Experts have been saying for a while now that technology is going to change the face of the fashion industry, but it was really London Fashion Week 2016 that showed that it’s here and it’s happening now.
Throughout February, London Fashion Week was running in the ever-cool Soho area of London and this year was completely different to any other fashion event of its kind before.
But why is this? Well, the reality is that is isn’t just the technology that’s changing the fashion industry, it’s the demand from the consumer for more immersive digital experiences that sees this technology used in fashion shows.
Not only this, but these types of technology are also used as part of day-to-day advertising and merchandising, which is again, at the request of the consumer.
A survey from Brightcove found that out of 2,000 UK customers aged between 16 to 55 years old, 77 per cent of them had said that more real-life experiences over video and multimedia content would push them towards making a purchase on fashion websites.
It also found that by 2020, we can expect for around 45 per cent of British people to do their shopping on their smartphones and the rest will be using their laptops and hopefuly, virtual reality too.
Some examples of exactly how new technologies are changing the face of the fashion industry include.
When we say removing barriers, we mean that fashion is allowing more people to see its shows and shoots.
For example, at London Fashion Week, Versus Versace launched at just one London venue, instead of having a variety of international events. What the label did, for a change, was to feature the show on an HD live web stream, which allowed buyers, bloggers and journalists to get a look at the offers on stage, without having to make a bunch of different journeys.
This helps to show that brands like Versus Versace are flexible and keep up to date with recent technology to be on-trend, not solely with its fashion choices but also with the way the world is changing and how people want to live within it.
Doing this also helps brands to promote their applications like Digital Signage, or to show off a rebrand to an extremely targeted audience.
Online shopping has made it so easy for people to do their comparison shopping, compared to living in the 90s, when it was sometimes necessary to go into the same shop multiple times.
Basically, as online shopping has become so populated, it means that buying clothes has become an activity that can be done at any time – 24 hours a day, if need be.
As a result, retailers now have to create a different in-store experience to ensure that customers still want to come through their doors. It isn’t enough to have a great window display and good music anymore – shops need their own gimmicks and retailers have to be on the ball at all times.
You’ll find now that a lot of bigger shops and department stores have hairdressers, either as pop-ups or as a regular feature in one area of the shop. It’s a good way to get people to get everyone in one place, particularly if they’re going on a night out.
Shoppers will always be grateful to the shop that can do their hair, and provide them with a cracking outfit for the night.
Magic mirrors in shops are becoming the new popular technology fad for retailers now, as they show a range of different options of garments for the particular shopper. Each person can change colour options while trying on the outfit – basically it’s a bespoke personal shopper than you don’t have to talk to.
Omnichannel shopping is when a customer is provided with a seamless shopping experience, whether they are online from a desktop or mobile device, on the telephone or in an actual shop.
Things like Black Friday have shown that there are serious peak times of shopping, particularly in the UK when there is a bargain on the loose. Companies now have a responsibility to make sure that they prepare their operational logistics and business processes to be able to effectively coordinate a lot of departments and team members.
Due to the fact that people can buy something online and return it in-store, it requires organisations to be extremely organised and often, they have to completely reorganise themselves to be able to support their omnichannel offering.
There are many other ways that the technology industry is changing the face of the fashion industry, but out of the examples that we’ve gone over, one thing that is for certain is that it’s becoming much more diverse.