(BPT) - Consumer expectations are shifting — and many companies aren’t prepared to meet rapidly changing customer needs. With rising inflation and costs, apparel brands struggle more than ever to satisfy customers — and their bottom line — with the traditional retail model. Since its founding just over a decade ago, SHEIN has operated a unique, on-demand business model that solves for many of the issues now facing the retail industry: instead of telling customers what to wear, SHEIN responds to what they want to wear.
SHEIN is a global leader in fashion, beauty and lifestyle products that serves millions of customers in more than 150 countries — but while its peers create thousands of products in each style, SHEIN initially produces as few as 100 pieces for each SKU. How is it possible to serve a global customer base with so few items at a time? The company has built a fully digital supply chain with proprietary software that tracks customer interest and communicates market feedback with its supplier factories in real-time. This digital supply chain is the core of SHEIN’s business model, empowering the company to offer a wide range of current styles without creating excessive inventory waste.
In a traditional retail model, trend strategists and designers predict what customers will want to wear up to a year in advance and stock their shelves according to those predictions. The ever-increasing pace of trends means those predictions are further and further from actual demand by the time that season rolls around.
SHEIN’s on-demand business model offers a lower cost and lower waste solution to this problem because:
Apparel brands looking to set themselves up for success in the future must think smaller before they think bigger: SHEIN’s small batch, on-demand production business model is the blueprint for serving tomorrow’s customers.