It’s 2019 and it’s safe to say that the world “as we knew it” even two or three years ago is changing drastically. Everything from the cars we drive to the phones we use to the way we shop for groceries is evolving and regardless of your stance on the seemingly impossible to keep up with technological advancements, these changes have undoubtedly touched the fashion industry as well.
The way consumers -- men and women alike -- are shopping for their clothes has changed right along with the fashion industry as a whole. Whether you’re an avid shopper or rarely make new additions to your closet, we think these shopping trends for 2019 might surprise you, even if you’ve unknowingly been buying in (pun intended) to them all along.
1. You care about how your clothes are made
Although we’ve still got a long way to go before “fast fashion” is out and truly sustainable, slow fashion is “in”, according to RetailDive, sustainability has become an important discussion worldwide and the fashion industry isn’t exempt. Companies are doubling down on their manufacturing policies, ensuring they’re lessening their environmental footprint, and tightening up their codes of conduct for things like employee treatment and factory conditions. This, believe it or not, is mostly due to pressure from the consumer (that’s you!) and gravitation towards brands who are leading the way towards a more sustainable future. Whoever coined the phrase “you vote with your dollar” was onto something.
2. You rely on social media to show you what’s on trend
Long gone are the days of browsing a catalogue or even scrolling a store’s website to see what was in style each season. Square reported that nowadays, shoppers are relying on social media platforms, primarily Instagram, Snapchat and search engine platforms like Pinterest, to define their style, see what their friends and style-icons are wearing, and even shop for pieces directly. This trend has made shopping a social experience, but altogether different one than the way you probably shopped at the mall with your friends in highschool.
3. Technology is front and center
In the same way that social media has taken over our fashion information, technology is at the helm of most retailer’s shopping experiences. According to Shopify, 2019 will be the year that retailers hop on board the AI (Artificial Intelligence) bandwagon in an effort to simplify their customer’s shopping.
4. You prefer smaller retailers over “big box” stores
Forbes noted that shoppers “shop with their emotions instead of their wallets”, and implied that in addition to shopping through the lens of ethics and sustainability, many consumers choose to shop from smaller retail businesses instead of giant corporations because of the “giveback” component.
5. It’s all about experience
Whether we go to a brick and mortar store or shop online, today’s consumer is all about the experience. The aforementioned RetailDive article noted that shoppers today prefer a personalized experience that allows them to feel known by the brand with personalized recommendations, loyalty programs, and a belief that retail is, ultimately, a service industry.
Despite its evolution, the fashion industry is here to stay - but it’s up to us to make it the kind of industry that reflects the future we want to have.