It is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted nearly every industry one way or another. Within the fashion industry, we have seen a rapid digital transformation. The rise of innovative technology has been one of the biggest transformations, impacting e-commerce, design, business models and more.
As fashion brands had to close their stores, consumers shifted to online shopping which accelerated e-commerce growth. As a result, 43% of consumers who had never shopped online, purchased clothes online for the first time this year.
Digitising the shopping experience is only one part of adopting a digital business model.
Adapting technology can reduce costs as it helps build a resilient supply chain. It means being able to be efficient in every segment of the supply chain. From redefining design and manufacturing processes to integrating systems that can manage and predict inventory levels. Being able to predict production levels, avoids overproduction which is a sustainable business practice.
How technology is changing fashion:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As data points of customers grow, AI will redefine how brands design and develop their products. Brands can focus on predicting and making what consumers will wear next. AI has already been adopted in fashion. In 2016, Google collaborated with fashion platform Zalando to create user generated fashion designs through artificial intelligence (AI).
A typical customer journey where technology automates the entire fashion design process would look like:
- Customer is looking for a piece of clothing.
- He/She inputs her style preferences and measurements.
- AI algorithms analyze these preferences based on Big Data, trends and digital behaviour.
- VR fitting rooms so that consumers can virtually try on clothes.
- 3D software designs the piece of clothing.
- Robotic machines are used to sew and make it.
- Customer wears said piece of clothing.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality (VR) helps brands merge online and offline store experiences for consumers. Augmented reality allows customers to try on clothes virtually on an avatar, before they make a purchasing decision. For instance, Amazon is currently in the process of patenting a virtual mirror. marketing, brands can have an AR pop up, make an interactive catalogue or have a VR tour of the store that entices customers to visit.
Along with great products, customers expect great customer service. VR technology can be used to create virtual shopping assistants and chatbots that greet customers in store and online.
Having a great customer experience isn’t enough. Customers want to support brands that are transparent about their operations. They are willing to spend more and stick with brands that have ethical values and are transparent about their business practices. Blockchain can be used to track products throughout the supply chain, providing transparency to the customer. They know where their products are sourced from and the journey it takes to reach them.
Each product can have a unique digital ID which creates an end-to-end digital track record for better authenticity and inventory management. In addition, blockchain can help in identifying counterfeit products which is a huge market that is increasingly becoming a threat to luxury brands. The luxury brand Moncler uses RFID tags so that customers can scan and verify their products through an app or on the website.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) allows us to interact with everyday objects via the internet. According to Forbes, 70% of retail decision makers are investing in IoT to improve customer experience. With IoT, clothing will have digital capabilities that allow customers and retailers to communicate. Wearable technology has become highly popular in recent years with the likes of Apple Watch and Google Smart Glasses on the market.
For instance, OMSignal is a digital thread woven into clothes that can measure heart rate, breathing rate, number of steps and calories burned. Apart from tracking health and sports performance levels, IoT can improve supply chain operations. Through barcodes and RFID tags, supply chains can avoid losses and fraud as it ensures efficient tracking for a smooth supply chain.
In conclusion, the future of the fashion industry is exciting as new breakthroughs and advances in technology grow. To take your fashion brand to the next level, contact Luxeveda. Email us at [email protected]!