As we approach the end of 2020, it is the perfect opportunity to look towards trends in the apparel industry for the new year. What will the apparel decorating and promotional products industry look like in 2021? How will the unusual business climate created by COVID-19 affect the direction of the market? Forward-thinking print shops have come to realize that investing in shop management software provides the technology to deliver the “must-haves,” remain competitive, and adjust to changing industry demands. Exploration of upcoming trends and the examination of specific functionality within print shop software can provide insight into how companies can leverage these trends to outpace the competition. Here is what our industry experts predict to watch for in the apparel industry in 2021:

Continued eCommerce Expansion

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt by businesses, print shops will persist in expanding their eCommerce focus to mitigate sales and revenue losses. Those that have so far resisted tackling the world of online ordering are predicted to do so, as the online shopping share of the retail market has increased with consumers becoming increasingly comfortable with purchasing apparel on the internet out of necessity during the pandemic. Businesses that manage their online platform or utilize existing shops like Shopify, will require back-end screen printing software that supports their eCommerce integrations to ensure success.

Integration of Web Portals, Web Stores, and Web Platforms

As eCommerce expands, so will the advancement of new technology and new players in the apparel industry that will be “must-haves” to compete in the market – requiring print shops to be prepared to integrate with these new technologies. Printing company software with a universal adaptor is essential as it allows the ability to accommodate multiple customer stores, shopping-cart sites, supplier warehouses, shipping partners, and platforms – allowing for the easy addition of integrations to keep up with market trends. These integration partnerships also help to facilitate the increasing need for print on demand capabilities by providing inventory visibility of supplier information to assist with quick turnaround times and enhance customer communication by allowing instant accessibility of order information.

Fulfillment as a Revenue Stream

As apparel companies diversify and seek out additional revenue sources, many will look to straight order fulfillment as a portion of their business. For this value-added service, the printing of a particular item(s) (i.e. online store for a music artist, brand, or event) in the desired quantity is maintained in a print shop’s warehouse to be kept in stock – allowing the fulfillment from this inventory as orders are received. Apparel decorating software provides up-to-the-minute real-time visibility into stock and the inventory control functionality to efficiently manage customer-owned inventory and fulfillment of those orders.

A Return to Normal and Expected Surge in Demand

With a COVID-19 vaccine for the general population expected by June of 2021, there is high anticipation for the ability to travel and participate in social activities again. For industries such as tourism and youth sports, there has been a pent-up demand for not only being a part of these activities but purchasing the apparel that goes along with it. There is an expected boon for this segment of the apparel and promotional goods market when it finally reopens and print shops need to ensure they are prepared for the surge in production demand. With an industry-specific business management solution in place, shops will be able to adjust to the influx with automated processes, better insight into transactional data, and integrations to key business platforms and suppliers.

As businesses take note of the trends of the upcoming year, it is important to reflect on your company’s internal processes to determine how you will respond in 2021. Impress ERP software can help you effectively navigate upcoming trends with its comprehensive screen and apparel print shop management solution that meets the needs of your unique industry. Contact us for a demonstration today.