The new era of ‘See now, Buy now’ trend. In digital!

Nobody can deny that now we are living in extremely fast world: we move fast, work fast, date fast, eat fast, buy fast. For some previous couple of hundreds years the most valuable assets have been money, fame, and power which eventually resulted in the emergence of such professions as accountant or PR officer. Nowadays the most important and valuable asset is undeniably TIME and in order to keep up with the pace of our world we have to keep a rigorous record of it.

Some 5 years ago the fashion world got swept by the See Now, Buy Now (SNBN) trend. With the increased value of time, rise of social media and online shopping, customers no longer wanted to wait six months to buy clothes or accessories from a fashion show, and as a result, some of the big fashion brands like Burberry started to declare that every customer had an opportunity to order an item exactly at the time when the show was happening and have it delivered in 6–8 weeks, prior to the launch of the collection in stores.

Here are some of the movement pioneers:

Tom Ford

In early February of 2016, Tom Ford announced that he was switching to a new sales scheme. The reasons behind this switch were quite clear: showing the collection and sending it to the store immediately will allow the emotions generated by the show to directly influence sales and satisfy the desire of customers to get the item they like as soon as possible and put it on right away.

Burberry

Christopher Bailey, the Creative Director of Burberry, spent a lot of time exploring new ways and channels of communication with the brand’s audience. On the same day as Tom Ford, he said that he intends to combine the women’s and men’s shows, as well as give the brand’s customers the opportunity to purchase items from the new collection immediately after the show. These changes shortened the time gap between the experience a person has during the show and the physical acquaintance with the collection.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang was the last representative of the fashionable American luxury to join the See now, Buy now scenario. He decided to test the new sales model on the 2017 cruise collection (in June it was shown only to buyers and editors, having imposed an embargo on the photos until November). The designer said that he understood that it shortens the time between perception of the collection and access to it in stores, and also makes the purchase more exciting.

Nevertheless, widely discussed See now, Buy now trend did not become widespread — customers were willing to own phone cases straight from the runway (remember those “French fries” from Italian powerhouse Moschino?), but were not actively purchasing complex runway pieces during the show while watching it live. See now, Buy now remained, but did not substitute the traditional flow of production and schedule of the fashion weeks.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, we live in a very fast world and it’s been 5 years since See now, Buy now emerged. And now, with the tech advancement and in post-corona times, I think it’s time to re-think the See now, Buy now and make it finally work for every brand of every scale. Nowadays customers want to wear the new collections flash-like not only in real life, but online. So the See now Buy now of today is in digital

The usual mechanism of buying a new garment from the runway consists of the following steps: ordering — waiting for delivery (still too long) — taking pictures — making post on social media — getting likes and acknowledgment. The weak point of this chain is the production and delivery time. The digital world of fashion now offers the solutions that eliminate all the vulnerabilities of SNBN:

Traditional

Long supply chain (brands produce their collections in low labour cost countries far from the end customer)

Digital

Fully eliminated as the garment is digitalized only once and can be worn an unlimited number of times

Traditional

Stock risks (demand forecasting risks lead to stock risks unless SNBN merchandise is done on a scarcity basis)

Digital

It’s impossible to overproduce in digital. The garment is created once and can be multiplied an unlimited number of times

Daria in digital Paskal dress
Physical Paskal dress//https://www.instagram.com/p/CCnMMLVlfil/

All in all, the main impetus to the industry are customers, and they have an upper hand in trendsetting. Nowadays customers are the representatives of digital-first, social media-obsessed generation and the industry now is figuring out how to connect to them to their brands in digital. SNBN has already made the industry more dynamic and flexible, but digital can propel it to the next level. And more is to come!

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