In this fast paced world we live in, have you ever wondered how career women manage to juggle it all and still look like they are on top of the latest trends? I’m pretty sure it’s not as easy as it seems.

Constantly being on-the-go means lack of time which leads to the need to multitask and concentrate on doing multiple things at the same time. This generally results in having little to no patience while shopping.

I often go to a store and quickly look around for 2-3 minutes to find an item that catches my eye. If I don’t find anything, I go back to my phone conversation or email I was attending to earlier, before I got ‘interrupted‘ with having to shop.

For us women, this translates into either finding it difficult to update our wardrobe regularly or doing more routine visits to the usual designer “faves” because it’s convenient and we know what to pick without spending too much time browsing.

So are brands doing anything to keep things interesting for this segment of women – who do not have the time or patience to try something new every once in a while, and who want to avoid the hassle of hunting in each and every shop at a mall? Therein lies a big challenge for brands and designers: to get into capturing these shoppers with short attention spans.

Is online shopping the alternative? Are brands listening?

With this busy life, it is not surprising that 72% of the consumers in the Middle East region have purchased online in the last two years.

7-8 years ago, if someone asked me if I would like my clothes to be delivered to my office, I would have instantly said NO. This was mainly because the idea would completely eliminate the pleasure of going shopping, getting to feel and touch the product for the full experience. However today, if someone came to me with the same concept, I would just say-PERFECT!

The fashion industry is definitely moving towards the ’see now, buy now‘ movement. Fashion houses ’live stream‘ their catwalk shows on their website and social media channels, so that customers can click through to buy clothes as soon as they see them on the ramp. As serial online shoppers we’re more educated and aware of the various styles, fabric choices and trends which help us become savvy and informed shoppers, who can discern quality with our eyes even before the product reaches our hands. I would give credit for this to the information that is freely shared on these shopping websites and by the brands.

So yes, online shopping is great! Very convenient for us ’busy bees‘; but the key still would be what about exclusivity? I do not want to see anyone else wearing what I have bought.

The industry is moving faster than ever, however immediacy may not be sustainable in the long term for big fashion houses. Maybe brands should understand and involve customers and their expectations into the equation along with preserving their individual creativity at the same time. Brands could also maintain exclusivity by offering limited edition products or having limited stock. They can also get deeper into the minds of their shoppers by profiling their customers on personality, demographics and shopping behavior.

MENA’s design industry is expected to continue growing at an average growth rate of 6% by 2019, that is twice the pace of the global design sector. Similarly the online fashion industry within the region is expected to grow at the same pace. Most of the labels have their own online store from which one can easily browse and buy their favorite choices.

Keeping this in mind, I’m sure we are going to witness exciting and innovative ways in which our regional brands will bridge this gap between ’convenience‘ and ’exclusivity’.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

Author: Adriana Usvat

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