Sourcing Journal profiles ESW CEO Tommy Kelly who discusses what the fashion industry can learn from what’s happening in grocery and the benefit of globally diversified online channels.
From the original article on Sourcing Journal:
Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Tommy Kelly, CEO of cross-border e-commerce platform EShopWorld, discusses what fashion can learn from the digital innovations happening in food and the benefit of having globally diversified online channels.
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
The food industry has embraced the digital revolution with open arms and some really great innovation has sprung forth. The likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats have used new technologies to improve the customer experience and match service level to demands. If you want to order a hot meal, you can have it at your door in 20 minutes. Of course, on the grocery side, companies have adopted different fulfillment and delivery strategies, but it’s hard not to be impressed by what Ocado have done with the level of automation and efficiency they have brought to the supply chain. There is learning in all of this for lots of verticals, including apparel.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
If I may, I think there are two. We conducted some research in the months after COVID, and it became quite obvious to us that brands whose online channels were geographically diversified bounced back much faster than those whose weren’t, in terms of their share price. We live in a global economy, with fast evolving market conditions. Those that had prepared to be in a position to push volume through their digital channels, to diverse geographies, were in a far better position to weather the storm, and even grow. This is not a matter of whether a brand should consider this strategy—it should be an existential priority.
Secondly, sustainability needs to be at the forefront of all brands’ thinking. Consumer sentiment is shifting, and more and more young people are making purchasing decisions based on a set of values that are important to them. Information flows quickly, so brands really need to be out in front of this issue if they want to win the hearts and minds of the younger generations.