After considerable effort and time, you got work at your dream fashion brand or you’ve started your own fashion company (way to go!).
Or maybe you are a designer planning a new project. You have all the resources and systems to design or produce goods for the consumers.
But, what should your design be based on?
What will you produce for the market?
What will give you or your company maximum profits?
What will keep your customers satisfied?
Are the trends of the ‘80s and ‘90s back?
These common questions, before production, are answered by Fashion Market Research.
And if you’re not certain how to go about the process, here is some information to set you on the right track.
What Is Fashion Market Research?
Market Research involves collecting, analyzing and interpreting data about customers, preferences, competitions, etc. It is used in almost all fields of sales, including the fashion industry.
Fashion Market Research helps in:
- Knowing the latest trends among different consumers, based on age, gender, ethnicity, region, etc.
- Knowing customers’ demands and preferences.
- Identifying competition from other companies.
- Identifying any weakness that may cause or is causing losses.
- Devising production and marketing strategies according to the information.
Sources Of Fashion Market Research
There are two sources for conducting Fashion Market Research.
1. Primary Sources
These are the direct and first-hand sources of information. It is usually more time-consuming and expensive to gather information from these sources.
However, you’ll have some advantages if you conduct primary research:
- Suitable Data: The information gathered is tailor-made to your preferences. (For example, you can know what percentage of your customers between the age of 18-24 prefers baggy jeans over skinny jeans).
- Assured Accuracy: You are directly involved in gathering data and not blindly believing some pre-collected data by a different party.
- Recent Data: The information gathered is based on the latest market conditions.
- Reliability: A check on the sources and methods of data collection also ensures that the information you fetch is reliable.
Let’s now look at the methods of conducting primary Fashion Market Research:
We live in 2023. All of us are interacting with social media and the internet constantly. Hence online surveys are one of the best and most cost-effective methods.
Relevant questions based on the target audience can be asked to existing or potential customers via social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. They can also be rewarded with discount coupons or such perks for participating in the survey.
The information gathered from online surveys is precise and helps in establishing direct contact with customers, ensuring a good relationship with them
As the name suggests, each customer is asked open-ended questions about their preferences and demands. This is mainly applicable to existing customers. They can be approached with phone calls, emails, or in-shop (online or offline) surveys.
Rather than an interview, it is a brainstorming session on a relevant topic involving multiple candidates, about 10 in number.
The participants aren’t necessarily consumers alone, but peers like managers, suppliers, designers, etc too.
This method is more suitable for gathering technical information about the industry and materials as the participants are people involved in the Fashion Industry. But the data gathered is complex and the process may be costly.
It is probably the most direct way of Market Research. After gaining considerable knowledge about the market via primary or secondary sources, the new design or product is introduced to a select sample of customers (usually existing).
Their feedback is obtained and analyzed.
2. Secondary Sources
These are the indirect and external sources of gaining information. The data collected and compiled by someone else is used for analysis and interpretation.
This method is comparatively cheaper, easier, and faster, but has the following drawbacks:
- The information is broad and not specific.
- Accuracy is not assured.
- The information may be outdated and irrelevant.
- Not Personalized: Only general data. Personalized data can’t be collected.
- No contact with customers, which is essential for building good customer relations.
Let’s now discuss how secondary Fashion Market Research is conducted:
Social Media Buzz
Most of us like to wear what our favorite actor or singer wears, right?
Media personalities and celebrities have a big say in the latest fashion trends. Hence, it is always good to keep an eye out on social media for buzzing trends and tastes of consumers.
E.g., during the 2010’s we could see celebrities wearing slim or skinny-fit clothes as casuals. Fast forward to 2023, we can see most of them prefer a loose and relaxed fit.
Referring to Pre-conducted Studies
Surveys and studies conducted by other organizations, like fashion institutes, etc. can be referred to obtain data and later analyze it.
However, the data hence obtained is not sharp and specific, but general
Top Searches and Other Internet Data
Google search trends, lists of trending topics, user traffic on any particular fashion page or website, most searched products on e-commerce apps, trending hashtags on Instagram, etc. can also be used.
Steps To A Perfect Fashion Market Research
Fashion Market Research should be properly planned and executed. Some broad guidelines and tips are given below:
1. Identify Your Goals
A clear goal or objective can help you determine whether you need to go for primary or secondary sources for your research.
Come up with all the exact goals and objectives for carrying out the research.
For example, your company may only want to know about the fashion preferences and demands of male customers between the age of 30 to 40, living in Europe.
2. The Work
Now that the goals and objectives are clear, you have to gain data about that alone. To gather data, you should first analyze all the sources and tools, then select the best fit.
If you prefer a specific set of data, rely on primary sources and their tools. For a broad set of data, secondary sources are enough.
3. Analysis Of Raw Data And Implementation
The whole point of gathering this information is to use it to further the company’s market reach or sales.
The obtained data should be appropriately organized and presented for clarity. You can seek help from experts in market research, like the professional writers at Writers Per Hour.
Your findings and interpretations will eventually be used by experts and decision-makers for implementing changes or new ideas in the design, production or marketing.
For example, research shows that teenagers now prefer baggy jeans and a relaxed fit. Hence, the company can focus on producing more baggy jeans and marketing the same.
The key to successful Market Research is knowing the heart of customers.
After all, a business can’t exist without its consumers.
Hence the motive of any Market Research should be knowing more about customers.
We hope this article helps you gain more insight into Fashion Market Research.