technology

The place of technology in the Fashion Industry.

 

Fashion has always been an area for great innovation from the invention of the sewing machine to the rise of e-commerce. Like tech, fashion is futuristic.

In the present day, technology is transforming fashion at a faster pace than ever. From how clothes are used to how they are made,  Technology is personalising and speeding up the different aspects of fashion.

As in other sectors, new technologies have began to change how businesses in the fashion industry operate. From supply chain modernization technology to streamline and make processes more efficient, to the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence to help guide business decisions, or to the incorporation of social media tools and platforms to impact purchasing decisions.

Technologies creating a big shift in the fashion industry includes;

■Artificial Intelligence(AI)

Artificial intelligence can now collect information from social media and the internet to help designers understand what the public likes. The rise of social media means it is not just designers who decide the latest looks in fashion.

In fashion, AI has the ability to help brands and retailers with predictive forecasting, capacity planning and merchandising. This means that consumers can enjoy the benefits of better product availability and faster, more accurate deliveries. According to 2017 findings by McKinsey & Company, an AI-based approach could reduce forecasting errors by up to 50 percent, while overall inventory reductions of 20 to 50 percent are feasible.

In addition to supply chain benefits, AI can also help create a smoother browsing experience and improve customer retention through personalisation. Online platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, JD.com and Zalando use AI enhancements to help generate precise product search results and display virtual storefronts tailored to individual shoppers, based on their unique characteristics and preferences.

“Retailers can leverage data to provide a more seamless and personal experience for customers, which increases conversion, repeat purchase and loyalty,” said Karen McCormick, chief investment officer at VC firm Beringea, whose portfolio includes personal styling service Thread, which uses AI and machine-learning to help men buy clothes.

■Virtual/Augmented Reality(VR)

In January 2017, Gap unveiled a digital dressing room, developed by Avametric in collaboration with Google, which allows consumers to “try on” clothes without having to step into a store. Eyewear brand Warby Parker uses a combination of facial recognition and augmented reality, so customers can see what they look like in different frames. In January 2018, Amazon patented a smart mirror that uses AR to virtually overlay clothes on to users, to help stylise their look.

“It’s the ideal mix of digital technology living in the physical world,” said Bloom. By letting customers try clothes on virtually, the experience places no restrictions on the number of items that can be tried on, which means that customers may easily be persuaded to explore more items of clothing than they normally would in-store. It can also suggest clothing based on known user preferences or whatever is popular at the time, allowing for customers to broaden their horizons. As for online retailers, it could reduce the number of returned items, an industry-wide frustration.

■Mobile Shopping

Internet access is so readily available, a fashion consumer does not have to go to a physical store to buy an outfit.

With social media apps, digital wallets, and communication apps, it’s clear that mobile shopping has made life easier.

This era of connectivity has introduced an advanced way of shopping through  e-commerce.

This method of shopping makes buying on the go easy with just the click of a button. A good example is the Instagram’s shopping feature. Now customers can enjoy a seamless mobile-friendly shopping experience by clicking on the item they like and be redirected to the product page – effectively reducing search time. Businesses can provide their customers with a simple way to discover products and shop, all through their handy smartphones.

Technology is the way forward for every global industry.

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“The place of technology in the fashion industry”.

○Image and content Source: Businessoffashion.com and cbinsights.com

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