You Only Live Once. A motto that has been adopted by the Millennial market, a market who are possibly the most powerful consumer group in the UK today.

On the face of it the age gap between the 18-34-year-old bracket is quite vast; in fact, older millennials where likely sitting their GCSEs when the younger part of the segment where learning to walk. Given that advancements in technology happen so quickly, the millennial market is arguably the most diverse of the generations.

In this world of social media and celebrity influence, Millennials are more reluctant to save their money, opting to spend on experiences and high impact low-cost fashion, becoming the drivers for the internet shopping boom.

Social Media and Celebrity Influence

Millennial marketSocial media has an enormous impact on our lives today, no matter what age you are, with trends and celebrity fashions reaching our feeds almost instantly and a powerful psychological trigger that leads to purchases.

Can we remember a time before Instagram? Prior to social media, fashion retail purchases were based on reading magazines and figuring out what the next investment purchase was going to be – and if it was affordable.

Celebrity influence was something ASOS caught on to when they started out in 1999. Originally starting out as ‘As Seen on Screen’, they identified the growing demand from Millennials wanting to wear what their favourite celebs where wearing on the red carpet without breaking the bank.

Alas, high-end fashion for most millennials is out of price range, which is where low cost, fast fashion retailers come to the rescue. Social media has created a psychology around not wearing an item more than a couple of times, something online retailers understand more so than on the high-street.

A prime example of this is British e-tailer Boohoo, who pride themselves on continually keeping up with trends and adding new collections weekly. Describing themselves as 24/7 fashion, their success hasn’t gone unnoticed as industry analysts believe they are ‘the most successful online fashion retailer to apply and deliver the model’. Differentiating themselves from fashion houses, the focus is less on ‘investment purchases’ and more on what’s a hot trend right now.

Made to last?

Whilst fast fashion has proven to be financially viable a question the industry will ask is if the market be able to sustain itself?

Chances are it will; not only are e-tailers and some retailers adding new collections and stock continuously, their delivery options are getting quicker too. There will likely come a time when all consumers will expect fashion to be instant rather than fast.

One factor that could potentially burst the fast fashion bubble is the in-store experiences that high street retailers provide over pure product. Bringing back the social aspect to shopping, advancements in fashion retail systems are giving high street stores the ammunition they need to keep millennials coming back in-store.

Disruption or opportunity?

Disruption in the fashion industry doesn’t have to cause a disconnect, the quick turnaround online and tactile in-store experiences are there to complement each other not drown each other out.

Traditional brick and mortar stores are using this as an opportunity to gain the trust of the millennial market and create a better offering for their customers. Many are implementing new and innovative EPoS systems that offer varied delivery and collection options, whilst providing them with an extension of their digital aisles in-store.

Cloud EPoS systems are at the forefront of this opportunity, furnishing retailers with instant real-time stock visibility across all sales channels, ensuring customers see exact stock levels at all times, increasing confidence and loyalty.

For now, however, until stores develop further unique customer experiences that really draws the consumers away from the convenience of online shopping and online social influence, it seems the ‘even faster fashion’ trend won’t be slowing down just yet.

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