How Cafe24 survives fast-changing trends
Companies must confront ever-changing trends to survive. For this reason, Cafe24 has taken on a new perspective to strategize for continuous growth.
Ultra-fast Fashion, the even faster Fast Fashion
The phrase Fast Fashion became a popularized term in the 2000s. Fast Fashion broke away from the fashion industry’s traditional S/S and F/W seasons. It shortened the lead time it takes from designing to stocking items down to 4 to 6 weeks. By adopting trends much faster than existing brands, Fast Fashion brands became wildly popular among younger consumers.
However, Fast Fashion brands that have been extremely successful thus far have now begun to falter. Last year, Forever 21 of the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection. Others are slowing down in growth. This change can be attributed to online-based Ultra-fast Fashion brands that reduced lead times even further to 1 to 2 weeks. Ultra-fast Fashion is pushing out Fast Fashion, which had once been the mainstream because of speed.
Consumer preferences and trends are changing faster than ever before. This phenomenon goes beyond the fashion industry and is now prevalent in most industries today.
Why are trends changing more quickly?
Why are trends changing faster with time? I believe it’s a natural phenomenon that comes with humanity leaving the Age of Poverty and entering the Age of Plenty. People who lived in poverty sought out necessities – it was more important for them to possess essentials than have preferences. If a person doesn’t have a coat during the winter, they would be satisfied to own any coat and could care less about the design or style. Naturally, changes in fashion trends were hard to find during the Age of Poverty.
However, as the international situation changed with the lessening of wars and depression, humanity was able to enjoy unprecedented stability for a long time. With this stability came the Age of Plenty, where essential needs were fulfilled. Now, people consumed to fulfill their additional satisfactions. These types of satisfactions change frequently, and consumer desires can change overnight. One might be making plans to travel to Tokyo only to switch destinations to Hawaii the next day. A shift in desires from necessities to preferences made trend changes even faster.
Thinking outside the box to confront unpredictable trends
The Age of Plenty will likely continue for the next decade. The end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union tipped the power balance to bring instability to the world for a couple of decades. However, China has since emerged to be the United States’ balancing power. As long as the two countries maintain their balance, the world will continue to thrive. This creates an environment where changes in consumer preferences and trends can accelerate.
Now, how can companies survive the unpredictably changing consumer preferences and trends? Cafe24 has found the solution by thinking outside the box. Instead of responding to each trend change, Cafe24 focuses on continually developing the systems and infrastructure making up its e-commerce platform. At the same time, it supports artistic and stylish merchants on its platform who are capable of overcoming trend change. It’s a strategy that allows each party to focus on their specialized fields to beat change. Fortunately, this strategy is proving to be a successful business model and is becoming the foundation upon which Cafe24 can flourish.