About New Business Models Enabled by Digital Technologies

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Over the last decade, digital technology advancements and innovative ways of using new web resources and platforms have paved the way for a renaissance in consumers’ online shopping experience, particularly in the fashion sector – a sector where the customer shopping experience usually goes beyond mere browsing.

Challenging the sceptical view that consumers would not buy apparels and accessories without feeling the fabric and testing for size and look, online fashion sales is growing fast. Traditional brick-and-mortar fashion retailers as well as new start-up companies are seizing the digital opportunity by bringing about innovative business models set to improve the customer shopping experience in virtual environments.

In order to improve the customer online shopping experience recent business models in electronic fashion retailing are making use of customer relationship management (CRM) practices and capitalising on the social power of the internet. The business models drawing functionalities from these domains, i.e. CRM practices and the social web, are the main focus of this blog space. More specifically, this space provides a portfolio of new business models examples in the fashion retail sector that are using digital technologies to implement the following functionalities:

1. Personal subscription, these models use detailed subscription information to offer selected products matching customers’ styles, sizes and preferences;

2. Mass customisation, these models allow customers to personalise the products they are buying according to their choice of style, colour, materials and measurements;

3. Social merchandising, these models use customer feedback and reviews to promote products and engage customers; and

4. Collaborative consumption, these models use peer-to-peer platforms on the web to create a marketplace for product swapping, sharing, trading and renting.

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