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It is always a challenge to enter new markets successfully. Even with the most stylish and compelling product, each market has a different culture and a different set of requirements. Specialist support is available from UKTI but for the fashion and textile sector, there is help to be had from the UK Fashion and Textile Association.
With almost 50 years experience of helping businesses develop their export platform, UKFA has built up an in-depth understanding of the key export markets available to British fashion businesses. Each year British Fashion Week promotes talent on the world stage and is known for its breadth of talented iconic British designer brands such as Paul Smith, Jasper Conran and Betty Jackson and world-class emerging designer businesses such as Christopher Kane, Erdem, Marios Schwab and Richard Nicoll.
The opportunity offered by international markets is very tempting. However it is important to have a careful strategy, underpinned by market research. Premium “e”tailer My-Wardrobe is planning to expand into France and Germany in 2011 with a soft launch into France and Germany using www.my-wardrobe.com platform rather than following the example of ASOS in 2010 who launched specific .fr and .de sites with clever, localised marketing initiatives such as free delivery on Bastille day, a national holiday. Country specific marketing encourages sales but also builds trust and consumer awareness.
Market Research firm Forrester Research, quoted in December 2010’s Drapers Records, identified that 40% of UK online shoppers have bought from a foreign website compared to 21%of Germans and 23% of French Shoppers.
Online markets being targeted include the US, the UK and Europe that are worth $221bn,( £137.5bn), £57bn an £145.9bn respectively. Other channels to explore include mobile where Japan has 2 million e-commerce users (source- EConsultancy). A recent report from Nielsen showed that the largest category purchased online is books with fashion, the fastest growing category, coming second.
Multichannel Matters, a route to the next generation retailing, published in June 2010, explored the challenges faced by companies. Drapers Record, November 26th 2010 has summarised the opportunities and challenges. With the British Fashion Council estimating that the UK Fashion Market is worth nearly £21bn in 2010 and IMRG and ONS figures stating that e-commerce represents about 18% of retail sales, the UK market is currently booming. The opportunities offered overseas are massive but it is critical that any strategy is underpinned with research in order to develop a robust offer relevant to those consumers.
For more information see http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/18-uk/150-ecommerce
Welcome to the Fashion Portal
The DNA of Fashion has made the creative use of state of the art digital technologies to showcase an industry. Courage, energy and investment have gone into bringing this web portal to life but its ultimate success will depend upon everyone who has a part to play in the industry’s future contributing to it and using it.
The portal is the brainchild of David Nieper and its creation, a celebration of 50 years of UK design and manufacturing selling direct to customers throughout Europe. The portal’s purpose, to give raw talent, new and established businesses and our educators a one-stop shop window and discussion forum.