Fashion is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, but the way it operates hasn’t changed that much in the past twenty years. Thanks to technology since it makes the industry to be more creative and highly efficient. Especially, when the world is moving onto a new-normal scenario, it has to rejuvenate itself. This is possible by means of implementing technologies in almost every sector which seek changes.
Customer is King
Since the consumer mind-set or shopping pattern has changed according to the scenario we are facing now, fashion has to cope up with it. As digital world is increasingly intertwined with the customers’ real lives, many brands and designers must exploit the latest technologies to make shopping much more enticing and compatible for the shoppers.
Listed below are some of the tech advancements that is being used in fashion industry:
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly advancing technology, made possible by the Internet, that have significant impacts on our everyday lives. AI traditionally refers to an artificial creation of human-like intelligence that can learn, reason, plan, perceive, or process natural language.
In recent years, brands have been using AI to enhance customers’ shopping experience, analyse data, improve sales, forecast trends and offer inventory-related guidance, among many other things.
For example, Usage of chatbots and Interactive touchscreens in stores in order to improve shoppers experience and for customized product suggestions. The technology uses algorithms which track customers journeys to provide them the right products.
Combining Inventory tracking with AI’s powerful data prediction tools, brands and designers can work on the right styles and quantities without any delay.
For example, FINERY, a British fashion label which came up with an automated wardrobe planning tool that uses analytics, records its female customer’s purchases and introduces them in a virtual wardrobe. The platform also allows women to create looks from their wardrobe and even choose from over 10,000 shops.
- Internet of things (IOT)
With the growing advancements, IOT is one such thing which paves way for smart garments, smart wearables and lot more. IOT is nothing but taking all the things in the world and connecting them to the internet.
According to a Retail Vision Study, 70% of retail decision-makers globally are ready to adopt the Internet of Things to improve customer experiences.
Indeed, some of the most exciting innovations are related to health. Hexoskin, for instance, tracks the heart rate and temperature. They also manufacture socks that count steps, calories and other data. Also people have become more health conscious now, and so IOT in fashion sector can help with it.
- Mobile Commerce
We are moving into “Digital Era” where, one can do shopping from sitting in his/her home itself, the so called ‘Online Shopping’. With the advent of Smart-phone, the above-mentioned job becomes quite easier. It has not only impacted our everyday lives, but it has become one of the fastest-growing sectors in E-Commerce.
- VR and AR
Combining the physical and online worlds of retail has been one of Virtual Reality’s most exciting applications in fashion and many other fields.
Virtual Mirrors helps shoppers to virtually try on clothes, such that it reduces the time taken to trial a garment.
For example, GAP‘s fitting room enables customers to customize an avatar according to their body type and see how different garments look from various angles by wearing it on avatar.
- 3D Printing
Julia Daviy, a fashion designer during York Fashion Week in September 2018 revealed one of the first-ever wearable collections made of entirely 3D printed materials. The time taken to produce those collections is 300 hours and it resulted in less fabric waste, Consumed less labours than other types of manufacturing. Looking onto this, the insight provided by Julia Daviy can help move fashion more sustainable and environmental focus.
- POS and Self-Checkout Kiosk
During this Covid times, spending more time in queues in a retail store puts oneself into high risk. This can be avoided with the use of mobile POS technology and Self-Checkout Kiosk.
Gurgaon-based fashion tech solution provider launched Mobile POS ZWING, a device which allows payments through anywhere in the store. This can replace the traditional way of payment in stores. The mobile POS is a small handy device just like the debit card machine which allows the shopkeeper to complete the customer shopping purchase through that.
Another system is a Self-Checkout Kiosk where customers can bill their merchandise and complete payment. It is so compatible that there is no need of store’s staff. This convenient payment method enables quicker checkouts.
A leading fashion brand Lifestyle introduced the same in a few of its stores recently and has been successfully running it.
A prominent e-commerce platform Myntra also opted for ‘Self-Checkout Kiosk’ in its newly launched fashion lifestyle RFID-enabled offline store ‘Roadster Go’ which allows customers to pick up apparels and accessories without any assistance from staff, discover real-time online prices and do a self-checkout in 30 seconds, eliminating the need to scan individual products or remove security tags from each garment.
Geo-fencing is the location-based service where the apps and other software uses GPS to send notifications such as their brands promotions, offers, special discounts to the smart phone users who enter a pre-defined location.
Blockchain is a great tool for transparency, traceability and efficiency in the supply chain.
“Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of data that store information about transactions like the date, time, and currency spent on your most recent purchase and who is participating in the transactions. But they also store information that distinguishes them from other blocks using a unique code called hash.
Blockchain technology is perfect to trace and keep records of transactions, supply chains.
Every product is recorded on the blockchain such that it prevents counterfeiting of goods.
Exploiting these advancements into fashion sector, can make shopping much more interesting, convenient and fruitful to both retailers and customers during tough times like now.