|However much the retail industry may wish otherwise, shopping habits of the consumer have changed forever, impacting the whole supply chain including the traditional ways of sourcing. Order quantities are smaller and products are also more comfort driven, not to mention tighter prices and shift of shopping ‘venues’ from offline to online.|
|There is no doubt that consumers’ digital-centric shopping behaviour is not limited to the pandemic infused 2020, but will continue into 2021 and beyond. According to market research agencies, over 75 per cent of buyers and sellers now favour digital options over bricks-and-mortar shops due to safety concerns besides preference for speed and convenience.|
|It is important to note that sales for different retail categories have also fluctuated as a result of COVID-19. Tagged as non-essential, the apparel and accessories category saw the sharpest decline of around 16.4 per cent Y-o-Y with consumers spending more time at home and having less of a need to buy new clothes. Not surprisingly, food and beverage saw the biggest climb at 11.3 per cent.|
|Most retail analysts are very confident that the situation will balance out again post-pandemic. And with the vaccine now available in the market in some countries around the world, with global efforts being made to provide the same to those countries which cannot produce their own vaccines, the overall sentiments are improving.|
|One thing is for sure, growth in e-commerce won’t surge this year as much as it did in 2020, mostly because the growth last year was so steep that there is very little scope for further improvement at the same speed now. As per latest reports, the global retail e-commerce sales grew 27.6 per cent in 2020 after being projected to decline 16.5 per cent mid-pandemic and is fast approaching the awe inspiring US $ 5 trillion mark. Meanwhile, total global retail sales declined 3.0 per cent.|
|From all accounts, analyst believe that despite a slowdown in growth, e-commerce retail sales will grow at around 14.3 per cent this year, as e-commerce will continue to be crucial for brands and retailers in 2021 even if the pandemic subsides.|
|Consumers are no longer loyal and they are searching for newer and sometimes cheaper retail pastures as disposable incomes dip. Significantly, 56 per cent of consumers have tried a new retailer during the pandemic, even as the e-commerce giant Amazon saw 39.1 per cent year-over-year sales growth in 2020. No wonder, the big direction today for all retailers – big and small - national and international is to go omnichannel with online platforms supporting in-store footfalls.|
|These directions cannot be ignored and not only does the retailer need to be prepared for the shifts, but the manufacturers too need to relook at their operations with the focus on improving agility, being lean and saving cost. In addition it also means that it is critical to keep the communication lines between the supplier and the buyer open so that evolving needs are understood and addressed effectively. This is the time to retrospect, meet new partners, reassess supply chains, search new categories of the future and invest in tomorrow.|
|Staying connected has never been so important, as travelling and physical meetings are on hold and losing touch to ground realities is a real threat. Manufacturers need to constantly interact with buyers on various digital platforms to comprehend and respond to shifting market directions.|
|The ASW Marketplace has been conceived and conceptualised to be the perfect platform to stay connected, network and take mutual steps to formulise business in an atmosphere that is comfortable and inspiring. It is a must visit for buyers, as over 40 compliant exhibitors from the Indian subcontinent showcase latest collections in line with market needs.|
|If you haven’t registered yet, don’t delay click on Register Now! and join the interactive platform to know the difference!|
Apparel Sourcing Week 2020, a three-day Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.
Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.