The coronavirus is impacting our democracies, our economies, our individual and social behavior ... In terms of fashion, the virus shows how difficult it is to run a seasonal business in such a volatile and uncertain environment. Covid is killing cash flow at one of the most inventory-hungry businesses.
Collaborations based on values in the era of sustainability
When it comes to finding solutions to reduce the risks of uncertainty, fast mode appears as a way to increase product outputs while refining the forecast model. Speed up design while aligning the supply chain the operations. Traditional players, mainly located in the luxury segment, adapt their strategies to the values and purchasing behavior of Generation Y. Louis Vuitton, for example, is betting on “streetwear” with Virgil Abloh as the designer. In 2017, Louis Vuitton also partnered with Supreme. Supreme, a brand that started out as a skate shop in New York City and has grown into one of America's hottest brands, has sold 50% of the shares to Carlyle Group. Ralph Lauren has collaborated with Palace, Fendi with Fila, Moncler with Fendi, etc. Urban language is the new fashion.
But, timeless fashion is also a growing trend when it comes to rethinking the business model and merchandising. If sustainability is a growing trend, it should be the right strategy, but it's not black and white. The brands will balance their collections according to the style and the time proposed, keeping their cash cows and their authentic values. Aligning slow fashion and sustainability while considering an uncertain demand scenario will require adapting the supply chain, especially sourcing and manufacturing strategies.
Jaume Miquel, Tendam (Tendam brands include Cortefiel, Springfield, Women'Secret, Pedro del Hierro), said chief executive officer “We strongly believe that Tendam is extremely well positioned to lead the industry into the future, which will be shaped by five key trends: exponential growth in online business, more responsible consumers, more timeless fashion but offering greater added value, the need to integrate sustainable development into all facets of our lives and businesses play a more active role in contributing to a better society ” (June 2020).
On the one hand, classic brands tend to offer timeless and neutral designs, but their target is getting old. On the other hand, neutral designs might be seen as boring for the new generations who buy streetwear, urban, vintage brands. In addition, fashion is a sign of change and the economic crisis could see preferences for colorful clothing emerge, as seen in previous downturns. Last week i visited Citadium, the streetwear and lifestyle concept store for Millennials and GenZ in Paris.
Citadium Beauburg, Paris
Citadium's brand portfolio included Le Coq Sportif, Carhartt, Vans, Obey, K-Way, Fila, Reebok, The North Face, Ecoalf, Patagonia, Rains, etc. How luxury brands collaborate with sportswear brands is a sign that “neutral-design” probably isn't the right fit if you're targeting Millennials or GenZ.
Design is a priority when businesses are looking to build brand awareness and increase revenue. Examples of collaborations include Zegna and Maserati or Apple and Nike. In clothing, capsule Collections are the most common tactical move to increase sales through limited editions. It's a way of creating fashion, an alternative to fast-fashion micro-collections. In this case, there are many examples between mass market players and “VIP” designers such as H&M and Karl Lagerfeld in limited edition or the regular Uniqlo and JW Anderson collections.
Luxury brands seem to be looking for inspiration and Gucci is an example of this with its new "ArtLab”In Florence or last collaboration with The North Face (although Alessandro Michelle is already revamping the Italian house). If ArtLab is a futuristic center of industrial know-how and experimental laboratory, the collaboration with The North Face illustrates how important outerwear and casual wear are in the age of covid. It's a question of style but also of lifestyle and values. Gucci and The North Face (deep dive into durability on its site: “Clothes the loop” describes the company's efforts in terms of products, exploitation and conservation) collab is a value-based partnership where sustainability is the main driver.
Customers are more sensitive to sustainability, and The North Face is a brand that places great emphasis on sustainability. Gucci continues to invest in sustainability with its Equilibrium collection, designed for those who are aware of their environmental impact (eg Jane Fonda). Gucci Off The Grid is the first collection of Gucci Circular Lines, created in accordance with the Maison's vision for circular production.
Jane Fonda (actress and political activist) and Gucci Off the Grid collection
A few days ago, Gucci and The Realreal (see Resale in Fashion) has revealed its new partnership, an approach that supports Gucci's circular economy objectives. This collaboration extends the life cycle of the items and promotes the circularity of luxury fashion.
Covid-19 limits participation in events. Customers do not purchase clothing and accessories to wear at parties, weddings or other celebrations. Sports and casual wear are growing strongly. In addition, the sports industry is growing. bikes are the new "toilet paper".
For a luxury brand, developing a new line (eg sportswear) in the short term while guaranteeing the quality of raw materials, mastery of manufacturing, etc. is complex and risky. The search for potential synergies is the right strategy.
Another recent collaboration is Adidas and Lego ZX 8000 LEGO Trainer. In this case the ZX 8000 model in the color palettes used on LEGO parts such as green, blue, yellow and red.
Lego also collaborates with Levi´s. “This is such a fun collaboration celebrating self-expression, creativity and nostalgia,” says Karyn Hillman, Product Manager for Levi Strauss & Co. Then, Puma and Nintendo created the RS-Dreamer shoes. Super Mario, which are already sold out. site. But, as Hillman said above, it's about creativity.
Customers, especially millennials, seek experiences that are unique and engaging. An example of this is how brands are becoming activists in keeping with their tribe of clients. Another example is special and unique designs (eg limited editions).
Collaborations and marketing (the aim is to increase sales and brand awareness) combined with the principle of scarcity is one of the preferred formulas in retail, and now collaborations based on sustainability or value are a trend that is here to stay.
Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?
You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can garantit you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.
Check out the tips below, put them into activation, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :
The most important part of réactive listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. to become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.
Practicing active listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.
Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with active listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing active listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a short list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re sérieux with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell trouble if you don’t pay attention.
Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this posture reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an extra sign. If your customer has taken this sort of positionnement in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of. )
Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the termes you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial expressions. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an génial sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.
That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :
Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.
In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar position, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make juste replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.
According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly styles relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.
Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.
When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the hard sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several variétés of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. to help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common genres of customers in retail. Check it out below :
More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.
What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a marketing administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts software buyers in touch with software vendors ! When she’s not at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.