Developing Compelling Online Recovery Strategies: Implications for the Fashion Clothing Industry

Developing Compelling Online Recovery Strategies: Implications for the Fashion Clothing Industry

Samuel Ayertey (University of Plymouth, UK) and Wilson Ozuem (University of Gloucestershire, UK)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2697-1.ch013
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The Internet offers a platform over which complaining is effortless, yet impactful. A wide and geographically dispersed audience can be reached over the Internet, and compared to offline environments, switching is easier on the Internet since customers can browse, and look for alternative providers with ease. In light of this, gaining an understanding of how to manage online service failures effectively is crucial to the success of firms operating in online environments. Extant research has mainly investigated customer reactions to service failure and recovery encounters taking place in offline brick and mortar outlets. The internet, along with other emerging technologies offers consumers several platforms to interact with others and to subsequently complain about service failure. Drawing on extant studies, this chapter focuses on how service failure and effective recovery strategies can enhance the competitive position of organisations.
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Over the past 30 years, fashion retailing, an innovative, dynamic and challenging industry has undergone immense changes, with the United Kingdom remaining at the forefront, and as a result is under considerable academic scrutiny (Doherty, 2000), particularly, but not exclusively, with reference to branding (Birtwistle and Freathy, 1998). Bhardwaj and Fairhurst, 2010 (among others) have recently studied consumer response to the fast fashion sector, which presents significant issues where its development is concerned. They assert that the fashion clothing industry has evolved significantly, principally during the last two decades (Birtwistle and Freathy, 1998). Christopher, Lowson, and Peck, (2004) identified problems with the way fashion is consumed and noted issues concerning quality and innovation, with the market becoming ever more demanding. This becomes evident in the demand for greater variety and more informed styles yet more economically priced than ever. (Fernie, Maniatakis and Christopher, 2009). In this connection, Doyle, Moore, and Morgan (2006) and Mollá-Descals, Frasquet-Deltoro and Ruiz-Molina (2011) noted the changes in the dynamics and increasing complexity of the fashion industry. Characteristics of such changes include a reduction in the requirements for manufacture in large quantities, and a larger number of fashion “seasons”. Other features include improved organisation of supply chains, leading businesses to opt for models that can be delivered flexibly and fast, and produced at low cost.

The internal and global importance of the U.K. fashion industry is underlined by London being among the top four world fashion centres, with Paris, New York and Milan (Jackson and Shaw, 2006).Jackson and Shaw (2006) particularly commented on London and Birmingham’s fundamental creativity and keenness in pursuing the latest trends, and on their being centres of luxury and fashion, attracting extensive traditional and virtual mass media, keen-eyed followers, enthusiasts and professionals. London Fashion Week, which takes place in February and September, is an example, as is the existence of the London College of Fashion. Topshop, a giant U.K. fashion concern, is of global significance. In terms of business, the fashion industry represents an important part of the national economy, with UK clothing and footwear sales reaching £48.55 billion in 2007 (Key Note, 2008).

According to a Mintel (2015) report online fashion accounted for £12.4bn consumption in the United Kingdom in 2015, representing a rise of over 15% as compared with the figure for 2014 (£10.7bn, while the U.K. trade in accessories accounted for £2.7bn, a 3.4% increase over the figures for 2014. Oxford Economics (produced by the British Fashion Council, 2016) published data showing significant increases in the UK fashion industry’s contribution to the United Kingdom economy, rising by 22% from £21bn in 2009 to £26bn in 2014.

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