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How Technology Is Reshaping the Fashion Industry

 

 

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Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 4.54.20 PM.png

With shoppers shifting from physical stores to buying online, the impact of tech is hard to ignore, especially with eCommerce growing at a rapid pace. 

With the use of robotics process automation, AI, data analytics, and more, technology is changing how businesses in all industries operate and the fashion sector is no exception. And as the fashion landscape is transforming, retailers need to quickly adapt and embrace this turning point or risk falling behind the competition. 

Here’s how technology is changing the fashion industry.

1. Social Media 

Remember the time before social media? The time when you actually needed to leave your house in order to buy new clothes? Influencers? Twenty years ago, this word would’ve sounded like something made up or coming straight from the future. Well, not many millennials remember these times. 

For this generation, everything that happens online will reflect in the real world one way or another. Today, people are on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest every day. More than 30% of millennial women said that social media is one of the top influencers when buying clothes. This has led to the “wear-it-once” phenomenon, where clothes are thrown out after being worn a couple of times. 

Social media has even influenced how fashion models are chosen. Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are the perfect examples: instead of their looks or talent, they’ve started their careers thanks to having millions of followers on social media. 

2. Mobile Commerce

Today, everyone has internet access – anywhere and anytime – thanks to smartphones. The digital era has brought a new, smoother way of shopping via mobile devices. With digital wallets like Android Pay and Apple and social media apps, mobile has impacted our everyday lives and started reshaping the entire business world. According to stats, 2 out of 3 millennials prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores. And for a good reason. 

Mobile commerce makes shopping on the go quick, simple, and easy – all you need to do is click a button. For example, Instagram has an intuitive shopping feature that redirects customers to a product page the moment they click on the item, offering a mobile-friendly experience and significantly reducing search times. Fashion brands can take advantage of mCommerce to allow customers to discover their products and shop using their handy mobile devices. 

 

 

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Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 4.54.31 PM.png

3. Robotic Process Automation and AI

Robotics automation and new technologies aiming at performing human-like tasks are already changing the way fashion companies operate. Automation is certainly here to stay as nearly 50% of digitally mature companies now claim to have a defined AI strategy in place. 

Among the solutions that are set to automate and make operations easier for fashion businesses are automated logistics, automated sewing machines, automated online merchandising, automated content generation, and of course, AI-powered data processing. 

If you want to find out more about the benefits of automation in fashion, take a look at this robotic process automation guide from Prolifics

4. Virtual Reality 

eCommerce and mobile commerce were the first to revolutionize the fashion industry and now, we’re looking at the new wave of transformation – virtual reality. 

As we’ve already mentioned, customers rely on their mobile devices to browse and purchase various products with only one click. However, very often, customers receive items that didn’t match the ones they’d seen and this can cause complaints and result in negative reviews. 

The rise of virtual reality platforms allows brands to merge the online and physical world of retail. For instance, customers can now use try-on avatars or apps like DressingRoom to try outfits customized to their measurements before buying them. These VR platforms definitely improve the whole shopping experience helping brands to engage and retain customers. In addition, they provide brands with valuable insights that can leverage to provide customers with an even more personalized experience.

5. Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is definitely one of the biggest tech opportunities reaching the retail industry. Simply put, IoT allows us to interact with everyday items using the internet. When it comes to fashion, this signals a radical change in the near future. Studies have shown that about 70 percent of retail decision-makers in the world are already planning to adopt IoT with an aim to improve shoppers’ experiences. 

With the help of the IoT, we can expect to see smart clothing, responsive sportswear, and multi-functional designs helping retailers to better understand the customers’ needs and create a more personalized experience.

6. 3D Printing 

Since the advent of 3D printing, many fashion brands have been looking into the possibility of using it to revolutionize production and/or make their products more sustainable. In 2018, the fashion designer Julia Daviy revealed one of the first-ever wearable collections made of entirely 3D printed materials.

3D printing hasn’t transformed the fashion industry yet, but it is expected to do so in the near future. If it becomes economically sustainable for average households, 3D printing will enable people to share designs and print them off without having to pay a dime. 3D printing offers a number of benefits like reduced carbon footprint, faster manufacturing process, and decreased waste. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, digitalization has completely changed the fashion industry. Social media and mCommerce have already become our new normal. Now, new technologies like artificial intelligence, VR, and robotics are expected to further revolutionize the way customers shop, as well as the way brands cater to customers’ needs. 

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