find more specific sub-categories, such as for designers one find the names of different designers, for clothing one find dresses, skirts, jackets etc, and these goes on for all categories. However, another way of searching for their products is through the “search-box” where they can write specifically what they are searching for and easily see if the online store has the product are not. (http://uberkid.typepad.com, 2007)
E commerce and its advantage and disadvantage
Nowadays most of the fashion brands and company recognised the e-commerce as strong marketing tools due to daily consumption of Internet, available progressive technology, customer awareness and precious time using so it is natural reaction if e -commerce increase among most of the retailer company. (NVision, 2008)
These days large number of customer tend to shopping from the web instead of wasting their time in crowded uncomfortable environment such as physical retail store there are different advantages and disadvantages for online shopping, the availability and save time can be recognize as a advantage so the customers can shop whatever they need without facing time limitation, it is easier for customer to find certain style in web shop than the physical store only by searching via essential information such size, colour, type, … also client can compare the price of the goods and heat the best choice. (Laudon &Traver, 2008, p. 346)
The disadvantages of the online shop are the customer cannot touch or test clothes or accessories and that would be a serious problem which increase the product returns, also delivery time is critical for most customer and long delivery time will decrease the level of service and ruin the brand image, the other important thing is, the security of web site should be consider to avoid online rubbing of credit cards information by hackers (Laudon & Traver, 2008, pp. 345-355).
the retailer can reach more customers via online shopping and there will be no need for rent or buy expensive location for establishing physical store, it is easier for retailer to change the characteristic of their goods like prices and answer to their customers real needs but during online shopping there is no chance to gain benefit from effective communication skills and the web shopper should gain their customer trust in another way than direct relationship. (Laudon & Traver, 2008, pp.556-557)
Online shop can earn profit by using customer relationship management system, this system help the online shop to collect their customer personal information and also their outcome like their opinion and suggestion with correct using of such system it is possible to record the interaction between customer and online shop and company can find out various needs of different customers so the customer loyalty increase dramatically and it have influence on level of service and customer retention, so the company can customize various marketing strategy to cover enlarge demand of e-customer the information collected by phone or email. (Xu & Walton 2005)
Internet- customer location
The retail geography is very important in any business whether it is a groceries store, book store, fashion outlet etc. There are many factors that are taken into consideration while selecting a location of a store. Factors such as the customer concentration, customer behavior, local conditions, transportation network etc are very critical in the selection of a location. Stores that do not consider these factors will not be able to attract the customers. Also the maintenance costs of such store will also be more that the revenues generated by it. Even the physical distribution costs will also be high for such stores which are inaccessible due to very bad transport network/infrastructure. Despite of doing a lot of research for selecting the right location for a store, not all stores are successful. One of the main reasons for this is that the customers are usually distributed over a large geographical location. (Anderson, C, 2006) For such scenarios the online shopping is proving out to be a good alternative. But again the consumer behavior is critical due to the fact that most of the consumers still tend to have a physical touch of the products they buy.
Well this can be applied to the fashion industry also. Most of the fashion retailers tend to open their stores mainly in bigger cities that too in prime locations. The bigger cities have
higher population density and there is a high tendency of doing a good business. The best examples are location such as 5th Avenue, New York, West End, London etc which are now termed as the shopping districts. (http://en.wikipedia.org) Most of the bigger fashions brands want to open their store in these locations and are ready to pay astronomical prices are rent. One of the main advantages of these locations is that they are easily accessible. Another factor that influences the store location is the consumer behavior. One cannot expect a luxury brand like Gucci or Chanel to do good business at a location which is filled with consumers who do not have a high purchasing power. Also the local conditions such as climate, geography etc also plays a major role. (Markham, J. E, 1998) A skiwear store can do a very good business at locations where there are mountains and snow. The same way the surf wear brand can sell it products only at locations which are nearer to beaches. So Location is very crucial.
Over the last decade the best solutions that have evolved for the problems related to customer geography is the Internet. Internet allows the feature called the Online shopping which enables the customers to buy the products from their homes is becoming more and more popular. Online shopping is advantageous for both the retailers and the customers. The main advantage for the retailers is that it allows them to reach the low density customers with the same efficiency as the high density ones. (Anderson, C, 2006) This is the reason that most of the traditional retailers are spending a lot of money in building up their own web shopping applications (For eg: H&M, Gina Tricot etc). Some of the success stories are www.nelly.se and www.ellos.se. Though the online shopping is a best way to reach the low density and remote customers, it should be well supported by a good distribution system.
Networking in the fashion world
Before this television, computers and these virtual medias there were radios, those were knows as the king for the entertainment, there were only few broadcasting stations. But in twentieth century gradually this place was taken by the television and can see this trend fully involved with the human life. TV was the trend driven media before the computer and Internet, the plate form from which we can connect to the whole world is Internet. The relation of the capital earning is connected to the key factor i.e. the more networking you have in terms of marketing the more you earn. For the fashion brands and for the sake of business it’s more important to have the networking among the social circle of fashion peoples. Aside from using scarce distribution resources promptly or efficiently by aggregating and emphasizing on the customer, now days the strongest Medias are advertising and virtual learning via Internet or television. Once the advertisements or commercial of your product hits then you can earn money and can touch the blockbuster’s level. But do you know how to make the hit; there are 2 to achieve this level.
- Deep search & unpredictable genius.
- Use lowest denominator’s formula to create optimized product to sell.
The principle related as general for the entertainment for last 10 decades was economics and distribution were scarce and the consumer attention was distracted. It’s the fact that not everyone can make the movie, broadcast and makes it on air. Those have done it was the opportunity for them to capture the market. As it’s the seller’s market and they can also to afford to waste attention. (www.bbb.org, 2008)
The future of Internet in fashion
The customer behavior has been changing over time and this also made the retailer to make changes accordingly. The change in the shopping experiences has moved from the traditional bazaars to independent stores/boutiques, and then came the franchisees, then the multi brand retail stores etc. This trend doesn’t seem to stops anywhere. But over the last couple of decades the evolution of Internet is changing the whole scenario. (http://en.wikipedia.org) The use of Internet has been expanding at an enormous rate, especially in the last decade. (www.Internetworldstats.com) Of the time the people sit in front of the computer, 80% of the time they spend it on the Internet. The Internet has become a part of lifestyle today. The use of Internet has enables people to do most of their works online sitting in front of the computer. The shopping experience has also been influenced by the Internet mania. The customer prefers to buy the products from the Internet and as per latest estimates the customers in UK spend around 17 pence in every pound they shop. (http://news.bbc.co.uk) This trend is growing and it seems that the future retailing will be dominated by the Internet.
The rise of Internet has also caused a lot of dangers. The main disadvantage is that the customers cannot really check the product physically. Especially with the fashion industry, where purchased products look very attractive on retailer’s webpage but when finally when the products arrives he may not be satisfied with the fabric, fitting etc. So this will make the customers to return the products to the retailer. This situation is a very big problem as most the customers don’t know how to return back a product to the retailers, who will be paying the postal charges etc. (http://www.oft.gov.uk) Another disadvantage of Internet shopping is the security and privacy risks. The critical information of the customers such as the name, address, credit card details etc are stored online and if no required security is maintained, there is a high probability of this data ending up in wrong hands. Another problem with the online shopping is the inability to adhere to strict delivery times. Sometimes the products do not arrive at the time the customer wishes and this will create a lot of problems. Improper distribution system is the main cause for these kinds of products. (Anderson, C, 2006) Some other problems are the hidden costs which are advertised as free but carry more price than the original. This usually happens when the retailer advertises products for free but charges high shipping costs than normal. (http://www.oft.gov.uk)