Trend Forecasting Steps For Analysis

Trend Forecasting Steps

Fashion forecasting is generally a career that involves focusing on upcoming trends in the fashion industry. Fashion and trend forecasting is the future determination of mood, behavior and purchasing habits of consumer at a given time of season. It does not only involve determination of markets, consumers in terms of age, their locations and income but also inquire deeply to get to know what they purchase depending on their culture, beliefs, moods as well as geographical location.  Fashion and trend forecasting is more reliant on fashion cycle and plays a significant role in introductory stage of consistent fashion cycles.

Fashion and trend forecasting involves a series of activities in each of the area it is dealing with. For example it looks at the; season, target market, consumer, colors, fabrics, silhouette, texture and usage. Therefore, comprehending fashion and trend  forecast is not only crucial in determining the success of the ultimate object of the designer but also enhances the continuous repetition of sales in future seasons as well as promoting the fashion cycles.

Unlike in the past when trend forecasting was done manually, current trend forecasting is done using technological forecasting methods although they have been criticized for reducing creativity by most designers. Most trend forecasting are determined by the forecasting method applied by the ultimate user and it is therefore crucial to determine the most appropriate method of trend forecasting in any individuals business model. Generally, any trend forecasting methods involve the following steps (Hines, 2007);

The first step is Problem definition. Although this is the hardest section of forecasting, it is the most important. This step requires keen analysis of how the forecasts will be used, who needs the forecasts as well as how the forecasting technique suits within the firm needs the forecasts. A forecaster should therefore use enough time to every individual who will take part in data collection, keeping the data as well as applying the forecast for future planning. Then gathering of information follows whereby in most cases, statistical or quantitative data and qualitative data are the ones required. Therefore, the collectors of the data should be expertise who can be able to receive the qualitative information from the respondents who are usually the customers if there is no adequate quantitative information (Wong, 2010).

The third step is preliminary analysis, also called exploratory analysis. In this step, the forecaster should consider whether or not there are consistent pattern that lead to significant trend, whether or not there is evidence of business cycles, the presence of outliers in the information that need explanation as well as the extent of relationship between variables present for analysis.

The fourth step is choosing and fitting models. The best method of trend forecasting should depend on the historical data present, the application of the forecasts as well as the extent relationship between the forecasts available and explanatory variables. Some of the methods that can be arrived at includes; exponential smoothing model, ARIMA model, vector autogression, neural networks among others (Wong, 2010).

The last step involves the use and evaluation of the forecasting model. The success of the model can only be determined after the data for the forecast time has been present after which various methods are applied to assess the success of the model.

Research Methodologies

As earlier stated, the main data required in trend forecasting is qualitative, quantitative and mostly commonly, a combination of the two.

The quantitative research methodology start right from the bottom, where agencies and even the manufacturers either inquires directly from the customers on their purchasing preferences or the organization may record the consumers buying habit in a duration of a given time. The consumer’s response is recorded and used to determine preference for some specific garments, accessories or any other product on research, colors, and sizes among other factors of a product. Surveys through mail, customer response or phones are carried through publication as well as contracting market research organizations for manufacturers and as well as retailers.

The survey questions usually relate to life style, income, shopping habits as well as fashion preference. The customers who participate in these surveys are selected by the research company although they should suit with manufacturers or retailers requirements. Informal discussion with consumer enable researchers get information through asking questions to customers about what they would prefer to purchase, the types they prefer to purchase which is currently present as well as the change in products they require and are not available or they cannot reach. Most researchers use small scale retailers because of their contact and conversation with the customers.

Trend Forecasting Steps
Trend Forecasting Steps

The quantitative methodology entails the use of statistical data or information to determine the trend in customer demands and hence forecast on producing what the consumers purchase the most. Statistical data for fashion sector is easily obtainable without necessarily going to the field because it is available in manufacturers or retailers sales records (Hines, 2007).

From such records, the manufacturers can determine which garments, color of the product, size as well as the fashion preference of the consumer. After that, the manufacturer should be able to determine which fashion product should be produced more depending on sales experienced at each season of the year. It is valuable noting that a well-balanced combination of the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies is bound to boost the success of the model selected for trend forecasting.

Conclusion

This paper has attempted to show that the fashion industry has one main purpose; to offer desirable as well as appealing product to not only satisfy the customer needs, demands and aspire to have them but to also keep the product selling in the subsequent business cycles with a similar season. Every successful trend forecast must commence with the consumer through determination of the consumer’s needs to the market as well as the ability to make the consumer adjust the marketplace to his preferences and lifestyles. The paper has also expounded on the two critical methodologies used in forecast research i.e.  the qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It has also emphasized on the need to combine the two methods in order to attain the best results of the model of forecast selected.

References

Hines, T., & Bruce, M. (Eds.). (2007). Fashion marketing: contemporary issues. Routledge.

Wong, W. K., & Guo, Z. X. (2010). A hybrid intelligent model for medium-term sales forecasting in fashion retail supply chains using extreme learning machine and harmony search algorithm. International Journal of Production Economics, 128(2), 614-624.

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Fashion Industry Economy

The Contribution Of Art And Fashion Industry To The National (UK) Economy

According to a report released by the British Research Council (2014), the fashion industry in Britain contributes £26 billion to the country’s economy. This is a 22 % increase from the contribution made in 2009 which added up to £21 billion. The report was released by the council during the London Fashion Week. These statistics intrigue various questions relating to the contribution of art and fashion to the economy of the country. Although art and fashion have been part of the UK’s culture for many years, their impact on a country’s economy has not been greatly considered over the years. However, in the recent years, the expansion of the global market has greatly impacted the art arena, which has further impacted the economy either positively or negatively.

Research Question: Is the art and fashion industry influential enough in the economy to attract both local and foreign investments in the long-term?

Purpose and objectives

The aim of the research is to assess the impact of the arts and the fashion industry on the economy in the UK in accordance to information revealed by the Arts Council and the British Fashion Council. The main objectives of the research will be to review and collate existing research relating to the economic impact of the arts and the fashion industry in the country. The other objective is to understand the measures and methodologies put in place for assessing the effect of creative industries, programmes, facilities and projects. Assessing the quality and comprehensiveness of the existing evidence is another objective of the research.  The research also aims at informing the future agenda for effective research within the sector. It will also include evidence-founded making of policies by the Arts Council and Fashion Council. Identifying fundamental research needs that will assist in improving the research’s robustness is another scope of the research. The proposal will also include a practical resource to help the parties working in the sector.

Theoretical Framework

The Keynesian theory states that the production of goods and services by the businesses is influenced by consumers’ ability to spend. The twenty first century has experienced changes in issues relating to increase in consumer spending, hence the increase in production of various goods and services. The arts and fashion industry has not been alienated from this impact. The rapid expansion of economies that started taking place in the late twentieth century through to the twenty first century has been of great impact globally. It is believed that one of the most impacted is the arts and fashion industry.

The consumption, investment, government and net exports characterize the Keynesian theory. This research will analyse these concepts in relation to the oil and arts industry, and how they have affected the economy in the UK. The research is also sensitive to the impact of the local fashion industry on its economy. It is relevant to assess whether the most impact is evident from exports or products bought by the local consumers. The household disposable income and the general GDP are of relevance to this research. It is relevant to understand the past scenarios relating to the industry and steps that have been taken to heighten the industry to the current position. As evidently put by Keynes, the increase in consumer spending will increase the production of goods. Consequently, a decrease in consumer spending will also decrease production in the industry. It is relevant to understand the individual contribution of the various sectors in an economy. This will allow the relevant parties to make decisions relating to the present and the future of the industry in question. In this case, it will be identified whether the impact on the economy, if any, is long-term. It is relevant to understand whether it can attract investors.

Empirical / Contextual Literature Review

The Art Council England and British Fashion Council provide various reports that reveal the financial/economic impact of the arts and the fashion industry in the economy. Other economic related sources will be assessed in order to realize the share of the industry on the overall economic figure. Research will be carried out in some areas such as the Research Department of the Arts Council. The research may also include email, telephone or postal inquiries from the Culture, Media and sports Department. Other sources include the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, the Scottish Arts Council, among others.

Fashion Industry Economy
Fashion Industry Economy

After the research process, a small number of studies will be gotten, read and evaluated with the use of Draft Standards for Reporting on Statistics (Hutton, 2001). Sharp and Benefield (2001) insist that the NFER (National Foundation for educational Research) guidelines to be incorporated in order to present quality research. The researcher will also scrutinize the references in order to assess whether there are other potential materials that are relevant. The review will mainly cover research that is done in the United Kingdom. This will include England, Wales and Scotland. In order to make the research more comprehensive, statistics relating to other countries such as the USA and Australia will be included.

The research will include literature which has information concentrating on the economic contribution of the fashion and arts sectors. The inclusion of the arts sector will also lead to the inclusion of some aspects of the creative industry and culture in the UK. The research will briefly give the social-economic aspect of the industry, due to issues relating to the employment arena and the general impact of the people’s livelihoods. The materials considered are gauged on various levels. They include a widened geographical spread, diversified study foci, diversified methodologies and approaches, research quality and studies target groups. Other issues relate to issues addressed or policy area, research date in question, impact on the sector and best evidence presentation. Blake (2000) reminds researchers that a review does not have to reproduce in detail the articulated claims relating to the economic impact of the fashion or arts industry. This is because they have been covered adequately in these resources. The researchers only need to find the information relevant to their topic and then integrate it accordingly in order to answer their research question (Jermyn, 2001).

The study design that will be used is the historical approach. Babin et al (2012) states that the historical approach is one in which information is collected by reviewing the historical data presented by older reports or valid sources of information. This empirical report should not be altered. In order to place more emphasis on historical study, Gillham (2008 state that historical method is something that exceeds simple data-gathering. It involves analyzing, and confirming the information retrieved from these sources by engaging other research methods. For example, interviews will be included in this research method. The true meaning of data collected should be reported from the point of view of the objectives and the basic assumption of the project under way. The facts obtained may be accurate expressions of central tendency, deviation or correlation; but the report is not research unless discussion of these data is carried up to the level of adequate interpretation. Data must be subjected to the thinking process in terms of ordering reasoning. The design also saves on time. The researchers are also able to present factual information from the target resources using cheaper means.

Methodology

The main method will include reviewing the past and current statistical information available on the materials. However, interviews will be integrated in the research method. The interviews will be done in order to verify some of the unclear data, or place emphasis on the available information. Such technique will be used for target people who may provide more information other than the information available in the report. Since interviews are one-on-one, the researcher is able to read other forms of communication such as body language, hesitations, amongst others (Creswell, 2003). Interviews also limit the time that the information will reach the researcher.

Additionally, questionnaires will be handed to people who will not find time for interviews. It can be passed through emails or other communication channels agreed upon by the researcher and the target person. As indicated earlier, it is used to verify information that is unclear or that which has not been updated. VanderStoep & Johnston (2009) indicate that the measurement quality is highly dependent on the reliability of the instrument used to collect data. In order to follow this statement, the researcher will pre-test the questionnaires being used. Validity entails, whether the spirit of the questionnaires is in accordance with the purpose of the research. In order to confirm validity, selected questionnaires will be given to respondents in order to pre-test data collection. Once the questionnaires are returned, they will enable the accurate assessment of the validity of research instruments. The questions in the questionnaires will also be used to conduct the oral interviews. The questionnaires will not be included in the final analysis.

References

Babin, B. J., Carr, J. C., Griffin, M., & Zikmund, W. G. 2012,. Business research methods (9th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Blake Stevenson Limited, 2000, “The Role of the Arts in Regeneration”, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, Edinburgh.

Creswell, J. W. 2003, Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Gillham, B. 2008, Small-scale social survey methods: Real world research. London: Continuum International Pub. Group.

Hutton, L, 2001, Draft Standards for Reporting on Statistics, The Arts Council of England. 110

Jermyn, H, 2001, The Arts and Social Exclusion: A review prepared for the Arts Council of England, The Arts Council of England, Londo.

Sharp, C and Benefield, P, 2001, Literature Reviews Course Notes, NFER, unpublished.

VanderStoep, S. W., & Johnston, D. D. 2009, Research methods for everyday life: Blending qualitative and quantitative approaches. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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