What is the Future of Fashion Sourcing?
The global fashion industry has been valued at $1.7 trillion, with a growth rate of 5.46%.
Fashion products’ contribution to the world economy has opened a big door for businesses related to it. One of which is a fashion product sourcing platform.
Suppliers are bringing a wide range of products in front; retailers and dropshippers are working as a bridge for the customers to get the products.
To ensure happy clients, it’s important to pay heed to the sourcing options.
In this article by Netgains Fashion Digital Agency, we will be discussing the future of fashion sourcing.
Let’s get started.
What is Fashion Sourcing?
Fashion sourcing or Fashion product sourcing indicates the way through which a fashion business obtains fashion products from other suppliers or manufacturers to sell to the customers. It includes fabric sourcing, clothing sourcing, shoe product sourcing, fashion accessories sourcing, etc.
Which Factors Affecting Fashion Sourcing Matter?
Fashion product sourcing may get affected by a lot of internal and external factors. Therefore, businesses need to be prepared for factors that are out of control. Here are some vital factors that affect fashion product sourcing.
1. PEST Analysis
While sourcing fashion products from foreign suppliers, businesses always do risk analysis, known as PEST analysis. The full form of PEST is Political, Economical, Social, and Technological analysis.
Through analyzing these factors, it is assessed if any of those factors work adversely for a business to run its process.
Let’s take a look at what this PEST includes.
|P||Political (environment)||Government policy, Environment, Stability, Tax and Tariffs, Restrictions, etc.|
|E||Economic (situation)||Labor cost, Market, Exchange and Interest rates, Inflation, etc.|
|S||Social (situation)||Population, Consumer diversity, habits, Lifestyle, Productivity, etc.|
|T||Technological (advancement)||Automation and AI processing, Cybersecurity, available tools and software, Data security, etc.|
Any instability on the PEST may do you a lot of damage in business, for example, tax may increase or decrease, influence technological advances, impacts laws and regulations, etc.
Being aware of these terms will help businesses to understand if these mentioned factors are favorable enough for businesses to work for a long time.
2. Pricing & Availability
Every business wants cost-effective pricing sourcing solutions. So, you need to look for suppliers who are offering your products within your budget. Then again, purchasing in bulk might save some costs.
Also, make sure the products are available. There are various product-sourcing apps that will notify you and your supplier before the stock runs out. So, your supplier needs to be on standby to support that necessity.
3. Product Quality
The quality of products is a big factor that matters for sourcing. Quality is to determine how products can meet customers’ needs and solve their problems. While measuring the quality of a product, factors like the product’s features, specifications, performance within a time, serviceability, and durability—all count.
Quality products from sourcing destinations impart that the sourcing platform has skilled workers and how they maintain the quality. High-quality products always have a loyal client base. Make sure you are sticking to quality over quantity, regardless of anything.
4. Sustainability of Fashion Sourcing
Sustainability in sourcing includes ethical, social, and environmental factors that impact everything related to the manufacturing and sourcing of fashion products. Meaning the process of sourcing products doesn’t involve anything that has a negative impact on the mentioned sections.
Like other companies, fashion companies want to continue activities without weighing down the environment, society, and ethics. Considering those perspectives, sustainability in fashion product sourcing has become a great deal of concern.
5. Fashion Product Sourcing Speed
This is one of the effective factors for sourcing. Product sourcing speed means how fast a retailer can acquire the products intended to sell. Fast sourcing is essential for a business to meet customers’ demands in competitive marketplaces.
Supplier’s location, relationship, market, technology, transportation— all these matters for a fashion business to get product sourcing fast.
If product sourcing is fast enough, this helps businesses maintain supply chain management, fill up customer demands fast, increase their trustability & satisfaction, and result in more conversions.
In What Ways Is Fashion Sourcing Evolving?
The fashion industry has a long history of evolving. Every era has brought something new that impacted and facilitated the industry.
Over the course of time, people’s demand changes so have the process of product sourcing process to meet the needs. Let’s have an overview of the ways in which fashion product sourcing has evolved.
Digitization and Digitalization
These are the most prominent impacts of the fashion industry, even for sourcing. Digitization makes the information digital, and digitalization has brought advanced technology and tools to the advantage of the sourcing process.
Both digitization and digitalization have made the sourcing process simpler, smoother, transparent, and much more accessible.
As a result, fashion retailers can see a sustainable sourcing fashion process that is not only more customer-oriented but also offers better supply chain solutions along the process.
It is an advanced mechanism that ensures transparent data and information sharing across the supply chain. As a result, it helps product sourcing with traceability of sourcing materials and stored information and assuring the company that products have been sourced by law.
Today’s fashion industry is fast and continuously changing. To keep pace with this demand, it needs an effective supply chain optimization that will benefit the sourcing process, one of which is reshoring.
Reshoring is the process of returning the manufacturing process of goods from overseas countries to the country originally offshored. This practice is mostly seen in the US. For example, Walmart, Brooks Brothers, etc.
The purpose of reshoring is to reduce manufacturing & labor cost and lead time. Also, as the practice is mostly performed in the US, it assists in strengthening US economic health.
Product sourcing diversity means sourcing from multiple suppliers so that any disruptions don’t hamper the regular business process.
The upcoming fashion product sourcing is expected to be much more diversified than it already is. Here are some sourcing already going on.
● Data-Driven Sourcing
This type of sourcing is based solely on data extracted by analyzing a store’s performance. This includes consumer behavior, trends, market research, production cost, customer interaction, etc.
● Sustainable Sourcing
People are now becoming more environmentally conscious, which is where the term sustainable sourcing comes in. As a result, many products manufacturing involves organic, biodegradable, and recycled materials in the processing.
● Digital Sourcing
The fashion sourcing process is automated digitally. There are many apps and software to assist businesses in maintaining communication among manufacturers & suppliers and streamlining business inventory.
● Geographical Shifts
Geographical shift, also international sourcing, means sourcing products or materials from a country that has a different geographical location. It can be indicated by either sourcing products or shifting the purchasing from the old sources to new sources.
● Proximity Sourcing
This is a concept that means changing or establishing the sourcing product destination close to where a final product is being sold. Proximity sourcing offers more flexibility, control over products, and fast processing.
● Local Sourcing
Many fashion brands are supporting to uplift local businesses, which is where local sourcing plays its role. It also reduces cost and, time, carbon emissions due to shipping.
What does the Future of Fashion Product Sourcing Hold?
The future is hard to predict, but what’s predictable is change; it is bound to happen. In the fashion industry, the changes are rather rapid. The fashion industry is always predicting trends, planning, preparing ahead, and adopting those changes, which are seen in technology, sustainability, transparency in processing, etc.
Judging from the advancement in technology, we can assume that the future of fashion sourcing will depend on AI and online-based upgraded tools.
Hence, it will require professionals to strengthen new skill sets and be knowledgeable in product and running business, customer-centric solutions, omnichannel, sales funnel strategies, and other Fashion Digital Services etc.
Upcoming Sourcing Destinations in Fashion Manufacturing
While deciding on the fashion product manufacturer, we mainly focused on clothing product exporters. Up until now, countries like China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Italy are the biggest exporter of fashion clothing products worldwide.
Nowadays, many countries are showing potential and offering lucrative facilities (like free trade agreements) to buyers and thus becoming a new addition to the sourcing destinations for fashion manufacturing items. Here is a list of some of those emerging countries.
- Latin America
- Eastern Europe
Here goes our overview of the future of fashion sourcing. Looking back on those days, brick-and-mortar was one of the giant sources for selling products; digitalization was a dream.
But when e-commerce started its journey, the business process got much smoother.
Standing in this 21st century, we can hope that whatever is imminent will aid best in boosting fashion businesses to another level higher.
And if you need any assistance in keeping up with the already competitive online business, seek assistance from a professional fashion digital agency like Netgains Fashion Digital Agency.
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Since 2004 Netgains has been building fashion e-commerce website & running effective fashion digital marketing campaigns for fast-growing as well as established fashion brands. Our expertise in fashion eCommerce ensures that your brand and products are delivered to your customers in a way that makes them buy. Get in touch today!