Inside Mango’s bid to make fast fashion even faster

Fast fashion is set to get even faster.

Starting February 2016, Spanish retailer Mango will introduce new products to its online and brick-and-mortar stores every two weeks, beginning with the launch of its new spring-summer 2016 collection. The goal is to bolster its e-commerce segment, which currently accounts for just 10 percent of the company’s total turnover.

“Speed and immediacy will be the key factors in this new strategy,” the company said in a press release last week. “Which is why all the Mango teams are focusing their efforts on getting the right product in the store at the right time.”

The brand is underscoring its emphasis on e-commerce by doing away with its print catalogs, with plans instead to publish new content digitally every two weeks. This will be accompanied by a different advertising campaign every month featuring each new trend.

Mango, founded in 1984, is no stranger to e-commerce. It launched its first website in 1995 and its first online store five years later, in 2000. Since then, it has actively used the Internet as a sales channel to augment its in-store sales.

By the end of 2009, for instance, Mango was selling on multi-brand e-retailers all over the world, including ASOS in the U.K. and Amazon in the U.S., apart from its own e-commerce site, which it relaunched in 2010. Just last month, the brand opened a private online store on Amazon Europe for several countries, with country-specific assortments tailored for the individual markets.

Fast fashion, despite its popularity, has been a challenging category on the e-commerce front because “the inventory is shallow,” said Jason Goldberg, gvp of commerce strategy at Razorfish. Regular communication and marketing efforts haven’t worked, because the items are out of stock by the time the brand effectively gets the word out.

“The question now is how can they invent some new marketing tactics that will drive consumer behavior toward products that will only be available for a short time,” Goldberg told Digiday.

To that end, it helps that Mango has dabbled in everything from integrating videos in its product-listing pages to creating shoppable lookbooks on its site. It has frequently updated its apps to better support its omnichannel offering with features like “Scan & Shop,” which helped drive sales from mobile devices up to 30 percent of all online sales in 2014. It also has an Apple Watch app.

While the brand’s new communication strategy is poised to be more up-to-date and dynamic, it will by no means be an easy feat. Moreover, its faster strategy still doesn’t put it anywhere up to speed with its Spanish competitor Zara, which updates its inventory twice a week on average.

“It makes sense to be putting in significant efforts and focusing on the content, but it won’t be easy to produce rich, compelling digital content every two weeks,” said Goldberg.

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