In recent times, technology has had a strong influence on the dynamics of the fashion world. With the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, e-commerce being a formidable force is a huge example of how technology has been impacting the fashion industry. As in all sectors, technology is revolutionizing the way people perceive and incorporate fashion in their own lives, and this has, in many ways, led to more streamlined and efficient processes. The following technologies have had the maximum impact on the workings of the fashion world:
Internet of Things (IoT)
One of the biggest opportunities that has, sort of taken the retail industry by storm, is the introduction of IoT. This technology mechanizes the world by allowing us to interact with everyday objects through the Internet. In the context of fashion, this spells a massive change. According to reports, 70% of retail decision-makers on a global scale are ready to adopt the Internet of Things to improve customer experiences. Apparel items will have digital capabilities that open communication between retailer and customer, yoga pants with built-in sensors that will vibrate as the users move through various yoga poses etc. Such IoT apparel will help collect data and in turn, facilitate designers and retailers to understand the users’ needs and concerns. This is being largely studied by fashion and design colleges.
Retailers are using this technology to collect, organize, analyze, and sort data into relevant categories, which can then be used to predict and understand what customers are looking for, and deliver that accordingly. Fashion designing institutes are encouraging their students to tap the potential of these technological means in their professional lives.
Smartphones have made Internet access readily available, anytime anywhere, and consequently, e-commerce has witnessed a boom like never before. We can not only shop on the go with just a smartphone in our hands, but the easy payment options have further made online shopping all the more popular than physical showrooms. It is extremely handy and seamless, with the search time being reduced more and more.
Mobile and e-commerce technologies introduced the first wave of transformations for the fashion industry.
Now, we can look forward to even more advanced possibilities for retail, more specifically virtual reality technology. These days, customers can easily browse through innumerable items on their mobiles, but on many occasions, it has been observed that brands have suffered a backlash from customers who received products that did not meet their online equivalents or simply fell short of expectations.
Thanks to the new VR platforms that are on the rise, the physical and online retail worlds are soon to merge. For example, try-on avatars are becoming a big hit in the fashion world. Some apps use augmented reality technology to enable shoppers to try outfits, customized for the correct measurements before purchasing an item.
Thus, customers can physically see the product on themselves or in the intended space before purchasing, thus taking the entire shopping experience higher by quite a few notches.