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Industry Insights Post MCO: Fashion Industry

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, precautions in the form of lockdown and MCO were implemented. The immediate impact was seen on business that strives on the crowd. The MCO brought about a steep decline in foot traffic to malls and public spaces. This restriction resulted in many retailers having no choice but to shift to online operations, and the fashion industry is no exception. However, with social distancing and CMCO still in place, the situation doesn't look towards improving any time soon. Experts believe shopping malls and other public spaces would remain less crowded for the given time. As the pandemic drove people indoors and online, fashion brands have had to amp up their digital strategies to remain connected with their consumers.

BitQuest has been keeping track of various industry trends during these times. And in this article, we bring for you key points that will prove vital in the reshaping of the Fashion Industry post this MCO.

Here are some of the trends and insights from the Fashion Industry in Malaysia:

Take your store online

Having an online marketplace now has suddenly become very important with social distancing in place, threatening regular business retailers. A subsequent 14% increase of brands converting their businesses online proves the point. Online business in the fashion industry increased from 35% to 45% to adapt to the current trend of online shopping while their consumers stay at home.

Social interaction will be key

Are you entertaining your customers online? Do you have a social media presence? Times are tough, and it is essential to ask yourself these questions. People are staying at home and have more time on their hands to engage with your brand. Did you know? Despite the dip in overall interactions, the comment interactions spiked in the second to fourth week of the MCO. The reason is an articulately planned campaign by FashionValet that enjoyed the highest comment interactions from 25 Mar 2020 to 14 Apr 2020. A homegrown fashion brand, FashionValet launched a Duduk Rumah Sale during the MCO and supported the sale with a series of giveaways on its social media. The giveaways required consumers to tag their friends to be in the running to win a variety of FashionValet products, increasing the brand's interactions on social media. When it comes to overall interactions, the top three brands on Facebook were View Fashion, Chiang Heng Jewellery, and Converse.

On Instagram, JD Sports takes the top spot as the brand with the highest overall interactions. The reason being the launch of their Stay Home Sale, encouraging consumers to purchase sneakers online during the MCO. Few of their other initiatives included- a series of postings featuring various sneakerheads, and their stories called 'An Airmax Story.' The campaign which ultimately also leads consumers to the brand's website to purchase products.

Relevant content

The post with the top interactions is a video from View Fashion, urging Malaysians to stay home and stay safe during the MCO. This solidifies the fact that humanizing your brand should be your road to success. The top 10 Instagram postings in terms of interactions cover a wide range of topics, from product promotions and contests to live workout and clothes fitting sessions. Overall, brands are exploring creative content such as online short films, skits, music videos, and more. To both, address the challenges faced by consumers during this period as well as push brand awareness and sales.

Ecommerce shopping channels are on the rise

Social distancing paved the way for aggressive online shopping, which saw a significant increase in the number of businesses converting to online business models during the MCO. Noteworthy among them all, is an additional 200% of business channeled their Facebook and Instagram product promotions to Lazada. This increase could also be attributed to Lazada's business stimulus package in support of e-commerce entrepreneurs and SMEs, which offers a series of customized benefits to businesses during these challenging times. But this enormous increase hints at the future or rather the importance of e-commerce business post-MCO.

Staying on trend

While e-commerce platforms have helped soften the blow for the fashion industry, popular brands have produced more varied content to reach their consumers online. Not just to push sales but to maintain a strong connection within the community. The adoption of technologies and trends will accelerate to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior after the MCO.

Source: Figures and facts adapted from Adqlo's Life-After-COVID19-Malaysia-Retail-Industry-Digital-Report.