The Internet, The Marketing Mix and The Clothing Industry
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
This blog post will discuss the impact the internet and digital technologies has had on the marketing mix of the clothing industry. For brevity’s sake, I will only be focussing on the 4 Ps of the marketing mix we all know and love instead of the extended 7 Ps.
The marketing mix a.k.a. the 4 Ps of marketing describe the ingredients that combine to capture and promote a brand or product’s unique selling points (Purely Branded, 2019). The four Ps are;
1. Product- The good or service your business supplies
2. Price- What a consumer pays for said product
3. Place- The manner in which your product will be distributed (not necessarily a physical location)
4. Promotion- The strategies you will use to promote your product
The internet as well as other digital technologies has allowed the clothing industry to evolve their product offerings from all four of these perspectives but particularly promotion.
Product is the least altered part of the marketing mix for the clothing industry. The core product of clothes has remained virtually unchanged however the manner in which clothes are produced has changed for certain brands. Examples of this include brands that allow customers to tailor clothes to their own measurements such as Indochino. One could argue that the advent of online shopping has also allowed brands to create products of a lower quality since this cannot be as easily noticed by online shoppers.
The internet has resulted in clothing companies requiring a much more aggressive pricing strategy in order to succeed. Now that consumers can instantly compare prices on any item of clothing, brands must ensure they are one of the lowest priced outlets or offer additional benefits such as free returns. Clothing brands must now factor shipping costs into their prices which was not necessary prior to the internet. If you offer free shipping how will you recoup that cost? Solutions to this include integrating shipping costs into the base price of an item or only offering free shipping when a customer spends over a certain amount. Many businesses also only offer free shipping within their domestic market.
Place for the clothing industry has changed dramatically as a result of the internet but not as dramatically as you might think. Despite the growing use of the internet to purchase clothing, one study predicts that by 2020 only one in ten items will be bought online (Sankaran, 2018). Despite this representing a fairly small portion of sales, retailers have still altered their distribution channels to meet the demand. The most obvious way in which this has occurred is the increasing prevalence of online stores. Platforms such as Facebook Marketplace have also increased the ability for consumers to resell their old clothes, creating a secondary market within the industry.
The impact of the internet and digital technologies on the promotion of clothing as well as every other industry is enormous. Promotional tools such as websites, social media platforms and email marketing has allowed clothing retailers to more effectively and for a lower price expose their product to target markets. A particularly prevalent promotional technique used in the clothing industry is affiliate marketing. The most well-known form of affiliate marketing is influencers. Social media platforms such as Instagram allow clothing brands to show off their clothes for a much lower price than billboards or magazine advertisements. Social media also allows brands to build more meaningful relationships with customers and thus have a better understanding of market trends and demands.
Purely Branded, 2019. The Four Ps of Marketing. [Online] Available at: https://www.purelybranded.com/insights/the-four-ps-of-marketing/ [Accessed 11 September 2019].
Sankaran, P., 2018. Here’s what the data says about the way we buy clothes now. [Online] Available at: https://internetretailing.com.au/heres-data-says-way-buy-clothes-now/ [Accessed 12 September 2019].