Fashion industry has not been left untouched by the tectonic changes brought about by stupendous tech innovation this decade. As the past year had AR and VR technology as a force to reckon for Fashion ecommerce, this year one of those technologies is AI (Artificial Intelligence). Going forward in 2018, what role will these tech advancements play in shaping trends for Fashion e-retail? Below we discuss 7 most likely ways how the tech breakthroughs will shape Fashion e-commerce in 2018
One-to-one relationships will be possible at scale
Artificial learning and machine learning has made personalization at scale a reality far sooner than anticipated. Though it is still in quite rudimentary and nascent stage of acceptance when looked at with Fashion and retail perspective, more uptake of this innovation is expected in 2018. Their application in forming intelligent customer service and offering natural language search responses has untapped possibilities. The essence of this development is to hark back to the days of physical stores when the shop owners knew their customers on a one to one basis. However this time the experience on offer continually evolves and is also to scale. It isn’t an easy task though figuring out the nuances that go into fashion selection but whichever company successfully figures out integrating personal data with this will surely emerge triumphant.
The bots will arrive (they have already)
The magnitude of impact AI has in store for the Fashion retail can be gauged by the fact that it plays into two of the trends on our list. A rudimentary application of AI has been in the messaging space but it is quickly gaining steam in Fashion circles too. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora, Nordstrom, Everlane, Burberry and American Eagle are already experimenting with chatbots. Chatbots are customer service tools which are machine governed for platforms like Facebok Messenger, Kik, etc. Now part of this adoption can be attributed to being “early to the party” more than actually converting consumers via this new medium. Going forward in 2018 software will improve as it learns so expect Fashion websites and mobile apps to offer more ‘conversational commerce’.
No longer is the Asian market an afterthought for Big brand retailers. The ecommerce explosion has made Asia a market to be given priority in some cases more than the western markets. It has more than half of global online retail sales and two thirds of e-commerce start ups. Hence Asian market stand poised to affect the trends of online Fashion retail with their countless pioneering digital and tech innovations in Fashion App development or website building.
Online search will be Consumers first choice for having reference when they shop owing to the convenience and relevance that it offers. These channels are too crucial and impossible to be ignored for sound business strategy. Online platform will continue to grow in size and the fashion retailers will have to keep themselves updated to these powerful sales channels. The question doesn’t have an “if clause” anymore but now it is “how to collaborate with big online platforms?” Innovation in Fashion app building for smartphones will play a decisive role in determining the face of change.
Social Media will be the New Storefront
It’s as ubiquitous in our lives today as perhaps water. It is no more a trend but an essentiality and the understanding of this fact has led to evolution of new ways to use it in commercial sector. It has been used by businesses as means of promotion and advertising as it is the cheapest and the most convenient method of communication with the consumers. Fashion industry is a place where frequent trend shifts and changes are a common occurrence. Social media provides the avenue to keep in touch with their consumer base with minimum investment. Digital Influencers like bloggers have been helping brands to create and maintain the buzz around their products. Moreover during their fashion app development, big brands make sure to integrate them with the social media to as great an extent as possible.
Digital realities will steam forward
According to a theory by Goldman Sachs emerging tech like AR and VR will affect retail sector first and will ultimately lead to the formation of a $1.6Billion with around 32 million users. Currently its being applied for more PR purposes than actual business strategy. However there have been some fairly unique business applications while building fashion mobile app as well that includes make up try ons, fashion shows and storytelling by the beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury. These digital realities will make very relevant tools to explore as they help shoppers and businesses alike. The gimmick window for these techs is over and the real potential is emerging as we talk. Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant invited customers to VR experience where they could not only visit a Macy’s Store but also make purchases by merely nodding their heads.
The Fashion industry is has one unspoken rule “Innovate or be eliminated”. It is primarily the main reason why fashion never has any constant trends, it’s always changing. The digital trends too play a role into the already dynamic environment of the fashion retail. Unlike other commerce sector a fashion firm cannot afford to ignore the most current digital trends, to stay ahead of the competition as well maintain its relevance, it has to accept the digital age.
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