Consumer Evolution with NPD’s Kristen Classi-Zummo

The Underfashion Club met on March 12th at the Harvard Club of New York to learn about Consumer Evolution with The NPD Group; an authority on market size and trends in over 20 different industries. Presenters Todd Mick, Executive Director of Apparel and Kristen Classi-Zummo, Apparel Market Analysis Director shared their knowledge and data regarding consumer trends in the intimate apparel industry.

Kristen Classi-Zummo described today’s changing consumer using key themes:

  • New Committed Consumption
  • Casualization Nation
  • Digital Divas
  • The Responsible Consumer

There have been significant changes in consumer culture recently due to the Internet’s accessibility. Over 25% of currency spent on apparel was made through online transactions. Apparel sales have been flat over the past 3 years and are expected to decline in 2019.

Where are consumers spending their money today? People are buying experiences—as observed in increased sales in park attendance, travel, and RVs. Subscriptions cost the average consumer about $300, which results in less for discretionary spending. Consumers of apparel subscription services often cancel within the first 3 months due to loss of interest.

Personalization is key to keeping the consumer invested. The sign-up process is a great opportunity to collect preferential data on individual consumers for personalized recommendations. Shipments that are varied, interesting, and considerate will more likely keep subscribers committed.

Activewear’s popularity helped influence a casualized nation. Despite being made for athletic performance, 60% of those who frequently wear activewear almost never exercise. More people are choosing to stay in, investing in the home’s comfort and streaming media. Meal kits and food delivery services replace grocery shopping. Home automation services and social media encourage the trend to stay at home even further.

The preference for casual comfort is seen in intimate apparel trends such as high-waisted underwear and wire-free bras.

Social media connects us to influencers and the latest styles, impacting how consumers view fashion. However, 46% of people don’t follow their favorite brands on social media. This is a big opportunity for businesses to use social media to connect to potential customers. Over half of consumers purchase clothing after seeing it advertised on social media, and over half of those made repeat purchases.

Social media is the perfect platform to showcase your brand’s message and values, connecting to the consumer’s will to shop responsibly. Social responsibility and sustainability is a movement that is growing, influencing consumers to consciously support companies whose mission reflects their personal values.

We’ll cover presenter Todd Mick‘s segment of this seminar in our next blog!

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