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Value Fashion is the way forward for Indian Mass Market

Value fashion is an approach where the supply chain of fashion is appended to deliver fresh fashion at a low value, focusing on consumers who are looking to wear fashionable apparel. There is an increasing appetite for "fast fashion" in India amid the growing popularity of western wear in the country. A rise in disposable income and expanding access to social media is fuelling the demand, not only allowing people to know what's trending and what's not but also giving them the means to buy. India is increasingly a focal point for the fashion industry, reflecting a rapidly growing middle-c lass and increasingly powerful manufacturing sector. After the global economic recession of 2008, demand for premium apparel slowed not just in India, but the world over.

Currently, the fashion industry relies more on mass-market sales. The mass market caters to a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear clothes in large quantities and standard sizes. Inexpensive materials, creatively used, produce affordable fashion. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their versions of the original look. To save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machine. The end product can therefore be sold much more cheaply.

What is fast fashion?

It is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. It is when the process of production is hurried up so that new fashion trends can be rushed into stores – physical or online. It also reflects the growing desire among consumers for speed and value within retail.

The emergence of Value Retail

Aligned with the latest global trends, shoppers in India are shifting to value-for-money fashion. People no longer consider apparel as a durable item, to be shopped seasonally. Instead, they are now chasing the latest trends and hunting for bargains. For their part, from bringing global designs to changing styles every 45 days, brands are leaving no stone unturned to tap the most aspirational fashion markets in India.

Building a profitable value fashion business depends on keeping costs low and selling a higher number of clothes than what premium brands sell.

Value fashion brands keep offering new product lines every one-two months, while other retailers, on an average, launch new lines four-five times a year.

Value fashion is a new concept in organized retail in India

The consumers in tier II cities are hugely exposed to media and thus known about the latest trends, but their pockets or spends are fairly restricted. They want similar looking apparel or fashion clothing, but at lower prices. If you have to have an organized play in value, it’s a big challenge because once you enter tier II-III cities, managing the distribution with so many stock-keeping units is very complex. The cost just keeps increasing. It’s expensive to keep changing product offerings and keep up with the latest fashions. You have to do everything that a brand does, but keep the price much lower. This category by nature will have a lot of attrition and failures. If you aren’t very cost-conscious, you will end up increasing prices. And if you are going too low on value, you will end up missing the fashion. So you can trip very easily either way.

Predictions:

Analysts predict that value fashion brands will continue to grow faster than the rest of the apparel retail market as these products would be the first choice for millions of Indians who shift to buying readymade clothes rather than getting them stitched by tailors.

Analysts, however, are divided on whether companies can build a profitable business outside the metros and other large cities due to the complexities as well as the costly nature of sourcing and distribution in apparel. Indian men and women are becoming pickier when it comes to dressing. Formal wear is increasingly giving way to a trendier line of clothes that includes casual sports and lifestyle apparel.

• Consumer Behaviour’s in T2 and T3 Market as 80%of population lives here:

According to stylists, analysts and retailers India has eight metro cities that have a population of over 1 million. In the past few years Tier II cities have come up as an important marketplace which includes Nagpur, Indore, Chandigarh, Thane, and Vadodara among others. A significant factor that has increased consumption in these markets is the growing penetration of the internet and easy access to information with the rise in smartphone users. These factors are greatly contributing and altering purchasing habits in these cities.

While entering any market, retailer needs to understand and study local consumers' shopping habits. Local culture must be integrated with global appeal - standardised formats will not necessarily work in these cities. A retailer must recognise that there may be limits to the purchasing power of the consumers in smaller cities, which makes capturing a large consumer base by offering the right mix of product and price all the more important. Consumption in tier 2 and tier 3 is significantly lower than the tier 1 and that has to be factored in. The markets are new, and the customer will take time to experiment and explore with fashion there could be a waiting time in some of the markets. Brands need to be patient. The acceptability of high fashion and provocative fashion will be moderate.

Offering desired products at an affordable price based on the needs of customers is the one way to enter these emerging markets. Such customers are basically “The Next Billion”. It’s a vast customer base, four times the size in T1 cities and their markets are uncharted with large potential.

India's small towns have distinct languages, custom and cultures. One thing is common for these towns is growing demands for digital devices and emerging aspiration for fashion.

With ever popular access to Internet, lives in small towns has seen significant changes. Aided by available devices and mobile Internet, people are connected to the online world. Small towns customers tend to use vernacular languages, while Internet content, appears mostly in English and little in Hindi. Thanks to the rising of Internet companies, as well as development of lower tier users targeted mobile apps, a new world with more diversified online vernacular languages content opens to these next billion customers.

A modern-day customer wants to feel special not only in the way companies treat them but also on how companies create something just for them. However, the caveat of high-price cannot be ignored. So how can companies do the impossible, making product customization possible without shooting up the final price? It is in this context that the concept of mass customization gains traction among consumers as it helps in making the customer feel like what they are getting is completely different from others and best-suited to their needs. The key to success is to know what customers want in the first place. Customer preferences can be identified by collecting a large amount of customer data on purchase history, browsing history, transactions, and numerous other data sets. As a result, companies can take a giant leap in product personalization into mass customization. So how can companies ensure success in their quest for mass customization?

Brands are responding to it by changing the collections frequently, offering the latest designs at competitive prices, while opening more stores in markets where there’s an affinity for branded fashion. The internet access, higher disposable income and a desire to look good have further fuelled the growth of value-fashion brands in small-town India. Consumers were looking for fresh styles at discounted prices. The onus is to develop a scheme for the loyal customers and retain them for a longer time.

• How to cater customers?

Repeat customers are the foundation or the bedrock of a successful venture. Encourage the customers with your services to attract more footsteps to your store. This is a unique way to popularize while you want to cater to the customers. In this way, you can also improve will ensure that the number of repeat customers increases manifold with time. Provide rebates, offers, and discounts for the customers to make them visit again and access loyalty privilege. Provide samples of your products or demonstration your brand visibility. Brands to be present where the consumer is, else they will opt for other brands.

• Understand the taste of consumers:

Customers are the king of the market. So to understand them is very much important in order to survive in this world of cut throat competition. And the taste of consumers depend upon various factors

It is a framework to review the market situation which includes:

  Especially, it is a great tool for company as it compares more than one different market analysis, so that the company can clearly understand what's the different of customer needs in different markets.

• State wise taste of customers:

One Centre Blog

Most people in the world today wear what can be described as “world fashion,” a simplified and very low-cost version of Western clothing, often a T-shirt with pants or a skirt, manufactured on a mass scale. However, there are also numerous smaller and specialized fashion industries in various parts of the world that cater to specific national, regional, ethnic, or religious markets. Examples include the design, production, and marketing of saris in India and of boubous in Senegal. These industries operate in parallel with the global fashion industry on a minor and localized scale.

• Quality at affordable price

One must be sure before fixing the price of the products as it must work the best for the operations and product line along with the profit. Pricing is incredibly important for fashion brands because it has a direct impact on the place your brand sits in the market, as well as on your profits.

While pricing your designs, it is also important to know where your brand sits in the market. So if your brand sits in the premium end of the market your customer expects to pay a high price for an item of great value – which means you can’t be cheap. Likewise, company have to decide in which category. Whether they are:

• Spices in vogue:

The fashion industry forms part of a larger social and cultural phenomenon known as the “fashion system,” a concept that embraces not only the business of fashion but also the art and craft of fashion, and not only production but also consumption. The fashion designer is an important factor, but so also is the individual consumer who chooses, buys, and wears clothes, as well as the language and imagery that contribute to how consumers think about fashion. The fashion system involves all the factors that are involved in the entire process of fashion change. Some factors are intrinsic to fashion, which involves variation for the sake of novelty.

Other factors are external like major historical events such as wars, revolutions, economic booms or busts, and the feminist movement. Individual trendsetters like Madonna and Diana, princess of Wales also play a role, as do changes in lifestyle. Fashion is a complex social phenomenon, involving sometimes conflicting motives, such as creating an individual identity and being part of a group, emulating fashion leaders and rebelling against conformity. The fashion industry thrives by being diverse and flexible enough to gratify any consumer’s desire to embrace or even to reject fashion ability. Brands are responding to it by changing the collections frequently. Offering the latest designs at reasonable prices,

• Impact of celebrities to the fashion world:

Red Carpet Event

The creation of cinema newsreels short motion pictures of current events and the rise of television made it possible for people all over the world to see fashion shows and to imitate the fashionable clothing worn by celebrities. The dominance of visual media continued in the Internet age, with fashion blogs emerging as an important means of disseminating fashion information. Red-carpet events such as awards ceremonies provide an opportunity for celebrities to be photographed wearing designer fashions, thus providing valuable publicity to the designers.

• Stay tuned with the customers:

Fast fashion became common because of cheaper clothing, an increase in the appetite for fashionable clothing, and the increase in purchasing power on the part of consumers. Because of all this, fast fashion is challenging new fashion lines that are introduced on a seasonal basis by traditional fashion houses. It's not uncommon for fast-fashion retailers to introduce new products multiple times in one week to stay on trend.

  • Succeeding for tomorrow’s global fashion market:

The dynamics of the apparel industry are changing dramatically. For fashion brands, this means constant evolution. In fact, fashion brands have a powerful social role of enabling change through subtle, seemingly everyday choices. It is hard to believe that fashion hasn’t always been the same, ‘evolved’ version of it that we see today. Haven’t we all had a good chuckle at the idea of fashion in the eighties, or even the seventies? Fashion is like a mirror. It’s a reflection of the times. And if it doesn’t reflect the times, it’s not fashion, because people won’t be wearing it.

The best thing that fashion brands can do to anticipate what the future will look like is to always have one ear to the ground for social and economic movements that are likely to cause a mass shift in preferences and prepare for these changes even before they arrive.

• Effect of communication:

If the products incorporate the tangible dimension of fashion goods, it is through communication that companies create emotional association, consumer benefits, and a lifestyle. Communication is what transforms the product into a brand. Fashion communication mainly focuses on the so-called dream factor.

• Encourage your happy customers to write testimonials

Whether you are primarily an ecommerce business, a retail store, or in another sector of the fashion industry altogether, review matter! Especially in case of purchasing clothes. No one wants to go through the hassle of visiting a store or purchasing clothing online to then have to deal with returning unwanted items. That’s why shoppers use reviews to influence their decision to purchase. To get those shoppers to become customers, encourage your existing customers to write testimonials.

• Target your audience through social media marketing:

The level of targeting that you can do on various online platforms is pretty remarkable. One of my favourites for the fashion industry is using interest-based targeting. Why? Because you likely know what your target audience is interested in so why not target them based on their interests? For example, if you sell running clothing, why not target those interested in running and physical fitness?

Digital marketing:

Young fashion customers readily use a spectrum of digital platforms to get information on trends, exchange experiences, or compare prices. Within these customer journeys, social media plays a key role. Up to 35 percent of consumers indicate that they rely on recommendations from social networks.. These enable customers to take a picture while trying something on and then to post it to networks like Facebook for instant feedback from their friends before purchasing.

Conclusion

Internet access, higher disposable income, and a desire to look good have fuelled the growth of value fashion brands in small towns in India.

This widespread need makes fashion a great industry to be in—which presents a challenge for fashion marketers. As the food and beverage industry, the fashion industry is a highly crowded and competitive space. In order to stand out, your fashion marketing needs to be full on FABULOUS.

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