Avery Dennison has revealed two-thirds of global fashion shoppers want more transparency about the provenance of garments in its ‘Digital Consumer Behavior’ report produced in partnership with audience insights company GWI.

The study, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of more than 6,300 clothing shoppers across seven countries, virtual reality experiences by scanning garment labels and other triggers in stores are interesting to over half of global consumers.

The report reveals how shoppers remain highly receptive to frictionless touchpoints that will enhance their in-store experience, such as mobile checkouts and digital receipts. Scanning digital labels on garments, making use of QR codes, RFID, and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, for product insight and interaction both pre and post-purchase remains popular with consumers globally.

For instance, 60% of fashion shoppers globally see the value in scanning a QR code on a garment with their smartphone to understand proper care. Further, 71% of respondents globally state fashion brands being transparent about their manufacturing practices is important to them.

Emerging technology and digitising wardrobes

The rising adoption of virtual experiences and NFTs, especially among fashion shoppers, is important to note. The pandemic was integral here, and the research found over half (51%) of respondents globally demonstrated interest in creating a digital inventory of their wardrobe. This will be especially helpful for customers wanting to take advantage of secondary marketplaces.

The metaverse and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have also enabled consumers to fuse the fashion and gaming worlds. As a result of this trend, almost half (47%) of the global fashion shoppers are interested in virtual experiences, and over a third said they would be eager to purchase digital outfits for their virtual gaming characters. On a global scale, male buyers compared to female buyers are more likely to engage with technology, especially the metaverse or virtual platforms. This provides brands with a new opportunity to entice male shoppers.

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Sustainability, second-hand market and the cost of living crisis

When it comes to second-hand fashion, buyers in Mexico (60%), the US (50%), and Europe (50%) are most open to this. And while 29% of total consumers say they are more open to buying second-hand since the pandemic, almost as many say it is due to a change in financial situation, as those who do so for environmental reasons. Globally, three in four shoppers say their fashion spending has fallen because of the cost of living, and this figure jumps to 80% in Europe, and 81% in the US.

Digital connectivity and transparency

Globally, six in 10 fashion shoppers see the value in scanning a QR code to understand proper garment care, which in turn extends the life of the clothing. The survey revealed a general increase in comfort levels towards digital triggers on garments versus the 2021 ‘Digital Consumer Behavior’ report. In China, Europe and the US, there’s been a notable increase in buyers who say they use digital triggers for conscious wash care instructions and to obtain proof of garment authentication.

This bodes well for the apparel industry as it embraces more digital-labelling and supply chain transparency with new legislation on the horizon in Europe and the US.

Michael Colarossi, vice president, innovation, product line management and sustainability, apparel solutions, ​Avery Dennison says: “Digital technology continues to create new and exciting opportunities within retail. These findings confirm fashion shoppers expect stores and products to be enhanced with smart digital solutions that will make their experience more convenient, informative and engaging. Consumers want tech tools to help them make conscious decisions and adopt habits such as resale and recycling.”

Chase Buckle, vice president of trends at GWI adds: “Our latest study with Avery Dennison helps us to understand consumers’ collective headspace when it comes to the shopping experience – and shows changes in consumer sentiment. A mutually-beneficial relationship between in-store and online will be a game-changer. Digital tools, from QR codes linking to product information to VR experiences will help retailers be more efficient, support consumers, and help the industry adopt new models for sustainability, transparency, and circularity.”

Last week, Avery Dennison acquired Lion Brothers, a prominent designer, and manufacturer of apparel brand identity systems.