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One of the most interesting phenomena created by the Covid-19 pandemic has been the transition to local consumption. Research finds that more than 80% of shoppers are willing to spend more to support local businesses due to various reasons that include the desire to fuel the local economy, feel connected to their community, and more. Specifically in the shopping arena, reports from McKinsey and other industry leaders show that consumers’ choice to support local brands goes as far as impacting store locations.
Helping the community is a noble cause indeed, and one that fashion and retail technology should support. How? Let us count the ways.
A local initiative we’ve discussed in length is nearshoring (or reshoring, for those making a comeback). Many brands are moving their production closer, giving the local retail industry a much-needed boost. It’s important to remember that the retail supply chain includes more than the brands selling the finished garments, and nearshoring supports every business involved in the fashion production journey.
To succeed, companies need technology that enables them to move more capabilities nearby in a faster and easier transition process. If we separate each step into different machinery and production floor, nearshoring becomes near impossible. A solution covering multiple stages brings nearshoring within reach and elevates the local fashion business community.
It takes a village to create a garment, and local retail businesses need a helping hand from others in their industry. Especially now, when everyone is online shopping, elements like packaging, delivery, and returns management play a critical role. Building a solid local fulfillment network is more important than ever. It also answers consumers’ wish to keep their money in the neighborhood by offering businesses an easy connection to other local brands they can trust.
Producing too many items that do not sell and take up costly warehouse space after wasting expensive materials and labor hours is always a bad idea. But for local, small businesses, it’s far worse. One of the best ways innovation can support local business communities is by giving them the gift of on-demand production. Only producing what you’ve already sold is a godsend to small retailers, allowing them to focus their efforts on tomorrow’s goals instead of facing the consequences of yesterday’s poor decisions.
To help local businesses, we must remove all barriers limiting their ability to answer consumers’ needs. If local fashion designers struggle to produce specific creative initiatives due to limited technical resources, innovation can and should help them overcome this obstacle. When we created the XDi 3D decorative applications, we wanted every business of any size to have access to new creative dimensions. These are exactly the solutions retailers need to compete with bigger brands that dominate the market.
This factor may be last on our list, but it tops the priorities of retailers and fashion brands everywhere. Quality standards are not something businesses and consumers can compromise on. A local fashion retailer that fails to deliver on audiences’ expectations will never see these customers again, even if they had every intention of supporting the local community.
Any innovative technology local businesses choose to work with must put quality first. In addition, such businesses require help with their quality assurance needs. For example, Kornit’s QualiSet technology offers smart autonomous calibration that makes it possible to produce perfectly calibrated results around the clock without having to employ a large team to examine each garment.
Technology gives local businesses the tools to design and produce garments of any type through an optimized, cost-efficient process. By doing so, we also let local consumers decide where to shop without worrying that the items they receive do not meet their standards. An innovative approach to fashion makes the world a better place, one neighborhood at a time.CONTACT US