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The case for digitization is not limited to the fashion industry, but it is, perhaps, best demonstrated through it. The fashion industry is one of the global powerhouses, taking in revenue of three trillion dollars annually, and comprising of millions of retailers, brands, production and textile houses, and stores.
In its present state, the fashion industry is something of a Frankenstein’s Monster; innumerable separate entities attempting to work together, while retaining their individual production practices. This is due to the sharp increase in the speed of production in the latter half of the twentieth century, when companies were forced to adapt incredibly quickly to increased consumer demand, and simply haven’t had time to stop and evaluate their business methodologies since then.
“The fashion retail sector is growing and is in a period of extensive and rapid change as a result of ongoing digitalisation.’’
- Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO
We are on the cusp of a digital revolution. There have been incredible advances in mechanical and digital technologies in the past twenty years. The internet, blockchain, cloud computing; all these are indicative of a new business landscape, and as with the ‘paperless office’ movement – first considered with the advent of the work computer in the late 1970’s – the move to a completely digitized supply chain will be a no-brainer within a generation. Digital communication, documentation, and management, all help businesses save money, boost their productivity, save on filing space, and share documents and information more easily.
The case of digitization is already made. The global marketplace would simply not be accessible to businesses without access to the internet for communication and purchasing purposes. What still must be discussed is a consolidation of the many proprietary management systems that businesses develop.
“By switching over to a consolidated Business-To-Business platform, the industry can share [information] … with the immediacy that has come to be both necessary and expected in the global marketplace…”
Herein lies the problem. Every business is digital these days, but they still struggle to share information outside of their internal network, and the wide variety of ordering and payment systems means there is always a degree of difficult processing orders and transactions. Businesses stubbornly cling to this old-fashioned mentality that ‘in-house’ is always better. But this is not the case.
The industry must reimagine how the buying and selling markets will function, both for Business-To-Business transaction, and Business-To-Consumers. Industry must come together and form digital platforms through which they can connect and transact with one another. There has been much more of a concentrated effort to develop solutions for the Business-To-Consumer side of the industry, due mostly to the fact that the benefits are much more immediate; better market saturation of products, easier purchasing for consumers, a spike in revenue, etc. Switching to a consolidated, multi-user B2B orientated platform requires a significant upheaval in day-to-day work processes, and often the hassle is seen to outweigh the benefits.
This is not the case. By switching over to a consolidated Business-To-Business platform, the industry can share company information, product data, place orders, and make transactions, with the immediacy that has come to be both necessary and expected in the global marketplace.
This immediacy in turn will affect the way the fashion industry operates. We are already seeing the beginnings of the ‘See Now Buy Now’ structure which has arisen in the age of digital catwalks, online flash sale platforms, and the success of click-to-purchase integration in social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. We as an industry must adapt to the instantaneous nature of fashion in the 21st century, and the best way to do so is through the adoption of digital solutions, and working collaboratively.
“Buying Show is the main contact point for brands and retailers who want to achieve sustainable market success. We make brands and retailers competitive, efficient, and successful in the global marketplace…”
- Ivan Herjavec, Buying Show Founder
One such solution is Buying Show. The founder; Ivan Herjavec, believes in the power of digital solutions to improve business productivity, as well as to help level the playing field for smaller brands and retailers; letting them compete more effectively in the global fashion marketplace.
Buying Show believes strongly that the Digital Landscape is the future of business processes in the fashion industry. The platform allows buyers and retailers to connect and transact with one another, digitally and instantaneously. This has resulted in a significant rise in the efficiency of their buying and selling processes. Many industry leaders have recognized the wisdom behind Buying Show, and as such they have formed collaborative partnerships with the industry leaders eBay Fashion and Brands4Friends, KupiVIP, and LaMode, revolutionizing the way these companies procure their inventory stock and how they manage their campaigns.
Their long-term goal is to become the GHQ for information relating to the fashion industry; providing all the needed intel, trend-forecasting and market analysis, and infrastructure needed for designers, manufacturers, and retails to manage their business digitally.