How is Technology Changing the Fashion Retail World?

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned from the last few months, it is that technology is always changing, AI and Machine Learning are making new things possible at every turn, and every industry is getting in on the action. That includes the fashion industry, which has faced some serious problems with how to show off their new collections in a COVID secure way while letting potential customers see the garments in all of their spectacular glory.

In truth, innovation is transforming technology, and technology is, in turn, transforming the fashion industry to meet the needs of a changing customer mood.

Engage With Customers

It’s easy for brands to lose sight of the most important part of what they do, and that’s that the customers  should be at the heart of every decision and should be the driving force behind the positive changes that technology and data analytics can have on the fashion buying process.

Even technologies that seem relatively simple at first, such as a clothing size estimator, can be backed by a powerful machine learning algorithm so that customers  only get the size and fit recommendation they are actually searching for and that their answers can then inform (privately) the data-driven solution on how to help other customers who have similar fit preferences. 

Improving Sustainability Standards

As a human race, we’ve been making clothes for millennia, and we’ve found novel ways to make these clothes look better and last longer for centuries.

It stands to reason that technology has really helped  improve the way clothes are made, from the dying process (which still empties hundreds of tons of waste into the ocean every year), to the making of fabric sheets ready to be sewn into clothing.

There are even initiatives to recycle what people are throwing away into new and usable garments.

Cutting carbon emissions and making the process of dying and garment making will mean a healthier and happier planet and those brands who help to set up eco friendly initiatives will boost their reputations leading to  in higher sales and conversions. 

Getting Promos Right

It’s said numerous times that most people have some kind of camera with them at all times, whether it’s a camera that has interchangeable lenses and costs a pretty penny or a camera that simply slides into their back pocket happily nestled on a mobile device.

While the constant connection has been good for some, for others, this level of interaction has actually caused problems; especially with the rise of influencer power over the buying habits of fashion followers across the globe.

Clever retailers are working with trusted industry influencers in order for the influencer to help promote their stock, but there are real concerns about the legitimacy of using influencers to market such material, and there are even signs that young adults (the people who will have all the buying power in five years) are beginning to get wise to influencer money-making opportunities.

Augmented Reality

This is an interesting topic that just doesn’t get talked about enough, but augmented reality is actually an area of technology that could really have a huge impact on fashion retailers, but only if they take up the offer while it’s still there.

At this year’s I/O, Google announced a huge update to its augmented reality platform and teased an update that will allow people to make themselves into an avatar and watch themselves in augmented reality through their smartphone.

This is an interesting development for fashion retailers because it presents a unique opportunity for online stores to offer virtual fitting rooms. Where the user could scan their entire body for a virtual bust to be created, on which the user could then try on all of the garments that you have for sale.

It must be noted that, although this technology looked really promising at Google’s I/ developer conference, it’s still in its infancy and unlikely to prove fruitful yet.

Supply Chain and Tracking Updates

The last thing to discuss here (on this by no means the exhaustive list) is supply chain technologies.

In truth, there are thousands of technologies that will help you get your products and sell them to the customer, but with advancements in supply chain technology, you really can get minute by minute tracking and updating, allowing you to know if your customer really did collect the item after they suggested that the postman had “lost it”.

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