Simple integrations are not enough for modern and progressive brands or retailers. Especially not with Gen Z calling the shots

Recent reports have been quick to highlight the plight of the Great British High Street, with an increasing number of household names running into trouble. This month has been no exception, with the announcement that another high street institution, Debenhams, has entered into administration. This may not in itself be a sign of the high street’s potential demise, but it is clear that brands need to adjust their strategies away from just ‘bricks and mortar’ if they wish to stay afloat in these testing times.

It is easy to point the finger at the current, uncertain economic climate for the state of high street trading, but it is important not to dismiss another crucial factor at play: Generation Z. The ‘On Demand’ generation are the up and coming economic powerhouse and will account for 40% of retail purchases by 2020, and this is starting to impact how both brands and retailers behave.

Photo © Mike Quinn (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Having grown up in the age of Netflix and next day delivery, Gen Z expect vast choice and ultimate convenience in all aspects of their lives. Heading to the high street to shop is still a huge part of their social calendar, but is something undertaken for recreation and spending time with friends, not convenience; trailing round every shop to find the perfect trainers seems time consuming and inefficient when you can do the same thing from your smartphone, often with endless choice, along with free delivery and returns.

This change in consumer habits, along with significant developments in technology over the past decade, is creating seismic shifts in the eCommerce sphere; the more that online retailers recognise the desire for many brands in one place, the more eCommerce will continue to outperform traditional shopping. A number of savvy online retailers have responded to these habits, recognising the need to stock multiple brands - from high street to high end - in one place, in order to truly harness the dynamic spending power of Gen Z.

Diversity is key for retail platforms: the more brands they stock which are relevant to their audience, the more consumers they can satisfy. With this as a guiding principle, the ability to rapidly onboard new brands and keep up with emerging fashion trends is a priority for eCommerce giants like Zalando and JD Sports. For brands, the same principle rings even more true: as in-store footfall has decreased, the need to reach potential shoppers via eCommerce platforms as well as their own websites and social media stores has grown accordingly.

Developing technologies have made it easier than ever for brands - big and small - to merchandise their products on far reaching and increasingly relevant retailers all around the globe; the rise of a variety of stockless models have mitigated the risks for retailers associated with investing in - and holding - a brand’s stock, leading to retailers becoming increasingly keen to onboard as many brands as possible in order to engage the widest possible consumer base.

With the growing need for brands to connect quickly with multiple retailers, the inefficient use of traditional “integrators” has become ever more apparent: if a growing brand is looking to connect with several eCommerce platforms, finding the time and resources to bridge all of their data gaps for each and every one is simply not feasible, let alone continuing to manage each relationship independently. Transforming brand data into retailer appropriate attributes is complicated and time consuming, taking time away from teams who could be better utilised in developing and growing a brand.

For fashion brands who truly want to make an impact in their market, simple integrators just do not deliver, creating unnecessary, manual workloads for teams, and failing to bridge data gaps accurately, leading to slow onboarding times and repeated errors.

Anatwine make the difference for brands, offering unique and enhanced solutions which remedy the issues so often caused by weak integrations. Inspired by the ‘On Demand’ approach of Gen Z, Anatwine ensure that brands are in the best possible position to grow, mapping their data ready to forge connections with any retailer platform so they can focus on what truly matters to them. Anatwine put clients at the heart of everything they do, doing the hard work for them and freeing up their teams to focus on the truly valuable work of growing their brands.

To find out more about how Anatwine can build valuable connections for your brand, get in touch