As the September 2016 fashion week season culminates in Paris this weekend, we have been discussing one topic in particular that got us talking here at Smartzer. We are referring to the ‘Shop Now, Buy Now’ concept that some of the world’s biggest fashion giants adopted for their runway shows this past season. It’s not just us circling this topic though, it seems that if you google the phrase, you are presented with a number of fashion and tech publications covering this topic.
Business of Fashion and Fashionista are amongst just some of the online articles providing commentary around the subject and last week, they began reporting on the initial responses and results to the practice of ‘See Now, Buy Now’ on the runway. Considered an “experiment” for the fashion industry, the idea behind ‘See Now, Buy Now’ enables consumers to purchase the product that was shown on the runway, as soon as the show is over, from the respective brand’s website and in some instances, their physical stores. It was quite a surprise both within the industry, and for fashion followers, to hear that these iconic fashion houses were doing away with the traditional six-month lead time for their fashion shows. Especially when it has been such a staple of every fashion week across the globe.
At NYFW, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren were the first of the S/S 2017 season to implement this experimentation on their highly anticipated shows, and during LFW, Burberry also enabled their customers to purchase their product straight after the show.
Also considered as the ‘runway to retail’ model, everybody within the industry has seemingly had an opinion on the matter. However, seeing the likes of Hilfiger and Burberry - which are considered classic traditional brands for both the US and UK respectively - adopt a new business model to make their fashion shows more accessible, is really a really exciting prospect. Showcasing product, and then not providing it until 4-6 months later, is slowly losing it’s appeal to the consumer’s and it seems the creative directors also. It’s good to shake things up a bit, and displays a positive attitude towards innovation and change.
As we’ve discussed on the blog before, the age of waiting for product, is slowly dying out. For the most part, consumers want product as soon as they see it, and in particular with the millennial crowd, so much content is consumed and given to them whenever and wherever they want it. There is an air of excitement around purchasing product you want as soon as you can, which is what many are reporting the fashion week designers are trying to cash in on.
For example, Business of Fashion reported that Tom Ford saw his biggest day of the year so far after his NYFW show, and they believe this may be due the audience’s response to viewing the whole collection and feeling that the opportunity was too good to miss. Similarly, Burberry saw an instant uplift in sales on the day of their runway show. Delivering product to the consumer as soon as they decide they want it, with the opportunity to capitalise on the sense of the immediacy that the consumer feels, is how this concept looks to be working well for the brands. Making it easier and quicker to provide people what products they want is the future of e-commerce, and something we champion with our technology. As the fashion landscape is constantly changing, and the main players that others look to for inspiration (such as Tom Ford and Burberry) are seen making these kinds of moves, we feel that there will soon be a place for all retailers and in fact companies of any kind, to make all of their content immediately available for purchase. There is of course, a long way to go before all brands are making all content clickable, but the ‘See Now, Buy Now’ movement is absolutely a step in the right direction.
You can view the runway video that we made shoppable for Burberry on the My Theresa website HERE.