How Technology is Shaping the Future of the Fashion Industry
Tech advancements, such as artificial intelligence, automation, and virtual reality, have a major impact on the global fashion industry. According to McKinsey’s State of Fashion report, fashion players fully leveraging new technologies. They aim to be digital-first, improve diversity across assortments, and go hand in hand with the growing sustainability trends.
Here is how technology is shaping fashion.
AI Helps Fashion Brands Identify Trends Faster
Collecting, analyzing, and implementing mounds of industry data is a time-consuming task prone to human error.
That is exactly where AI-driven tools can help. AI automatically summarizes trends and processes.
They can analyze massive amounts of data faster than humans. Most importantly, they encourage you to put this data to good use instead of letting it collect dust on your servers. By identifying industry shifts and customer patterns, you will minimize overproduction and address trends faster.
Augmented Reality Redefines Customer Experiences
Over the past few years, augmented reality (AR) has gained momentum in the fashion industry. Its main goal is to recreate online shoppers’ experiences.
For example, online customers cannot feel, touch, or try on products on fashion brands’ websites. They rely on product descriptions and photos. To earn their trust, fashion brands hire photographers and content writers to offer detailed product information. For example, Julia Chernih, a professional videographer in Dubai, has worked with global fashion brands like Fendi, Dior, Mac, and Chanel to communicate their brand through quality visual content.
Augmented reality takes this practice to the next level. It provides customers with immersive shopping experiences and boosts their engagement.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist is a fascinating example of the implementation of AR. This platform allows customers to upload their photos and virtually try on makeup products. They can choose the right item and make purchasing decisions without going to a physical store.
The Growth of Sustainable Fashion Brands
The worrying climate changes have impacted customers’ perceptions of fashion brands. That is not surprising given that the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions.
Fast fashion brands create excessive textile waste. About 12.8M tons of clothing are sent to landfills.
Customer expectations are high for sustainable products, especially among Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. According to recent surveys, 47% of shoppers are looking for ethical and sustainable fashion products.
Tech advancements help fashion brands become more environmentally conscious. For example, Patagonia created Woolyester, a fabric that combines wool, polyester, and nylon to recycle about 50% of waste materials.
Artificial intelligence can also encourage sustainability in the fashion industry. With the right data analytics tools, designers can reduce the number of returns and minimizing overproduction.
Inventing New, Sustainable Fabrics
New materials and fabrics are the future of the fashion industry. According to McKinsey’s report, 67% of brands believe that innovative, sustainable materials are crucial for their company. For example, Modern Meadow creates lab-grown leather without harming animals.
Apart from addressing the issue of sustainability, new fabrics also lead to greater personalization. For example, MIT researchers created ColorFab 3D, which prints 3D objects with photochromic inks. That means the item changes color when exposed to UV light.
The Rapid Rise of Mobile Commerce
According to the latest statistics, the number of unique mobile users sits at 5.20 billion. To discover new brands, communicate with them, and purchase fashion products, customers install mobile apps. Customers downloaded 204 billion mobile apps only in 2019. By 2022, that number will reach 250 billion.
Therefore, just having a gorgeous, responsive website is not enough. A mobile app can be a differentiator for any fashion business wanting to gain a competitive edge.
Mobile apps improve shopping experiences in multiple ways.
Digital wallets, such as Apple or Android Pay, keep rolling out new technologies to adapt to customer demands. For example, technologies like fingertip or facial recognition provide safe and convenient buying experiences.
Mobile commerce is tightly linked to the growth of social networks. Today, fashion brands can use targeting to advertise on Instagram and even allow in-app purchases.
For example, how many times has this happened to you? You are scrolling down your Instagram feed and see that awesome dress you want to purchase. A few years ago, you had to close Instagram, go to the brand’s site, search for your desired product, and finalize the purchase there. Today, customers can purchase products directly from Instagram.
Mobile commerce has also improved brand-customer interactions. Fashion retailers can now provide omnichannel and consistent customer service via live chat, chatbots, virtual assistant, emails, push notifications, and social networks to meet customers at different touchpoints.
Technology is the Future of Fashion
Technology impacts almost any aspect of the fashion industry, from inventory management to marketing and customer service. It helps fashion brands deliver seamless and user-centric shopping experiences. That is how they will build trust with customers, enhance sales, and maximize brand loyalty.
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.