Buy It, Use It, Technologic
4 June 2018
Author: Jasmine Waters
We’re no strangers to clichés in our everyday lives, but hearing that technology is taking over again and again is something no one seems to enjoy hearing. Yet the truth speaks for itself – the digital world is transforming the way we behave as consumers, especially when it comes to shopping. Although we may feel overwhelmed by our tech heavy future, it may be fatal for fashion retailers to ignore it.
2017 was the worst year on record for many bricks-and-mortar stores, with closures on a worryingly consistent rise. The reason why comes back to the age-old problem of real consumer demands not being properly met. The state of the fashion market is both volatile and unpredictable, however its consumers are now more empowered than they ever have been before. Despite this, fashion has been relatively slow to harness any real technological change.
Much like in the beauty industry, our faces are becoming the key to unlocking our new consumer habits. They are the brand new form of social currency, a new way to make meaningful connections and building loyalty, through filters, social media and Face ID. Alongside this, previously niche areas like Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality are surging their way to the forefront of retail interest. With the market for machine-learning applications expected to reach £30 billion by 2020, these forms of tech have the potential to enhance and re-energise areas of retail such as customer retention, smoother online browser experiences and predictive forecasting.
In spite of fashion being slow off the mark when it comes to new tech, they are waging the digital war in the shape of the podcast. 67 million of us listen to podcasts monthly, with the global market projected to make $250 million this year – so certainly not a bad place to cash in! Although there is currently little competition, fashion podcasts could arguably offer an antidote to the polluted and saturated visual based culture we live in.
There’s no question that if fashion retailers want to keep up with the Joneses (or maybe more appropriately for the market climate, the Kardashians), they need to act quick to adapt to the tech world of tomorrow, and save the uncertain future of the physical store.
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