Whenever someone asks you to imagine the world in the next 10 years, you would think about things like living on mars or traveling in flying cars. Since I like movies and TV series, I would wonder what new Spectrum packages will be out there. But have you ever thought about how tech will impact fashion?
The future of fashion is growing already thanks to technologies like Blockchain, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. The question is, how will these technologies be implemented in the system and what changes should we expect to see in the fashion industry?
If this sounds interesting to do, have a look at these emerging technologies and how they will revolutionize the fashion industry:
1: Facial Recognition
When we talk about facial recognition, it is usually used for helping solve criminal investigation or unlocking a phone, right? But there have been significant developments regarding facial recognition and its use in the retail industry. It can also offer insights on the purchase decisions of consumers by identifying them and developing personalized experiences for them. Imagine walking in one of the stores of Michael Kors and the sales associate already knows what you like and shows you a handbag that perfectly matches your taste.
In the near future, facial recognition will give all background on the past purchases of the customers, their shipping address, where they traveled in the past and everything that would influence their fashion choices.
2: Contactless Shopping
It’s already in practice in Shanghai and Beijing. The stores don’t require cash, salespeople or checkout. A customer is supposed their scan the QR code to enter the store, select the product and pay using their mobile wallets.
The shelves have sensors that detect the removal of items. If a shopper picks an item from the shelf, it is automatically linked to their ID in their smartphone app. This would prevent theft. Zara has introduced self-checkout stations in Madrid. It’s their largest shop in the world.
Similarly, there is a shop in New York that allows customers to buy anything on their own without talking to a sales associate. The purpose of contactless shopping is to make the checkout process seamless. Eventually, brands will have two types of stores. One without self-checkout stations and others that focus on customer experience. Customers will be free to choose whatever pleases them.
The most obvious use of blockchain technology in fashion will be to verify if the item is original. This would do buyers a world of favor. With microchips, customers will be able to identify if a piece of clothing or accessory is original or just a replica. It will also tell if it is stolen or if it is in the right place. You will also be able to check where that product was originally made. This information will be available to customers through their smartphones. It will come a long way in preventing theft and counterfeit.
Did you know that the import of replicas and counterfeit items is worth half a trillion dollars per year? This is huge! Blockchain can reduce if not end this practice. It will also help retailers gain the trust of the buyers and build brand loyalty. Customers will know where the product was made, who manufactured it, how much was paid and more. Even though not many brands are thinking about it, this could prove to be very valuable.
4: Augmented Reality
AR has been through a lot of evolutions. However, it is still not used in fashion to solve problems. When Burberry launched the AR feature, the purpose was to interact with the camera in the user’s smartphone and redecorate their surroundings with drawings inspired by Burberry. This wasn’t as successful. However, AR has more capability and it can help with the sales significantly.
The best part is that it does not have a low adoption barrier. No expensive hardware is required to make it work. AR can work with tablets, smartphones, and devices consumers are already using. These days, AR capability is compatible with a majority of phones so this won’t be an issue.
Beauty brands have been very keen on implementing AR. A beauty app called Meitu helped Charlotte Tilbury drive more sales by letting users try the shade of lipstick through the app. L’Oréal also developed an AR focused app that allowed users to test their product without visiting the store. This made 20 million users download their app. Now, Gap is exploring AR functionality too. It plans to let users try the clothes without stepping into the store. This is going to be so much fun.
5: Artificial Intelligence
AI can help brands perform predictive forecasting and plan their merchandise accordingly. Yes, customers will no longer have to wait for a product to be available. Plus, it will also help predict accurate product delivery. If this technology is used right, it can reduce forecasting errors by 50 percent.
Apart from fashion brands, even TV cable companies can predict how customers will respond to their bundles and plans to avoid failure. For instance, Spectrum could predict what percent of customers would like their Spectrum TV Packages.
Technology will allow incredible advances in the fashion industry in the future. We just have to wait for brands to start using them.