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how fashion industry manage coronavirus crisis

How the Fashion Industry can overcome Coronavirus crisis

How to start marketing initiatives now and how to prepare companies for the post Coronavirus? Preventive validation of the proposals, optimization of the possibilities coming from real-time marketing and creation of a data-driven strategy: these are the pillars to face Crisis Management in the Fashion Industry and to help the Brands their rebirth.

Crisis Management & Coronavirus: Fashion Industry

In a hard time like this, it’s important that everyone gives the best in their job to help people around themselves, but above all to help their customers, to face the crisis together, by their side.

For this reason, in KPI6, we decided to join with Deloitte and make available both our technology and expertise to help the Fashion industry

During the “Crisis Management & Coronavirus: Fashion Industry” webinar, we tried to understand the Fashion Brand consumers’ behaviors, helping the industry to rethink a new kind of communication. 

An hour talk between:

  • Giovanni Faccioli – Leader Fashion & Luxury – Deloitte 
  • Saverio Serafino – Customer Analytics Lead – Deloitte Digital
  • Alberto Nasciuti – CEO & Co-Founder – KPI6 
  • Andrea Zanotti – Chief Marketing Officer – KPI6

Have you already seen this webinar? Do you like to know how to apply these solutions in your Industry?

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Experts from large companies, such as Deloitte, Group M and ENI have already found an innovative way to use this technological cookieless model for their creative strategies.

A project to support Fashion World

The Italian Fashion industry is experiencing the crisis before all other sectors because the Luxury one suffered the effects of contagions in China, where the impact was very strong in January.

The closings of the stores and the immediate drop in sales had a huge impact on the turnover of the first two months of 2020 (from 25 to 40% less).

Step by step, this crisis is following the journey that the infection made and it has arrived here in Europe, in the Western world.

Today, traditional media and social networks are full of bad news: the statistics are very negative (about infections and hospitalizations) and the numbers of companies are low too (about sales).

In the last period, some of the cornerstones of the Fashion Industry have taken extraordinary measures: Armani has closed some shops, hotels, and restaurants while other smaller brands (such as Geox, Kiko, and Decathlon) have suspended activities all over Italy. It is important to understand how to help this industry, never losing the focus on the consumers, always understanding the emotions that their customers experience.

Predictive tools and Digital Consumer Intelligence technologies, such as KPI6, are able to understand what is happening in the web / social world, how to plan activities, understand the trends of emotions and consumer confidence and finally plan an intervention.

From the data analysis, the emotional chart of customers (for the entire industry or individual brands) is fundamental to predict what type of communication to do in this negative period. If set in the right way, it will give great feedback, creating a further bond with the brand.

Digital channels are a fundamental data source for understanding what’s going on and planning appropriate activities.

For example, Brands Audience analysis allows us to understand what kind of communication to adopt towards our customers in this bad-time period. “

Giovanni Faccioli – Leader Fashion & Luxury – Deloitte

Who is afraid of COVID?

Observing and studying how the COVID is spreading, we can understand what is happening in the world and in all sectors of society.

The impact on the Italian Brands will soon have the same consequences on other countries. It is possible to predict that other European countries, such as Spain, France, and Germany, will also suffer the same effects that Italy is suffering today.

The Fashion Brands that are present and have stores in these countries must be aware that in 2 – 3 weeks they will have to fight the same drop in confidence that is now happening in Italy.

The Italian situation can be useful as a case study to address this emergency but also for any other decline in confidence, for the Fashion and other industries too.

From a Web and Social point of view, the fear of contagion and of the disease is very different from the data of the real contagion. As already seen in the previous article, social networks react to the Coronavirus differently according to the countries and especially according to information received (or even the evolution of fake news).

fear emotion levels

Analyzing the conversations through our platform, it was possible to perceive the level of negativity and predict the emotion within those who talk about a topic. Understanding that German consumers are the least worried or that the British are afraid or if the Italians are very angry is an interesting fact to know how to position ourselves in the customer’s mind and what tone of voice to use towards them.

For example, analyzing the conversations on the Fashion Industry and on a brand such as Gucci (top share of voice on social media), it is easy to understand how Gucci follows the progress of its industry.

But. since the middle of February, they have encountered problems. In Italy, there was yet no emergency, but these data represent the negative conversations about Fashion, starting from the first drops in turnover, sales, customer consideration in China (leading country for Fashion in the world).

Emotion Gucci

In this period, this new approach between brand and consumer will rend the old consideration funnel obsolete, so it is time to reconsider new strategies so that fashion brands can put themselves again as an attractive and luxury reality in the customer’s mind.

Acquisition funnel re-thinking

What are the consequences of fear, of negative feelings, in the acquisition funnel?

In this period, users’ interests are changing,  so they have to be reconsidered in a real-time marketing context.

It is interesting to see how even in no-fashion industries (such as Amuchina, Vivin C, etc.) the customer’s interests change depending on the management of real-time marketing, on the acquisition funnel and on the social information channels.

Just as the big stores were stormed, e-commerce (with the delivery option) has increased its growth too.

Because of fear of leaving their own house, both Chinese and Italian industries have received many requests for home deliveries. All this will change people’s behavior towards online purchases, with a consequent rise of its percentage (even in fashion e-commerce).

“All of this must serve to review the acquisition funnel. All markets will change the way they experience their daily routine.

All the old touchpoints of the funnel will no longer work, so real-time marketing must help find something fast and actionable for brands, in order not to lose contact with customers.”

Saverio Serafino – Customer Analytics Lead – Deloitte Digital

In recent weeks, social mentions regarding donations have increased.

Many Fashion Brands have made honorable donations to Italian foundations and hospitals to support treatments. These generous actions have high sentiment and perception levels towards these brands almost to pre-crisis levels.

When we stop talking about these donations, what will happen? It is possible that the fashion brands that have donated, will rapidly come back again.

These initiatives must be followed by targeted actions, in a real-time marketing perspective.

How Artificial Intelligence can help Fashion Industry

With the goal of meeting the needs and the lack of the Fashion Industry, we have decided to structure a model that combines Deloitte‘s experience in consulting and crisis management with our web and social monitoring and AI services.

With our Digital Consumer Intelligence technologies and strategies, we could create some solutions for Fashion Brands:

1. PREDICTIVE MODEL

Emotions, mentions, sentiment and the volume of conversations: they had a certain amount before the crisis. Today these figures have changed. But with constant analysis of data, we can find out when these values returned to levels before the crisis, with a great advance.

After discovering the pre-crisis situation, when there will be a realignment between current and previous values, we could identify the optimal time to reactivate investments, to restart the previous communication, to reactivate the tone of voice, with enormous advance compared to the others Fashion Brands’ competitors.

When competitors return to growth thanks to the rhythm of the market, the brands that follow this model and that are able to understand before others when react and reactivate will see excellent consequences on turnover.

2. SCENARIO MONITORING

The current scenario is also important.

With our tools we keep data and trends under control, trends, ready to understand the current market situation, monitoring and understanding the brands, sensing in which flows to enter. It is the right time, for example, to consider new advertising channels relevant to fashion, as TV channels could be.

In this way, optimizing the data from a real-time perspective, it is possible to offer Fashion Brands data-driven strategies, implemented in advance, compared to the whole Fashion Industry.

Have you enjoyed this article and do you want to know more? Watch our Digital Consumer Adventures webinars.

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Experts from large companies, such as Deloitte, Group M and ENI have already found an innovative way to use this technological cookieless model for their creative strategies.