Fashion has always been a breeding place for innovation. From the invention of the sewing machine to the e-commerce platform, the fashion industry is fast growing and cyclical. It’s quite surprising to see the way the fashion industry is digitally transformed. From robots that sew and cut fabric to AI algorithms that forecast the style trends, to VR mirrors in dressing rooms, technology is fast pacing, automating, and customizing all the aspects of fashion technology.
Now, let’s have a look at the trending technologies in the fashion retail industry.
Technology Trends in Fashion Retail Industry
1. Novel Fabrics
Novel Fabrics are basically lesser known or not yet used fabrics. They help fashion manufacturers and designers to set themselves apart and appeal as sustainable fashion. Eco-leather is one good example of such a fabric. It is environmentally-friendly leather that does not have any animal origin. Fashion startups like Modern Meadow are creating their own lab-grown leather without harming animals. Similarly, companies like Bolt Threads and EntoGenetics are using spider silk for clothing.
ColorFab 3D is the latest color-changing technique that prints 3D objects with “photochromic inks” that change color when exposed to certain wavelengths of UV light. Project Jacquard is a collection of conductive threads for weaving touch-responsive textiles like clothing, tablecloths, rugs, or anything else made of fabric. This project is from Google’s ATAP lab (Advanced Technology and Projects) that allows users to skip a song by swiping their sleeves. Taking a picture by tapping on a shoulder strap. Hence, these novel fabrics are here to stay as they are reshaping the garments, we wear each day.
2. Rapid Data Analysis
Consumer expectations are growing every day, in such cases, real-time data analysis can assist fashion business to sustain in the competitive market. The rapid data analysis can help fashion retailers receive real-time feedback and notify companies about defective or damaged goods. Hence, helping fashion businesses save money and eliminate waste. One best example is using Artificial Intelligence to create efficient fashion design, merchandising, and marketing strategies.
3. Mobile Commerce
Mobile technology is transforming our daily life drastically. It has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in eCommerce. As per the data from Statista, mobile e-commerce could rake in some $3.5 trillion and then makeup almost three-quarters (72.9 percent) of e-commerce sales. This immense transformation is because of the easy use of smartphones for shopping online.
Additionally, social media visibility is an added advantage. Fashion retailers can make an effective presence on their consumer’s favorite channel to generate sales. Sustainable fashion applications like Vinted and Depop are replacing eBay and Gumtree for selling second-hand fashion. Hence, these mobile applications prove how mobile commerce is an innovation in every aspect of the fashion industry.
4. Sustainability in Fashion Retail Industry
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions, 20% of the world’s industrial wastewater, 24% of insecticides, and 11% of pesticides used. Hence, resulting in hazardous environmental conditions and encouraging fashion brands to switch to slow fashion. As a result of which, consumers are also choosing sustainability-conscious brands over fast fashion.
As per the data from fashion search engine Lyst, there is a 47% increase in consumers who are willing to buy ethical and sustainable products. Buying secondhand clothing is another popular sustainable fashion practice that is gaining a lot of traction. ThredUp, one of the largest online thrift stores forecasts that the total secondhand apparel market will hit $51B by 2023. Re-Fashion is another clothing site that sells second-hand designer clothing at affordable prices. Hence, it proves that sustainability is reshaping the fashion retail industry.
5. Personalization in Fashion Retail Industry
Personalization refers to modifying the customer’s requirements as per their needs by personally interacting with them. The fashion industry helps to up-sell, increase revenue, reduce purchase returns, and increase loyalty. A company called Thread allows its consumers to fill in their personal details like gender, favorite brands, preferred looks from a range of images, sizes, date of birth, etc. The company then displays products as per the customer portfolio.
ASOS is another fashion company that focuses on customer fittings. It allows users to add their fitting details like height, weight, and the brands of the choice and display products of their choice. Incorporating personalization in fashion retail will help brands understand the customer needs completely and increase their ROI.
The designers, manufacturers, retailers, stylists, and consumers are all benefitting from the digital transformation in the Fashion retail Industry. The technology trends in fashion retail allow production and distribution methods to emerge quickly as and when the fashion trends change. The ultimate result of this technology in fashion is that this sector will become streamlined by offering a variety of options like never before. With the emergence of automation, many roles could be displaced in the fashion software industry. But it will also encourage new roles in administration, customer service, and engineering.