What Are Microtrends?

Microtrends are short-lived, unique trends in a variety of sectors, but they are growing continuously prevalent in fashion retailing, with trend cycles continuing to shrink and the aptly named ‘fast fashion’ continuing to speed up in order to keep pace with customer demand. 

The most obvious issue with these trends is their lack of longevity and lasting impact (think shutter shades) – as soon as a trend has faded it’s almost entirely forgotten about, but so much of fashion is now dictated by these micro trends that they’re impossible to ignore.

In this post, we’ll be exploring the dangers microtrends present for retail businesses, and how effectively utilising analytics can help to negate some of them. 

What Are The Dangers?

For Retailers:

A shrinking trend cycle means risking more missed opportunities, as reacting to trends can take time that nobody can afford to waste. Joining a trend too late can prove disastrous for a brand’s image, as the ‘fall from grace’ micro trends tend to experience (cow print, anyone?) means that one week’s top product could be horrendously unfashionable the next.

The other risk associated with this is the risk of a high no fill rate. Imagine seeing sales skyrocket for a particular product, only to discover that it’s sold out halfway through the climb, leaving your customers frustrated and you having missed out on profits.

For the Planet:

Smaller trend cycles with a large drop in desirability once the trend is over is indicative of consumers viewing their purchases with the intent of them being temporary pieces, rather than wardrobe staples they’ll have for years to come. 

By extension this means higher levels of clothes ending up in landfill after just a few wears, and their often synthetic materials contributing to plastic waste.

How Analytics Can Help

“Highly data-driven organisations are 3 times more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making.”

Think with Google

When used effectively, analytics can move just as fast as consumer demand, allowing you to see in real-time how products are performing, and allowing you the maximum amount of time to make decisions in the case of a popularity spike, saving time and money as you’re not left waiting for sales reports to come in before being able to react.

“Only somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent of enterprise structured data is being curated and available to enterprise BI tools and applications.”


Beyond fast reaction times, when as much data is analysed as possible your chances of accurate predictions rise exponentially, with the chance to see trends before they even begin and get ahead of the competition.

Retailers are limited in how much encouragement they can give customers to not be wasteful and align their shopping habits with being eco-friendly, as lecturing on a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t exactly align with retaining customers and keeping business flowing. 

In spite of this, keeping an eye on trends in order to minimise No Fill Rates by extension means avoiding over-ordering products for a trend that’s phasing out, meaning less deadstock and keeping company wastage down.

In Summary

Microtrends aren’t going away any time soon, with their human counterparts ‘micro influencers’ continuing to rise in number, being en vogue is more accessible than ever. 

But by using all of the data collected with every product you sell, you’ll be able to not just keep up with these trends, but potentially overtake them, predicting their beginnings and knowing where to focus marketing efforts.

About iSpot for Retail

Here at iSpot, our main focus is getting you insights about your retail business, fast. With iSpot, you’re able to draw up reports in just a few clicks, saving you time and boosting your revenue through data-informed decision making.

To find out more or book a demo, Get In Touch

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