Clothing Market and the DotCom Impact Essay

This essay has a total of 795 words and 4 pages.

Clothing Market and the DotCom Impact




The clothing retail business is always trying to keep pace with ever-changing fashion
trends of the time. The industry is comprised of a fierce competitive market, which is
composed of large chains (ex. the Gap), small independent retailers (ex. Pink boutique in
Carytown), and of the emerging dot.com e-tailers..such as delias.com. With “Generation Y”
now entering as a consumer segment, the fashion trends span across a very broad spectrum.
With many technology savvy consumers in the present, retailers are scrambling to find new
ways to meet their demands. Consumers are presented with numerous options as to what
styles of clothing are available, and where to buy them. Due to the large presence of
competitors in this market, consumers therefore have more discretion over which business
they patronize, making customer satisfaction critical to the survival of a business.

In order to achieve this customer satisfaction, many retailers have turned to the internet
for support. In fact, most big retailers, such as the Gap, Neiman Marcus, and the Limited,
have branched out their business in the form of a website. In addition, many virtual
companies (a.k.a. Dot.com’s) without a brick-and-mortar foundation have sprung up within
the last three years, thus becoming known as e-tailors.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that have launched into cyberspace as well are also
providing customers with specific fashion direction (Gallanis 4). Even more notable are
the Dot.com’s , who are making their presence known. To understand the Dot.Com’s ability
to attract consumer attention, you should be aware of the services they offer. They
provide service value because they provide descriptions of the clothing on hand, and give
other helpful information such as size charts. The websites have addresses where
consumers can mail questions too, or in some cases have live representatives that can
directly chat with the customer. Most legitimate e-tailers also have a return policy, so
the customer can return their purchase if they aren’t satisfied. As Jonathan Morris,
executive vice-president of Bluefly.com states, “The internet offers an advantage over
traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. On the internet, merchants have the opportunity to
collapse the purchase decision at the point of purchase” (qtd. in Clark 76).

Consumers have new opportunities as well with Dot.Com’s. Another feature of Dot.Com’s
that is gaining popularity and helping the internet gain a foothold in the market, is
that Dot.Com’s offer convenience value. The only effort a customer has to make to reach
the merchandise is directing their web browser to the website! Some sites, in fact, such
as delias.com, hardly advertise at all.

Delia’s is a teen fashion company that started out of a garage in Brooklyn, N.Y, and
turned into a successful catalog-order company. Three years ago, the company decided to
focus its business on the internet. Stephen Kahn, CEO of brand apparel at Delia’s states
“Online offers us a completely new opportunity: to bring kids together in one space.”
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