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LONDON – Young fashion consumers are increasingly fickle and flighty, shifting between brands from one new trend to another, claims new research. The shopping habits of 15,000 young people were assessed and it was found that the days of ‘brand love’ are a thing of the past as shoppers instead constantly seek ‘newness’ from the market, whether that be a new product or a massive markdown. The findings had significant implications for apparel brand marketing strategies.

The Fashion Retail: New Measures of Success – Getting It Right With Young Consumers white paper was produced by the analytics division at WGSN, global consultants in fashion trends.

The report examines online pure plays, such as ASOS, Amazon and Boohoo, and established, such as Zara, Macy’s and H&M, and their consumers’ purchase frequency, new product offerings, markdowns and personalisation versus what consumers consider to be the most loved, most exciting and most stylish retailers.

It found that brand love is no longer a driver of purchase frequency, hence, commercial success and that perceived ‘newness’ has increasingly become a driver of demand and purchase frequency.

“A long-held belief is that consumers flock to fast-fashion retailers who are the most ‘loved’ and have the most stylish proposition—a belief that was certainly true even 5-8 years ago when having a unique style-led proposition was enough,” says the report. “However, with almost all fast-fashion retailers now offering a competitively designed product range and consumers shifting to the immediacy and personalisation of online pure plays, these are no longer a key differentiator in driving a fashion retailer’s success.”

“It is now more important than ever for retailers to ensure the right product is delivered to the right people at the right time. Using e-commerce and consumer data, we dissect the emerging strategies necessary for fashion companies to stay relevant in a dynamic, fast-paced and rapidly evolving fashion market,” added Carla Buzasi, WGSN’s managing director.

“In order to succeed in the future, fashion retailers have to be adept online; alongside which they also have to develop a deeper understanding of the drivers of purchase, especially in the context of the younger, digitally native demographic, who will command a bigger share of spend as they age and take their shopping habits with them,” said Nivindya Sharma, retail and insight director and author of the white paper.

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