The fashion industry is undergoing unprecedented change across design, manufacturing and retail. The retail industry in particular has undergone a significant transformation over the past decade, and it continues to evolve quickly.
The market is characterized by various large textile groups, with Inditex (Spain) at its helm. Following it are H&M (Sweden), Gap (USA), Fast Retailing (Japan), and VF (USA). These and other large multinational corporations —L Brands, C&A, Primark— have majority of the profit in the industry.
The future of fashion is in tech. The face of the market is quickly evolving, and retailers must adapt to new shifts in demographics, attitudes and consumer preferences.
The Internet enables by new technologies and tools provides unprecedented access to information like pricing, product reviews, etc. The fashion industry needs real leaders, who are ready to tap into the powerful opportunities of evolving technologies. Here are 3 key tech trends all fashion companies need to engage with.
Speech is the most natural way of communicating, and companies are innovating to radically improve voice recognition technologies. This has big implications for fashion. Apparel that can work with smartphones and mic-activated devices will future-proof itself. And most importantly, companies will increasingly interact with their consumers by means of voice technology. It’s predicted that by 2020, half of all web searches will use voice or image searches rather than text. Fashion apps and websites that allow customers to go from search through to purchase in one smooth voice stream – rather than multiple clicks – will build a strong competitive advantage.
Inventory Visibility and Availability
Fashion Retailers are looking for ways to maximize the inventory they have and to ensure that it is accessible via all selling channels and customer engagement points. Products in inventory can sit in their shop or showroom while people search for their Products are finding it difficult to find them.
Inventory is the most significant financial asset of Fashion Retailers, therefore products in inventory needs to be sold easily to increase revenue.
With social media apps, digital wallets, and communication apps, it’s clear that mobile has not only impacted our everyday lives but now squeezing its way into the business world.
This era of connectivity has introduced a sleeker form of shopping through mobile commerce. Armed with smartphones, now not only can buyers shop online but, have easy payment experiences with digital wallet options such as Apple and Android Pay.In fact, BigCommerce found that two out of three millennials prefer to shop online rather than go to a physical store.
Other reasons why customers increasingly choose online over offline is a greater assortment, better promotions, and higher convenience. As it happens, millennials have already made it their preferred choice, with a 67% of them choosing this channel over physical stores.
Fashion companies will need to keep adapting and disrupting their businesses in order to succeed. As it happens, digital-first eTailers will most likely thrive, especially those investing in new technologies and advocating for social causes. Hence, there will be a need of powering interactions with their customers using voice, visual content and direct messaging. In this context,
Deploy a Real-Time Ordering System
More and more, consumers are shopping with their emotions instead of their wallets. Consumers are taking less shopping trips they are now shopping online. Therefore investing into your iShop is no longer a luxury but necessity.
Making life a lot easier for fashion brands and buyers alike across all channels to enhance the customer experience is very necessary in the Fashion Retail Industry. Fashion Retailers need a single, unified iShop which offers an all-in-one customer experience across all customer touch-points.
Indeed, millennials’ changing preferences and attitudes regarding corporate responsibility, social consciousness, and more have already impacted how retail brands present and position themselves. The trend has resulted in brands having to equate their internal culture with their exterior identity, turning companies into what some have dubbed “culture coders”.
Finally, today’s consumer is markedly different than even a few years ago. Their expectations are extremely high….they expect the best of everything, 100% availability, fast delivery, and so on.
Data and data management
The amount of data available today and the increased customer expectation to have access to a lot of product information has made data management a priority. Fashion Retailers need to respond better in a market driven by products that change constantly and quickly to reflect the latest trends. Information relating to brand names, purchase prices, production quantity, washing labels, logistics details, style specifics and type of textiles, need to be provided to customers without struggle.