Like most industries functioning on the digital platform today, Fashion too will be going through a significant change, thanks to the wave of the digital revolution. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, crypto currencies, and virtual reality are bound to set the stage for this advancement to take place. Similarly, the proliferation of machine learning backed businesses will also contribute in bringing about this change that will impact both selling and buying in the future.
Consumer behavior is changing rapidly
At a time when consumers are more demanding than ever, retailers realize that the volatile market environment requires them to not just supply ‘goods’ in response to the demand to be in business. They have to stay on top of their game and utilize future innovations before they lose out to the shifting trends in retail. Remember that implementing tech changes is as important as churning out good products, if not more to impress your customers.
Trends that will most likely influence fashion and e-commerce
1. Personalization at scale:
One on one relationships at scale is more of a reality now because of AI and machine learning. Even though these technologies are nascent when it comes to the field of fashion retail, its adoption is growing speedily.
Personalized practices that will deliver excellent ‘sales’ results include giving recommendations, facilitating natural language search results like Macy’s AI powered shopping assistant and using a knowledgeable, intelligent customer service.
In theory, personalization is important because employees and business owners would know each client that visited them. However, the additional benefit is that this time personalization is on a much larger scale.
Furthermore, being powered by AI means that customization experience will only improve with the passage of time. However, to make this strategy successful, fashion companies need to use it carefully.
2. Omni channel experience:
Having an Omni channel approach will be one of the main factors that will allow businesses to stand out in the over saturated and competitive fashion e-commerce industry. Most companies have already understood this, even the ones who began solely through digital are now starting brick and mortar stores, e.g., Amazon and Birchbox.
Other than selling in stores and online, an Omni channel presence will need social media interactions, live chats and video broadcasts, mobile applications, and telephonic communication. These approaches will allow the customer to interact more deeply with the brands they like.
The companies that will employ this Omni channel experience will gain the massive benefit of being in constant interaction with the customers through multiple channels, and those who will not will eventually fade into oblivion in the consumer’s mind.
3. Brainier bots:
Bots have already taken over the messaging space through the use of AI in applications, and most brands are already using this.
In the coming months chat bots will expand to become customer converting tools as the intelligent software is quick to learn and brands can quickly come up with ways to cash on the advantage.
Conversation with live operators, integrated payments, and voice requests will become a necessity in the coming generation of e-commerce.
While some successful online companies might take their operations towards a physical store, for most, the shutters are going down because of declining sales and increasing rentals. But they need not call their lawyers so fast because a new solution has emerged that taps into the Omni channel approach without actually being a full-fledged shop.
Showrooms are galleries that allow customers to check out and try the products but contain no stocks to sell, requiring the customers to finish their purchases online.
This concept of guide shops made famous by the men’s apparel brand called Bonobos is expected to be utilized much more. In fact, the brand’s 30 showrooms got such an incredible response that they made a move to brick and mortar.
Showrooms interestingly are now emerging as a sweet spot solution between online and brick mortar stores. Whether you are struggling with high rentals or looking to tap into a more personalized and trust-worthy interaction with your clients’ online, showrooms can be your best bet.
Other than these major shifts, technologies like virtual and augmented reality are also valuable tools that can boost e-commerce sales. Fashion houses not only can share weekly looks through VR try-ons but they can also have extended functionality like one-click purchase once a look is tried and is loved by the customer.