Technology has sailed into almost every walk of life. In some cases, it has been quick to spread its influence like a wildfire. In others, such as fashion, the influence has been relatively slow. Regardless of the pace adopted, the impact of technology on fashion industry has been immense. The implications also intend to have far-reaching benefits for the fashion business.
As 2018 has unfolded, tech is expected to contribute some great wonders in the fashion realm. Already the past year has seen some great ways through which tech has helped fashion moguls to strengthen their business. This is particularly true along the lines of digital marketing and the growing social media presence of fashion brands.
Impact of Technology on Fashion Industry
The impact of tech on the fashion world is far-reaching. Never before did we think that our favorite shops could have an e-existence in the form of e-stores. It took us all the remaining energy after a hard day at work to hit the stores and select a dress. Now, our favorite dress is only a few clicks away. Here is a breakdown of how tech will leave its footprint on fashion:
Research reveals that only in a few years’ time frame, half of the Internet surfing will be based on voice searches. The recent advance in search technology such as Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, for instance, have speed boosted voice search. The current new year is forecasted to see competitors. This will speed the spread of voice communication.
On a specific fashion note, voice communication technology will enable users to voice stream their shopaholism. So, your favorite dress will not be clicks away but only a voice command away.
Technology is also facilitating brands to improve their customer service. The means to this end is a chatbot. These have been recently introduced and several fashion big fishes are testing the tech to reap its maximum potential. Some of the names of acclaimed brands that are experimenting with these chatbots are Everlane, Tommy Hilfiger, and Burberry to name a few.
The present year is predicted to see an enhanced use of these chatbots that assist in boosting sales, enhancing the customer conversion rate, and improving marketing. In 2017, a secret survey was conducted by the Drift marketing team. The aim was to find out if the brands responded quickly to their potential customers. As per Erik Devaney of the study the following conclusion was drawn. “We found that 93% of companies are ignoring the 5-minute rule. Just 7% of companies responded to sales inquiries in 5 minutes or less, while a whopping 55% of companies took longer than 5 days to respond.” This is the area where chatbots aim to convert potential leads to customers.
3D modeling is expected to make massive waves in the present year. The technology has the potential to convert raw ideas into sophisticated and detailed models. In doing so, it helps to save the time and money that is invested in the production of product samples. It encourages creativity that is allowed to make mistakes without fretting over the cost wastage.
At the same time, as 3D printing becomes commonplace, it will allow customers to explain their vague mind maps to their designers for an on-spot sample of the model that will be breathed life into. Initially, 3D modeling was a far-fetched dream with the prices of the 3D printer being high. As prices are becoming economical for designers, the fashion field is expected to shine with all the benefits of the tech. Thus, this tech will revolutionize the fashion realm by saving time, money, and providing a greater competitive edge.
The hybrid workforce
There have been a number of studies warning millennials of endangered jobs due to the invasion of robots. Surveys, however, thwart the warnings with individuals claiming that there are some humanly skills that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can never replace. Regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen, what is prophesized is the hybrid nature of fashion industry’s workforce.
The growth of AI and cognitive technology has opened up the gates of mixed personnel that will be composed of human as well as AI. A case in point is the emergence of Sewbo. This is a robot that does stitching. Jonathan Zornow, the mind behind Sewbo was concerned with the increased investments attributed to manufacturing. In this context, he saw a bright future for his invention, as he says, “I think that automation will be an important tool for the burgeoning reshoring movement by helping domestic factories compete with offshore factories’ lower labor costs. When automation becomes a competitive alternative, a big part of its appeal will be how many headaches it relieves for the industry.”
Change in the nature of data collection
A decade back, data collection on consumer preferences and behavior was solely regulated by manmade and circulated survey. Fast-forward to the present times and tech is changing the very face of consumer data collection and analysis. Now data analysis has become a hot currency in the fashion domain that is essential to understand which trend is garnering attention and which is getting discouraging boos.
An example here is that of Lyst, an online startup that allows you to shop 2000 plus designers on one stop. As of 2014, 50% of its workforce comprised of data scientists that crunched digital data every nanosecond. The analysis of this data allows these people to understand the customer preferences, likes, dislikes, and what not. Statistics from the inception phase of Lyst shows that digital data allowed it to increase the mobile conversion rate of customers by 41%.
Tech furthers consumer choices
About 10% of all the finalized designs go to the junk because they are not made as per the consumers’ tastes. Even though it seems that fashion has people following closely on its tail, the equation is equally balanced, as customer likes and dislikes are what keeps the fashion business afloat. That said, latest technology helps to polish the fashion realm by giving the first priority to consumer choices.
Some companies are recently tested the concerned matters by crowdsourcing the designs. This means that only those designs are made that are approved by people, which keeps wastage at bay. It also gives businesses a competitive edge. This is how the bricks and clicks stores are working. Moreover, the brick and mortar stores are separately harnessing technology to maintain the customer is king status. For example, tech has come up with tiles that estimate customers’ foot compressions, which helps designers understand which designs arrested their clients’ attention.
Fashion wearable technology
Health and fitness apps have taken over the wearable technology portfolio. But that’s old news now. The fresh in this category is expected to unfold further this year in the form of wearable technology that comes in the guise of stylish looks.
This technology is steadily growing and is estimated to bloom this year with bracelets that look like a piece of jewelry but are actually keeping a track of your heart rate. Samsung’s latest edition of wearable devices is worth all the applause. The suit cuffs boast Bluetooth connectivity. The same applies in the case of Samsung WELT, a stylish belt with technical functioning on the inside.
Summing up, there is a lot that is expected as tech and fashion come together. All these factors show the impact of technology on fashion industry.