Incorporating innovation and technology that is both interactive and engaging has changed the dynamics of fashion retail. In recent years, technology has been drastically dabbling in the world of fashion. With the tilt from brick-and-mortar retail shopping, technology’s impact has been difficult to ignore – especially with e-commerce in full force. Considering the technologies such as AR, VR, artificial intelligence and automation, the retail sector is burgeoning as well as the need for retailers to adapt to the new landscape and embrace the turning point of the fashion world.
Artificial intelligence in the fashion retail industry
Artificial intelligence is reshaping the retail industry at a rapid rate. With its ability to help turn large and diverse data sets into enriched information, it has become a major tool for retailers when it comes to personalizing the shopping experience. Retailers can leverage data to provide a more seamless and personal experience for consumers, thus increasing conversion, repeat purchase and loyalty. Retailers are using AI to collect, organize, analyze, and sort data into relevant classifications, which can then be used to predict and understand what their customers are looking for – and deliver on it.
The rapid advances in machine learning processing have already pushed artificial intelligence (AI) into the mainstream. In the fashion retail industry, AI could help brands and retailers with predictive forecasting, capacity planning and merchandising. It means that consumers can enjoy the rewards of better product availability, faster and more accurate deliveries. In addition to supply chain benefits, AI can also help create a much smoother browsing experience and improve customer retention through personalization. Online platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.com use AI enhancements to help generate precise product search results and display virtual storefronts tailored to individual shoppers, based on their unique features and preferences.
Footsteps of automation in fashion retail
An increase in fashion retail automation is on the ride. Retail automation is the process of using innovation in tools, technology, and processes in retail which ensures a more efficient operation that leads to a better experience for the customer at a lesser cost to the retailer.
For instance, self-checkout counters and their popularity is a function of a demographic that is used for using and manipulating gadgets to perform everyday tasks. Fashion stores have started automating part of the in-store experience, creating self-checkout kiosks and/or giving the possibility to pay with the mobile phone via App. The customer only must walk in, pick up the clothes they like, self-checks out and exits the store. No human interaction needed.
Try on apparel and its automation
When it comes to improving customer experience, savvy brands are getting ahead of the tangent and, investing in automation technology to solve in-store issues; particularly those centred around time and convenience. To alleviate this, many stores now offer ‘magic mirror’ and AR technology in dressing rooms which allows shoppers to try before they buy. With its assistance, shoppers can now digitally visualise what outfits will look like on – again saving the time needed to change physically.
Chatbots- the perfect assistance
Today, automation is in also the way we interact with brands. From helping as a personal stylist to responding service queries, many retail brands use chatbots to help customers navigate the shopping journey. Also, there is a reason to believe that chatbots increase conversions by being more readily available to provide information. Thus, we can say automation has the power to completely transform the way consumers shop, by giving more control into the hands of the customer.
Big data and technology are the buzzword sweeping most industries in the business world – and the fashion industry is no stranger to this. These new technologies can help brands and retailers drive valuable business efficiencies and improve the overall customer experience and value proposition and refining logistical processes that nibble away at budgets.
By Ambud Sharma, CEO and founder, Escaro Royale