Event Preview: WWD Digital Forum London 2015

Digital technology has exerted its influence across every aspect of the fashion industry. The world is more accessible to all, but with so many voices and so many channels, consumers are potentially more difficult than ever to engage. Sophisticated storytelling and well-executed digital strategies are vital to make an impact.

The WWD Digital Forum, taking place on April 30th 2015, brings together a selected group of brand thought leaders and innovators from across fashion, beauty and retail industries to share ideas on the most pertinent issues businesses face in this ever-evolving digital landscape. The latest creative solutions in social, mobile and e-commerce from around the world are all on the agenda.

Luxury and the online space

As luxury apparel and footwear bounces back, registering global value growth of 6% in 2014, adding US$7.5 billion in absolute terms, internet retailing continues to shape and define the global distribution landscape. While global apparel and footwear saw online sales climb by 23% in 2014, luxury lagged behind, with online sales climbing 13%. Since luxury is on the ascendant, the time is right for brands make the most of the online space, reaching out to existing and new consumers alike.

Luxury watchmaker Shinola, with its roots firmly in Detroit, set out with a mission to create jobs in the bankrupt city. Now its reach goes far beyond its roots. Expanding its global and digital footprint in tandem, Shinola made its first move into Europe in late 2014, opening a store in London, while simultaneously launching a European website. Jacques Panis, Shinola President, will reveal the role that digital plays in creating and building a global following for a distinctly American luxury brand.

Going global with digital content

With global internet access growing daily there has never been a better time for fashion brands to tailor and execute strategies targeting new consumers in international markets. E-commerce is as important as global flagship stores and digital curation allows brands to step beyond Europe into new frontiers in Russia, Middle East and China, creating a global impact.

Iconic British high street retailer Harvey Nichols, which has a store opening in Azerbaijan scheduled for spring and already operates out of Hong Kong, Dubai and Turkey, is poised to build on this in-country presence by expanding its digital reach further afield.

Sandrine Deveaux, Harvey Nichols’ multichannel director, will detail how the team is leveraging content and commerce to drive Harvey Nichols’ multichannel strategy into new markets.

Staying one step ahead of the crowd

The lines between internet retailing, e-commerce and physical retailing are becoming increasingly blurred; so much so that any existing marketing rulebooks have been thrown aside rather than rewritten.

E-commerce facilities alone are no longer enough; editorial content plays a huge role in influencing online purchases. In the online sphere, creative content serves to assume the role of compelling in-store environments and visual merchandising play in-store, inspiring consumers and encouraging impulse buying. As unplanned purchases are a significant driver of category sales, generating the same sudden temptation online is a vital role of content. Staying one step ahead of the digital curve while creating fresh, unconventional cross-channel content is imperative for brands hoping to target today’s savvy millennial consumers.

Diesel artistic director Nicola Formichetti is one of the industry’s biggest proponents of digital media and emerging creative voices. He will be sharing his perspective on the fast-changing digital landscape.

Other speakers at the WWD Digital Forum London 2015 are set to include Ulric Jerome, COO Matchesfashion.com; Joël Palix, CEO Feelunique.com; Claudia Shishova, Head of Brand and Digital at Chalhoub Group and Barbara Rybka, Gucci digital director.


Download our free survey extract: “Global Consumer Survey Results on Apparel, Beauty and Grooming” for more insights.