Top 7 Technology Trends Reshaping the Fashion
Fashion is changing – in fact, revolutionizing. The changes, although gradual, are good enough to help the fashion industry step out of its conventional thought process, manufacturing techniques, and its capabilities to meet consumer demands. They are recreating the industry to make it more competitive.
The credit goes to two interrelated factors – the first is technology, and the second one is the ever-increasing fashion demands of the modern citizens of the world.
Technology in the fashion industry has its story of evolution. Right from the use of computers and basic fashion software in designing apparel, it has graduated to incorporating trending concepts such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, and many others.
These technologies are helping the fashion ecosystem improve customer service and the business, as a whole, in many different ways. If you are an aspirant or an existing fashion professional, you must know how technology is reshaping the fashion industry. It will help you align better with the changing environment. So, here’s a blog that discusses seven technology trends that continue to better fashion.
7 Tech Trends Reshaping Fashion
- Artificial Intelligence
So, let us begin with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Fashion is a business that largely relies on the retail industry. Here, AI is helping retail players leverage business data to increase business, meet customer demands, and therefore increase profits. In other words, it is assisting retailers in making informed decisions.
Now, how is that? AI is a technology that augments the shopping experience of every customer, analyze data, track real-time inventory, manage warehouse operations, and project fashion trends. These capabilities further translate in helping fashion players do what is needed, and deliver everything that the consumers expect out of them.
Besides, they don’t have to rely on traditional instinct-based decision making. The data available says it all and gives them a clearer perspective of future trends to help them fulfill customer demands.
AI also involves engaging chatbots and touch screens. These virtual tools improve customer experience and enable customized product suggestions. Their algorithms track customer journeys with the brand to come up with better and more aligned suggestions. Leading fashion players such as Truefit, Finery, and Hook have already deployed AI-driven mechanisms. Several others are in the pipeline.
- Mobile Shopping
With the world spending more time on the mobile phone, as compared to laptops and computers, the growth of mobile commerce doesn’t come as a surprise. This is one reason why the mobile commerce market is the largest in the world and amounts to a staggering USD 672 billion!
It is because shopping on mobile phones is easy and quick. The emergence of technologies such as facial recognition and fingerprint identification has added another dimension to it – safety. So, a lot of fashion buffs out there prefer shopping on their mobiles.
But, that’s not it. Social media contributes to another angle to mobile shopping. Fashion brands can appear on their customers’ favorite social media channel (Instagram, in particular), and offer a comprehensively aligned digital shopping option to them. These efforts result in better digital visibility and create a higher number of sales opportunities.
- Quick Data Analysis for Speedier Adaptation
Years ago, it used to take days, sometimes even weeks for fashion apparel manufacturers to know about defective pieces or damaged goods, or consignments.
But, a few software tools on the market have helped improve the competence of fashion manufacturers as well. They help factories and fashion brands get real-time feedback, and alert from customer companies about damages or defects. It allows factories to save money, eliminate waste, and supply the right product at the right time and in the right quantity.
IQMS, for example, is an ERP product that enables monitoring, and collecting real-time production data, as the company continues to manufacture products.
Besides, cloud computing too opens collaborative working opportunities that allow companies to work together from various parts of the world at the same time. Such a collaborative working style helps access business-relevant data, thereby improving and expediting industry communication.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
The birth of IoT gives the word comfort a whole new meaning and scope. It doesn’t limit comfort to quick movements of the body or improving flexibility. It walks the extra mile to introduce clothes with digital capabilities! Yes. It includes smart clothing, multi-functional designs, responsive sportswear, and a lot more. There’s a lot to come in the future for which we must prepare.
One of the best examples of IoT in clothing is the Yoga pants from a leading sports apparel company. Now, these aren’t your regular Yoga pants that just fit well. They’ve got inbuilt sensors that help you correct your posture through vibrations as you move through different Yoga poses. Exciting, isn’t it? In other words, with such smart clothing on, you won’t go wrong with your exercise!
There’s even more. You’ve also got clothes that track your heart rate and calculate the body temperature. Moreover, you have socks that count steps and your calories as well.
So far, most of the innovations in this regard have happened on the healthcare front. But, with rapid advancements in this area, we can expect more exciting and promising action taking place in the future.
- 3D Printing
3D printing is another revolutionary technology that’s helping various fashion brands across the globe to look at on-demand production. It is also enabling them to create new opportunities for customized clothing, creativity, and sustainability.
Wearable collections, for instance, the ones made by Julia Daviy in 2018, made out of entirely 3D printed materials help reduce waste (reduce fabric waste by around 35%) and require a lesser workforce as compared to conventional manufacturing. Such an approach also will align conventional fashion apparel factories with modern fashion needs and environmental sustainability.
There are many other examples that indicate the need for 3D printing to gain momentum in the fashion industry. One of them is the digital knitted urban wear that places functionalities and benefits in the part of the body that needs them the most.
Blockchain is a modern-day technology that associates itself with higher levels of transparency, traceability, and efficiency in the supply chain workflow. It binds the entire ecosystem that comprises intermediaries, banks, suppliers, and carriers, and allows it a secure and direct exchange of information.
Blockchain involves blocks that constitute digital pieces of data that record transactional information such as the date, time, and the recent purchase amount, along with information about the participant.
Blockchain’s relevance in the fashion industry refers to tracking and maintaining records of clothing apparel, and supply chain with the help of technologies like track-and-trace and inventory management. These factors qualify Blockchain as another technology reshaping the fashion industry.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR)
VR combines the real world with the virtual one, and which is where all the excitement is! The use of VR in the fashion industry associates itself with helping consumers try apparels virtually, without having to spend time waiting for their turn to try clothes in the trial room.
The use of this technology has well penetrated in the online fashion space, wherein a lot of brands are helping people see how they’ll look with the attire on their body.
Every company has its own way of leveraging VR to the consumer’s advantage. For instance, Obsess facilitates a platform enabling brands and retailers to provide 3D 360 online shopping experiences through social media, and mobile apps. It does so with the application of 3D Commerce Cloud. Virtusize, on the other hand, facilitates virtual size illustrations to help consumers determine the right size fit.
So, these were the seven technology trends bettering the fashion industry. Of course, with time, we’ll see a lot of more technologically enthralling stuff coming our way. As fashion players, you must look forward to embracing it, and use all of them to improve fashion standards.