Fashion is an industry that is worth over $385 billion, and there are a lot of technology companies that want to disrupt the industry with new, innovative technologies. There’s been a shift from brick-and-mortar retailers to people shopping online for their clothes.
But there’s always the concern that the outfit won’t fit, or perhaps the outfit will not look good on the buyer.
Since you cannot try the clothes on when shopping online, it’s difficult to be able to tell what will and what won’t look good on you.
New technologies aim to make fashion more intuitive online, allowing consumers to make smarter purchases. These technologies include:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is leading the way in many industries, and it’s a technology that has the potential to enter the fashion industry, too. The problem is that there are a lot of hypothetical uses, but there has been very little push forward as of yet.
But we’re starting to see AI, at the base level, be able to offer visual searching when shopping online.
AI can learn what users may or may not like, and then it will be able to recommend products that a person may purchase. On the consumer end, the AI may realize that you’re a nurse, based off of information entered, so you’ll see results leading to men’s scrubs. The system can also learn your other clothing likes, such as your preference for leather jackets over other options.
2. Big Data
Big data isn’t technically a technology, but it is the amassing of data and working to make sense of it all through technology. In India, designers have started to use AI along with big data to analyze runway fashion.
Data is being collected in alarming amounts, and it’s this data, when used properly, that is able to map out long-term trends in the fashion industry or any industry.
3. AI and Inventory Management
Every industry has waste, and the goal of many companies is to be able to find ways to reduce this waste. When waste happens in the fashion industry, this leads to excess products that are either discarded or sold at heavy discounts.
The world’s leading fashion companies are utilizing big data and artificial intelligence to be able to determine how many garments to manufacture. Everything, from purchases to inventory management, is starting to be managed using artificial intelligence.
4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two key technologies that will dictate the future of the fashion industry. Why? These technologies have the ability to help you, the consumer, see how clothing will look on you.
There are companies doing this today, including Avametric which is able to provide fully customizable digital body models that can be used to display clothes or offer fitting room apps. Virtusize is another company offering options for fashion retailers to allow their customers to try on products online.
Modiface, purchased by L’Oreal, is another company that is using AR to allow consumers to do their own makeover right online.
Soon enough, there will truly be no need to go into stores to purchase clothes, makeup or accessories.