III. Industry Analysis
Over the past five years, the T-Shirt industry surged, bolstered by a greater number of broadband connections and rising per capita disposable income levels. Operators also benefited from the growing popularity of e-commerce, as more consumers turned to e-tailers due to their added convenience and relative accessibility compared with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Moreover, industry operators have benefited from a rise in the number of mobile internet connections, which increased consumers’ ability to find and purchase industry goods on-the-go from their smartphones. Due to these positive drivers, industry revenue will continue to grow.
As the retail space has become more saturated with entrants, the operating environment has become more competitive, and operators have attempted to undercut one another on price and product quality. Offering amenities such as free shipping and competent customer service associates has become more and more important for industry players to remain attractive in this competitive space.
Further, retail behemoths are able to exert strong negotiating and buying power over upstream wholesalers and manufacturers, enabling them to procure items at a lower price than smaller retailers. This buying power lets these retailers pass cost savings on to the consumer, and these competitive prices keep them attractive.
In recent years, there has also been a growing industry trend toward using a social-commerce business model, which encourages the integration of social media. This new type of open-sourced business model alleviates the risk associated with product development because each shirt produced already has inherent demand.