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6 Innovative Technologies That Are Reshaping the Apparel Retail Industry

What will the world be like in 20 years from now? Flying Cars, Autonomous airplanes, on-the-go digital learning, Vacations at Mars comes to mind.

Even the fashion industry is expected to witness numerous innovations as well in terms of the way it will reach us in new, innovative ways.

Technology is in its heydays. New innovation, engulfed the world, is about to take this world to new heights of convenience and the resulting prosperity.

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality creating one-of-a-kind experience in the retail stores, Artificial intelligence is up for the task to solve over-inventory problem. We are going to discuss all this today.

If you are associated to fashion industry in any way, you have to keep abreast of these technological innovations that can impact fashion in the future.

Let us dive right into the discussion.

1.    Internet of Things (IoT)

Refrigerator, TV, cars, light bulbs, watch and kitchen appliances were things, until become intelligent using internet of things technology. This technology is disrupting the retail world and retailers are watching closely. Smart checkouts, mobile stock tracking and mobile point of sales are top in-store technologies used by UK retailers in 2017, according to Statista.

Alexa-enabled smart mirror is expected to be found in retail setups soon. The voice-activated system will follow user instruction to do research. Customers are going to love this as their go-to option for product search, trial and other stuff, smartly.

The sewing machine for industrial and individual purposes have also become smart. These machines can print smart graphics on fabrics with the assistance of professional embroidery digitizers.

2.    3D Printing

The 3D printing is literally a prelude to a huge disruption in the fashion industry, although this technology is still in its infancy stage. In simple terms, you can print a 3D fabric logo of your favorite brand.

In the not-too-distant future, though, it will give brands the opportunity to replenish the range of products in line with demand and to customize products such as toys, jewelery, games and home furnishings. Brands like Nike and Adidas already see the potential to offer their customers personalized footwear that is custom made to fit their needs and requirements.

3.    Virtual and Augmented Reality

The widespread proliferation of virtual and augmented reality has a disruptive potential; they can change the retail trade within a few years. The huge success of Pokémon Go shows how quickly Augmented Reality can become part of our everyday lives.

The smart eye glasses can capture the brand logo on the branded t-shirt of the brand. It can easily be done if you know how to digitize a logo.

So it is quite possible that in some years we will be walking through a furniture exhibition wearing data glasses. These glasses will deliver the all-important information about the armchairs and sofas displayed, put them by clicking on the eyeglass temple or by voice command in the digital shopping cart and get it delivered to your home later.

Using virtual reality, travel, sporting goods and fashion brands in particular can create an impressive experience by letting potential buyers experience a product in their environment.

For example, Tommy Hilfiger puts its customers in the shop in the front row of the fashion show with VR glasses. VR has the potential to transform boring shopping trips into colorful, adrenaline-rich experiences.

4.    Artificial Intelligence

We are creating social media posts, commenting, sharing, tweeting, watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, listening to podcasts and doing million other things in our customized digital world. It’s like we are living a completely new life in the digital world.

This is lot of information (data in digital terms) that can be used to learn current and future behaviors of online citizens. Artificial intelligence uses this data to help stakeholder make informed laser-sharp decision. Using machine learning, natural language processing other smart techniques, AI is making it easy to learn, create algorithms, anticipate and produce content.

AI has already making waves in the fashion industry. Stitch Fix, a $2 billion valued online personal styling service, used artificial intelligence to predict fashion trends that the customer actually wants to buy. Their stylist used Artificial intelligence to analyze customer data about style trends, body measurement, customer feedback, and color preferences to predict the exact fashion trends that the customer is attracted. The company then proceed to deliver these ‘in-demand’ products directly to their doorstep.

5.    BlockChain

The fashion world is still finding a way around small problems: production and selling of replica brands, products that moved through an illegal grey channel to third world countries and other such infringements.

Let me ask you something.

How would the customer ensure that a Louis Vuitton bag that they just bought is original?

There is a way around it. The customer would need all the recorded transaction spanning the complete supply chain of the product. That too with complete authenticity.  Sounds crazy, right.

This is easily possible through Blockchain technology. This technology use blocks of information which cannot be edited without verifying it to hundreds of thousands of nodes in the network. The result is a never-seen-before data authenticity.

Blockchian technology offers various benefits to fashion industry.

The resulting Increased visibility of the garment product’s lifecycle including material, vendors, labor sources, shipping and warehouse locations will create a trustworthy relationship among everyone in the supply chain model. Hence, the industry will thrive.

The decreased distance between the brand and the consumer will allow brands to deliver rich, direct and customized customer services. The derived learnings from this first-hand experience can be timely used by brands to fix problems, innovate products and cut costs.

6.    Mobile Commerce

Smartphone is not limited to making phone calls. There is a complete life inside your phone. With the launch of first iPhone in 2007 by Steve jobs, be it education, entertainment, location search, music, we now do almost everything through these small machines.

Shopping too.

Communication apps, price comparison apps, shopping apps, and digital wallets have made the entire shopping experience safe, sound and enjoyable. These cool smartphones have equipped brands to reach their customer’s palms in virtually no time. Customer love it too because it gives them the much-needed convenience. A win-win situation.

With these breakthrough technologies, Fashion industry is marching towards prosperous times. The fashion players who are awake, making used of one or more than one technology to create an unforgettable retail experience for their customers.