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Our Recruitment Business Manager Sophie Parkin has been catching up with some of the movers and shakers in the eCommerce and Fashion industries to see how 2020 has affected their businesses and how they see it being impacted going into 2021. 

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We also spoke to Christian Fildes (Head of Human Resources) & Sophie Rigg (Digital Marketing Manager) from I Saw It First about the impact they have seen in fashion & ecommerce during 2020. Demand for items has changed with people going out less and staying in more, they found that; “For us the main difference is the product that customers have been buying, we went from selling going out dresses and those always being our best sellers to plain joggers and hoodies constantly being in the top positions. Being able to adapt quickly such as our stock offering, how we organise the site and monitoring search terms each day has really helped us stay ahead of competition.”

Competition within fashion is tough. Every day a new brand or online store is evolving. Today it is estimated that ecommerce is valued around the $2 Trillion mark. With 2020 taking a huge turn towards online shopping, “Customers will be expecting more personalised messaging from brands next year, showing that they actually care about them and understand their needs. Instead of being blasted with products they might be interested in, we think it will be so much more important to ensure everything is data driven and based on what their interests are and what they previously bought. Also, with more and more customers now shopping online we think quicker delivery will be vital to stay competitive following the Argos/Amazon same day options.”

Very much catching up with traditional retail sales and depleting the high street, Fast Fashion & Ecommerce are seeing trajectory growth. Speaking to Rebellious Fashion’s Paul Oates (PPC Manager) & Hannah Magean (Digital Marketing Manager), we looked at how fashion will sway following on from 2020, “It really depends on what happens with the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the restrictions in place UK wide. After almost a year in full loungewear I think a lot of people are ready to get out and dress up a bit more so we might see more formal wear start to pick up in sales as restrictions are lifted. Now more people are used to ecommerce shopping I think there’ll be an initial rush to get out to brick and mortar shops but the general increase in ecommerce shopping is here to stay.”

With technologies playing a huge part in business, technologies such as automation & (AI) are having a huge effect on businesses across all industries, particularly fashion. “Automation is going to be a discussion point for a long time yet. Some automation tools are already there and working well, but there’s so much more that can be done. I’m excited to see where it goes in the next few years.” However, “Automation is increasing YOY but there's always going to be a physical need for humans.”

So maybe retail isn’t dead after all?

An uneasy year 2020 has been to say the least, but we’ve seen clients are still expanding digital teams throughout. “There was already high demand in digital skillsets, and this is only going to increase as time goes on. Everything from supply-chain, stock management, marketing and final distribution is now digitally controlled in some way so being able to work within these systems is a must.”

2021 is now upon us, and people cannot wait to see the back of 2020. A lean towards digital is now getting increasingly technical, automation is spreading, and online platforms continue to thrive. For some there is the argument that 2021 will see a further demise of most in-store shopping, especially for Fashion. But one thing is for sure, we all hope businesses can get back to business as usual and get through the back end of this pandemic.

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