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[Others] [MIUI Resources Team] Fashion And Technology - A Match Made On The Internet

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14:08, Jun-15-2017 | From PC
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This post was edited by sadho at 11:39, Jun-15-2017

Hello Friends,

Reflecting back on the past six-seven years, one can notice a large influx of fashion technology firms that have disrupted the fashion industry with their innovations. Thanks to technology, fashion is more accessible to people across the globe today. If we have a look at the Indian market, there has been an increase in shoppers who have embraced technology and spend most of their time and money online.

According to the Fashion Forward 2020 report by BCG and Facebook, the fashion market that is digitally influenced is estimated to reach $30 billion by 2020. With such numbers, one can only expect a spurt in various online channels and networks to tap this opportunity. In this article, I list down my favourite technology trends that have helped solve real-life fashion problems for both online consumers and owners of these digital channels.


For consumers:
  • Converting fashion inspirations to purchases - In the age of social networking, it is not that difficult to get inspired by a look that a celebrity, blogger, friend or family member may have sported. Certain platforms help reduce the gap between an inspiration and a purchase by helping people shop the looks that are posted on their platforms. Even traditional social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest have incorporated buy-able buttons and pins on their posts that redirect a person to a website from where he/she can buy that particular product. This has helped brands to leverage their social media following to boost their sales.

  • Marketplace for used outfits - I have personally been in a situation where I had to attend three functions in a month and wanted to wear new outfits for each. But, I had a budget constraint and didn’t want to splurge by buying completely new outfits for all three occasions. This is when a friend introduced me to Flyrobe. I could rent a branded/designer outfit that I liked for a minimal amount, thereby saving on the big bucks. Spoly is another platform where people could list their personal outfits on sale or buy used outfits from other people. Such a great way to recycle clothes, isn’t it?

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence to help make quick decisions - In April 2017, Amazon announced their latest addition to the Echo family, Echo Look, a device that would solve the basic problem in a girl’s life - how to move beyond mirror selfies and decide what to wear? Echo Look has a hand-free camera that one can operate by asking Alexa, an intelligent personal assistant and voice service developed by Amazon, to take a picture/video of themselves and help them decide which outfit looks the best on them. This will also help Amazon understand their customers’ taste and needs which they can potentially incorporate in their fashion offerings.

For digital channels:
  • Incorporating Augmented Reality to reduce return rates - A lot of fashion firms are now looking up to AR technology to get a better sense of what may look good on their customer, or fit them better, or complete the clothing pieces they already own. London based Fits.me is a firm that develops virtual fitting rooms and has clients such as Rhone, Thomas Pink and QVC. In India, Lenskart made an effort in this direction by helping people find which pair of specs or sunglasses may suit their face best. Several other retailers such as Sephora and Jura have rolled out consumer-facing applications that let them virtually try on makeup and wrist watches. This form of technology can help retailers reduce their returns by minimizing purchase mistakes on their customer’s end, and also help their customers in being confident about their purchase - a win-win situation for both.

  • Promoting social commerce to replicate offline shopping experience - Feedback plays an important role when one is shopping offline and we often make a purchase only after taking multiple opinions from our close ones. To induce this feeling of instant feedback and replicate offline shopping behaviour, e-commerce platform Myntra introduced social shopping on their app by helping customers post their looks. Messaging app Viber announced a shopping feature on their platform in February 2017, which would present their users with items for sale inspired by their current chat. Owned by Rakuten, Viber has tapped into their commerce expertise to build this feature.

  • Use of chat bots to ease purchase - With an increase in the number of shopping transactions happening over social networking platforms, it is important that these platforms optimise to provide their customers an ideal and seamless shopping experience. On similar lines, Roposo introduced its ‘Chat to Buy’ feature that helps buyers and sellers interact with each other through lesser but more intelligent interactions. It helps a buyer make a purchase over chat, a process that usually happens outside the social networks through a phone call. The feature positions to small businesses and entrepreneurs and aims to close the loop of leads, transactions, and engagement on the platform for these brands.

While it is important for firms to adapt to the latest technologies and find smart solutions, it is equally important for them to integrate these trends seamlessly in their offering and monitor their performance regularly. Exciting times lie ahead, and, one can only wait to see the products that emerge from this beautiful amalgamation of fashion and technology!

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