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The vital role of technology in a disrupted fashion industry


We have witnessed what might be the greatest disruption to global markets in our lifetime. To say the fashion industry has been strongly affected would be an understatement. Regrettably, we are going to see many companies disappear. Recovering will be tough but it is within the means of those who are able to cope with the challenges and adapt to the new reality brought.

While the disruption continues, there will still be changes ahead that fashion companies should expect and anticipate. The first is that the customer is going to be different. Their spending habits will change, and so will their product choices. For example, remote work will continue and there will be a decreased demand for business wear and an increase in more casual clothing.

This is just one metric. Companies better connected with their consumers and with stronger sensing and analytics capabilities will understand new trends first. Technology will play an essential role as customer engagement takes center stage, with enterprises needing to leverage technology to understand the behaviors of their consumers.

More than ever, it will be crucial to maintain current customers through a greater emphasis on loyalty programs that are adjusted to meet new consumer preferences. In addition, a company’s ability to acquire new clients will be a vital strategy, and its execution will define their odds of survival in the novel industry landscape.

It will not be enough for businesses to focus on leaner supply chains, with long and cost-effective planning cycles. The traditional approach to best practices will not cut it. Companies will need to speed up the processes they have in place and change their value chains to become a more customer-centric organization that is more resilient and capable of simulating and adjusting to unexpected scenarios in real time.

Technology is the means for all of this, and the effective use of internal and external data can solve a major operational challenge. SAP, and in particular SAP S/4HANA solutions, will be invaluable for fashion companies. The real-time insights it provides into the consumer journey can feed the personalization programs your company needs to react quickly and effectively to changes in a volatile fashion industry landscape.

Capgemini’s close partnership with SAP enables us to deliver a specific industry solution, FashionPath, to our partners. It delivers a fast implementation at a lower cost and is our answer to the increasing importance of technology in a disrupted industry. While more change is certain to come, we believe it is possible to turn this crisis into an opportunity and redefine the meaning of success in the market.

Gabi Ledesma

Author details:

Gabi Ledesma is Vice President Global Retail and Consumer Products at Capgemini and has extensive experience in retail planning, operations, and global supply chain. With a strong focus on innovation, he helps clients improve business operations and solve complex business problems successfully. He can be reached at