Answer in One Word: Why Did the Apparel Retail Industry Not Go Into Recession?

*This blog post has been taken with permission from the blog "Girl Talks Marketing": by Aditi.


Answer in One Word: Why Did the Apparel Retail Industry Not Go Into Recession? Well, this post though is to be ended only in a single word, but there sure has to be an effort to help you reach to that one elusive word.

The recent wave of economic disturbance hit globally and was termed as one of the worst ever over years by economists and sure they were right in categorizing the recession this way. Many lost jobs, many got hit, lives disturbed etc.

But let me give you another perspective on this. I saw it in a whole different manner. One of the best things which happened during this recession was, innovation:

  • Companies started using some very intelligent means of marketing and reaching out to their prospective target audience
  • Some very interesting low-cost marketing methodologies came to light, which were adopted quickly
  • Theoretical concepts like Co-creation and community building really found a whole new meaning and new operational models emerged

But while all of this was happening, I was seeing the small world around me change and I must say evolve. Let me place things as practical experiences. I have worked for one of India's largest IT and ITeS companies and now for one of the emerging technology companies in India and have seen some very interesting ways of how a large and an emerging company responded to recession and how their marketing communications took charge.

But what I also saw was, small shop owners in local Delhi markets which were quick to respond to the call of duty by putting up big sign-boards in front of their shops saying: SALE SALE SALE!!

YES! That's the word: SALE. Whatever it be, lets be honest, let a woman lose in a market well, chances are she will visit almost every good looking and relevant (at times not so relevant) shops which will have upto 50% sale written!

Its been sometime since the global economy has been in the recovery mode, but Iv seen some very interesting trends. Let me give you a woman's perspective:

  • Most of us went and started looking at stacking things up for the price (cheap and best deals) they were available at
  • Finding deals and smart deals became a habit (this actually made us smart shoppers)
  • Women actually started turning upto their computer screens (to find exclusive deals online)

Now, the last dynamic is an interesting one. I know of so many women in my community who started at least exploring online shopping and these are those women who are earning and previously used to just pick up their purses and hit the shopping button.

This resulted in a whole new interesting dynamic. Businesses realizing that many of their target segment are exploring the online media and hence they must be present there.

The online media/ social media gave some very interesting advantages to these businesses:

  • Creating solid engagement with the target segment
  • Branding/ Positioning the business just right with the target audience
  • Reduce cost of Go To Market
  • Reduce Sales Cycle and hence Cost of Sales

Reduction in marketing and sales costs actually helped companies spend very wisely on marketing during recession and yet be able to positively raise business while reaching out to their prospective target audience online.

Its interesting to note how ecosystem dynamics can change the way and whiles of how businesses work.

Well, wrapping up, I'd like to tell retailers that if you are going to announce a new SALE, well, then do send me an early invite. I must ensure that the Apparel Retail industry never goes into any recession :P


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