The word revolution is often overused. But when it comes to ecommerce, how the internet has transformed retailer and consumer experience is nothing short of revolutionary.
Pioneering the revolution in the fashion world for Sri Lanka is FashionMarket.lk. Presenting a diverse curation of renowned designers and new labels—available through your desktop and mobile device—alongside improving services such as virtual changing rooms and international delivery, it’s easy to see why observers are saying that “eCommerce is changing the fashion industry”.
In the UK, for example, a recent survey revealed that 49% of shoppers between 25 and 34 prefer shopping online. eCommerce may still be in its relative infancy in Sri Lanka, but thanks to innovators like FashionMarket.lk, Sri Lanka’s e-commerce market is currently estimated at around 40 million dollars. It is also predicted to grow tenfold to 400 million dollars by 2021/22!
So, as eCommerce is set to enjoy a good lion-share of the global fashion industry, we thought we’d run through three big reasons why Sri Lanka’s fashion future is at the online store.
A Massive Boost For Up-And-Coming Designers
Wearing unique or limited items is always an aspiration for any dedicated follower of fashion. But finding artisanal dealers can be tricky, especially as superstores have bowled over so many small industries. In years gone by, many artisan designers either went bust or had to raise their prices skyhigh to survive.
Incredibly, eCommerce is starting to reverse that.
FashionMarket.lk, for example, is dealing direct with up-and-coming designers and have built a portfolio of signature east-meets-west aesthetic that is rooted in Sri Lanka and appealing to young, fashion-forward consumers today. That means, historical artisan techniques such as batik and hand looming in cotton—beautifully realised through their contemporary “Urban Drape” and “Urban Island” brands—are having a renaissance. And small scale producers are thriving once more.
For some people, one downfall of online shopping is the lack of social interaction. Clothes hunting was often done with a friend, with a little gossip, maybe some lunch, and then shopping some more.
Even if you went on your own, there was always the shop assistant to tell you that you look fabulous!
Shopping online isn’t quite the same. But thanks to new technologies, online shopping is quickly turning into a social activity too. Consumers have plenty of tools to connect with other shoppers “at the store” through reviews and social media. Plus, they can get instant advice through chat windows from brand operators.
Furthermore, the real innovators, such as Fashion Market, are looking to treat fashion as an experience for customers to connect with. Last year they created the #SheInspires campaign to encourage a mini impact-driven movement that celebrates inspiring women in Sri Lanka. They also facilitated the groundbreaking “shop the runway” experience at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Runways. In 2017, FashionMarket.lk was the official retail partner of the first international fashion week in Sri Lanka — Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka — where some collections were delivered in a runway-to-retail concept through the online store.
Soon, FashionMarket.lk will blur the boundaries between the traditional and digital shopping experience at a “bag-free” concept store which will the provide touch-and-feel intimacy of in-store shopping, alongside the weightless convenience of e-commerce. After purchasing at the stunningly curated store, customers will have their purchases delivered to their doorsteps.
Of course, another major drawback with online clothes shopping is getting the sizing right. The reality is that some purchases may not fit or may just not feel right. In a sense, it’s the riskiest part of the process.
That said, things are changing. Smart tech and interactive websites mean many e-commerce sites have improved a lot.
Exact sizing guides, 3D photoshoots with live models, and virtual catwalks are making the process a lot more risk-free, and more fun!
What Are You Waiting For?
Delivery was also another big obstacle for online shopping. Will they deliver when you’re busy at work or will you have to spend time over the weekend collecting from the depot? Or will they even delivery to my part of the island?
Thankfully, FashionMarket.lk have revolutionised the way people in Sri Lanka, and abroad, are shopping for high quality Sri Lankan artisan fashion. They realised delivery was a major obstacle for many people and have implemented multiple delivery options, including international and island-wide.
Their style and philosophy has hit home with consumers worldwide allowing FashionMarket.lk to grow beyond Sri Lanka to become an online style portal in over twenty countries including USA, India, Canada, Singapore, UAE, Australia, and Malaysia.