Pascal Morand, the EVP of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, recently wrote an editorial that has the clearest definitions of the "See-Now Buy-Now" runway-to-closet fast fashion that consumers desire.
This kind of buy now originated as a consumer demand to be prepared for the upcoming seasons. Previously, you will see stores begin stocking spring colors and shorts immediately after post-Christmas clearances. Though the weather doesn't warm up for another 3 months, retail shelves are already stocked with next season's products. The seasonal buy now refers to offering products during the actual season so that you can still buy coats when it's snowing on Martin Luther King weekend.
With the growth of e-commerce, consumers are beginning to demand similar "2 Day Shipping" and "100% Satisfaction Guaranteed" from every brand. Aided by the instant broadcasting abilities of social media, customers want styles at a fashion show to be immediately available. What Morand says would happen is that the shows become more sales-driven events instead of artistic showings with existing pieces. This also has the added benefit of reducing copy-cats in the marketplace.
This would be treating consumers as buyers, allowing them to put a deposit down for the product to be shipped in 6 months. The advent of e-commerce platforms has made this available as an option. I believe these also includes crowdfunded projects like Kickstarter. This probably would not be as digestible to consumers 10 years ago.
There are many strategies brands are taking to leverage sudden jumps in Twitter mentions or Insta-likes in their quest to leverage every available channel for increased profits. Some things are very obvious - such as calls to action or reducing the number of clicks from home page to shopping cart. Some aren't and still have space for improvisation. But it's obvious to all brands that everyone must have real online strategies.
image via Vogue