One of the major challenges that many fashions brands face is that they still moving at a snail’s pace on matters related to meeting consumer expectations and behavior. The role of the customer has shifted from being mere passive observers to enabled dominance. Customers are no longer merely satisfied with just purchasing apparel products (Delloitte 2017). Rather, the phenomenal growth in the utilization of social media and email technologies has empowered them to provide their views regarding the products and services offered by different firms. For instance, digital users currently seek to interact, belong, influence, and form part of the brands from which they purchase (Delloitte 2017). This has resulted in an empowered consumer population that is not just informed, but it is also selective, in charge, and care about the manner in which they look in social media platforms. Thus, there are increasing number of consumers who currently utilize digital technologies before, during, and after making purchase decisions. For clothing and fashions sector, the turn of events implies that becoming a digitally savvy brand can no longer be regarded as a separate business. Rather, it will increasingly become essential to companies and the whole consumer-brand relationship (Delloitte 2017). The emergence of social media marketing has removed the traditional segmentation strategies that were being used in the past. Today, marketers can no longer categorize their target customers in terms of their geographies or one-size-fits-all strategies. In order to positively influence consumers, purchase decisions, companies are utilizing digital platforms to set new standards of products. These efforts mainly relate to shifting away from product brands to becoming ones that influence and implement contextualized and consumer-centric propositions. In particular, companies want to become brands that consider their whole experience ecosystems (Delloitte 2017). Legacy
DIGITAL MARKETING AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOR 20 organizations with analogue systems and operational procedures are being judged by such new standards. Therefore, they are finding themselves threatened to a level of absolution and outdated in the eyes of an empowered and informed consumer group. a. Social Media Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of digital technologies on consumer behavior in the apparel sector. However, there is still a dearth in literature about their impacts within the context of apparel industry. Social media marketing channels are some of the digital tools that have occupied the minds of scholars. In most of these studies, researchers have generated varying results. For instance, Husnain and Toor (2017) argue that social media marketing influences consumer behavior by increasing the levels of consumer engagement. In an effort to investigate the effects of social networking sites on consumer purchase decisions and the ways in which it is influenced by mediating role of consumer engagement, Husnain and Toor (2017) evaluated marketing websites.