Market Research in Fashion Industry: Meaning, Types and Importance

Market Research in Fashion Industry: Meaning, Types and Importance

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


The process of gathering and analyzing information to find insights into the fashion industry, which involves its top players, competitors and more importantly the target market is called as market research. Either you own an existing clothing business or are looking for entry into the world of fashion, market research is very necessary and can ensure effective use of the marketing expenditure as well as increase the chance of business success. The feature of fashion market research is that it provides business owners and entrepreneurs with beneficial insights so they can make correct, informed decisions to manage the development or evolution of their fashion business.

Market Research in Fashion Industry

Market research in fashion industry is necessary due to following reasons:

  • To understand how customers describe to your brand or a competitor’s brand.
  • Helps in identifying different areas for growth, new markets, and customer segments.
  • To know about how existing customers would like to see your brand evolve.
  • To gather information about consumer opinions and interactions with different fashion segments (e.g. fast fashion vs. luxury brands).
  • To analyze how fashion marketing campaigns influence consumers’ mindset and their behavior.

Why Market Research in the Fashion Industry is Important?

a) The market retaliate strongly to trends:
It is seen that, in all types of market, influencers are directly impacting buying decisions. And it’s just not limited to fashion bloggers, but anyone with a decent following, can change the way people shop. Not only runways and social media trends that impact the fashion industry, in case of the pandemic situation after years of being on the rise, both online and brick and mortar fashion outlets experienced a large drop in sales, even they’re still recovering from. The lifestyle of people has changed as well as their buying habits, and it’s up to brands to highlight this out and react cleverly. Even consumers getting more eco-friendly nowadays and more resistant to fast fashion, and a look for more inclusive clothing across genders and sizes, will also automatically leave its mark on the fashion industry.

b) Variation in target segments:
Fashion lovers who have grown up buying high fashion brands and loving every second of the experience fast fashion affords, might have turned into environmentally conscious purchasers who are only interested in made to measure concept, or who shop mostly on second-hand apps like Depop or Vinted. It is very visible that, your current customers could shop elsewhere tomorrow. It’s critical to get to know them as well as you can, to sustain them for long enough and create interest.

c) Competitiveness in market:
Currently, there are too many brands and stores are available to count, which leads to high competition in the market. It’s not unusual for a kind of for busy shopping streets to have multiple stores of the same brand, walking distance from each other. One can add the e-commerce part of the industry to that, in which brands can easily come and go as they required, and one find yourself in one of the most competitive industries in the world.

d) It’ll help to connect with the target group:
Market research can be a tricky yet smart way to connect with your target group. Especially in case of a large scale, for an example by online surveys that are offered with some sort of discount code, brands can earn extra benefits from asking their customers some different types of quick questions. One can ask them about styles and certain products, but one also has to figure out if they’ve seen your recent ads and what they thought of it.

Types of Market Research:

A. Primary Market Research:
It is basically a combination of both Qualitative and Quantitative Research. A process where instructions or businesses get in contact with the end consumers or employ a third party to carry out different studies to collect data is known as primary market research. While carrying primary market research, one can collect two types of information: Exploratory and Specific. Exploratory research is simply an open-ended, where a problem is raised by asking open ended questions in a deep interview format usually with a small group of people, also known as a sample, whereas in specific research, as the name suggests it is more specific and is used to solve the problems that are identified by exploratory research.

In qualitative market research study, it includes semi-structured or unstructured data collected through some of the commonly used qualitative research methods like:

1. Focus groups:
Focus group is a small group of people usually 6-10 people who typically react or answer to online surveys sent to them. It is more expensive method and used to collect complex information.

2. One-to-one interview:
By the name it is clear that, this method involves personal connect in the form of an interview, where the researcher asks a number of questions to collect information or data from the respondents. Here the questions are mostly open ended and asked in a way to get responses.

3. Ethnographic research:
It is a in-depth research which is conducted in the natural settings of the respondents. In this method the interviewer adapt himself/herself to the natural environment of the respondents which can be a city or a town area.

B. Secondary Market Research:
That is managed by outside sources such as government agencies, media, chambers of commerce etc. is called as secondary market research. The example is information published in newspapers, magazines, books, company websites, free government and nongovernment agencies and so on. The secondary source makes use of the following:

1. Public sources:
Public sources such as library are a good way of gathering free information. Even government libraries are free of cost and a researcher can document available information.

2. Commercial sources:
This sources although reliable but expensive in nature. The examples are local newspapers, magazines, journal, and television media to collect the information.

3. Educational institutions:
Although it is not a very famous source of collecting information, most universities and educational institutions are a good source of information as many research projects are carried out there than any of the business sector.

Benefits of Systematic Market Research:

1. Make good and correct decision:
As it is fact that, the growth of any organization is highly rely on the way decisions are made by the management. Using market research methodology, the management can take business decisions on the basis results that back their knowledge and experience.

2. Obtain right information:
Market research generally gives real and correct information that will prepare the organization for any mistakes that may happen in the future.

3. Identify the market size:
With the help of this, a researcher can analyze the size of the market that must be considered in case of selling a product or service in order to make profits.

4. Helps in selecting an appropriate sales system:
It helps to select a correct sales system according to what the market is demanding for, and according to this, the product/service can be highlighted in the market.

5. In analyzing the customer preferences:
It helps to identify how the preferences and tastes of the clients change so that the business can satisfy their preferences, purchasing habits, and income level.

It is simply all about understanding what you target group needs, and will require in the future. From their spending behavior to the effectiveness of many campaigns, fashion market research covers everything that helps you identify of find out many business opportunities for the next season and many more after. The goals of fashion market research ranges. It can be happen that a brand that’s getting ready for their first collection to drop might want to look into how huge scope is for their future market share, to finalize whether it’s worth it or not to go live.


  1. Market Research: What it Is, Methods, Types & Examples,
  4. How to Conduct Fashion Market Research Like a Pro

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