In the current online world, achieving success has become dependent, to a large extent, on Company’s digital presence, identity, and activities. It has become a major driving force for the organizational change, enhanced efficiency and growth and for meeting the marketing objectives. While some organizations have embraced the new connected economy by investing in smart digital strategies to change how they operate. Others are still not able to figure out the strategy that’s fundable, manageable, and achievable. Implementing a good digital approach helps in getting right partners at the table from the beginning, both within the organisation and outside of it. It leads to greater focus on improving engagement with customers, business partners, and employees. This also helps organizations to prioritize the customer experience as a central consideration to be successful in this digital age by quickly and effectively responding to market changes to satisfy customer expectations.
Direct-to-consumer has now become a completely logical way to operate, even within a typically wholesale business. The wholesale channel no longer fears that e-commerce is going to erode it. Today, the main concern is about reaching consumers who simply don’t care how a product ended up on a retailer’s shelf or website. Brands now have the complete freedom to sell direct, online and offline. Ultimately, it’s about merchants making it easy for consumers to buy products as smoothly as possible, whether in-store or on the go because, at this point, they all support the same bottom line. Moreover, among various digital tools, more and more organisations find mobile technologies as most strategically important for customer engagement. It is not, therefore, surprising when Goldman Sachs’ report says : “You’ll be buying more of your clothes on Amazon soon and business can get worse for brick-and-mortar stores.”
The report also indicates that the online apparel industry has been growing at a rate of 20% over the past few years whereas brick-and-mortar has flatlined. Goldman predicts a drop-off in sales for mall-based giant retailers. Goldman report also predicts that in order to chase the buyers, more and more brands will end up selling directly on amazon.com given Amazon’s popularity among younger people and it’s massive consumer traffic.
The above prediction is very much valid in the Indian context, too. In order not to be driven out of the market, brand owners will have to create their digital identity for the online business on various social media platforms. They got to allocate funds for the digital promotional tools and seek the required professional help. I am particularly talking about hundreds of brand owners in the apparel sector who have been doing great business via the wholesale channels. It’s time for them to start establishing their digital identity and make their brands visible online. This is important specially because when their current end customers go online they should be able to see the brand they are wearing else they will not take much time to switch to a brand which has a better online visibility. It’s high time for them to act now and go for digital branding.
The Covid-19 crisis has already given a tremendous boost to the digitalization.