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Digital Trends Disrupting the Fashion Industry in 2021
The fashion industry is a trillion-dollar industry. However, just like other industries, technology has been disrupted, and it is being redefined again. Research shows that more than 11,000 retail stores across the US alone were closed in 2020 due to the corona pandemic. This alone was more than a 20% annual increase in the closure rate of clothing stores.
However, some fashion stores remained afloat amid the stores’ closure even after closing their physical doors. The pandemic forced store owners to reinvent themselves so that they can stay in business. Stores that already had an online store thrived even during the pandemic.
The pandemic only served to accelerate technology adoption among both consumers and fashion retailers, and this trend is bound to continue. Thus, here are some of the technology trends that I am keeping my eye on in 2021 to keep my fashion business afloat.
Online Only Retailers Are Winning
Online shopping has made its footing in technology. Brick and mortar stores are having a hard time competing, especially in the face of reduced physical contact and buyers preferring delivery services. Online shopping has led to many physical stores’ death, whereas it has introduced new global players into the fashion space. Both old and new entrants have dominated the market. Some of the most popular names are Amazon and ASOS.
These companies are the new kings of fashion. I learned some lessons from them. First of all, they have created robust delivery systems that make the shopping process as smooth as possible. Second, they have a great customer experience and engage with clients on their social media platforms. They always respond to any issue raised. Third, they leverage technology like AI and big data to inform their decision-making process.
So, how do these lessons apply to my store? Well, I already have an e-Commerce store running, and clients can order straight from the store. I am also exploring how I can integrate the store into my social media so that clients can shop directly from Facebook, Instagram, and the rest. I have recruited a digital marketing company to analyze my data and develop a robust digital marketing strategy.
Digital Trends in Fashion: Consumer Behaviour Has Changed
Digital technologies have greatly impacted the habits, behaviors, and expectations of fashion consumers. Consumers are more empowered now than before, which gives them adequate control of choosing what is produced, when, and how it should be delivered to them. Most clients no longer go to physical stores but rather spend most of their time on the Internet trying to find something nice. It’s not often you find people looking in watch stores anymore, as most people tend to visit sites like valuable-watches.com because it is so much easier than actually going into the store.
With all the convenience of shopping online, why would we, millennials, walk to a physical store? With all the time we spend on social media, most purchasing decisions, especially fashion-related ones, are influenced by what we see online. For my retail fashion store to survive, I must think outside the box and adapt to my clients’ needs. I must also think about engaging customers on digital platforms and provide the outstanding online shopping experience they are looking for.
Digital Trends in Fashion: AI and Fashion
Artificial intelligence (AI) has immensely spread in every sector. The fashion market is not an exception. Many fashion stores invest in AI to predict future fashion trends, especially what to sell and when to sell. Advanced AI programs are also being used to learn individual client needs, fashion tastes, and preferences. The systems then customize products to meet the individual needs and styles.
Artificial intelligence has become a must for any fashion business. Here are some uses of AI in my business.
- I use an AI chatbox that can respond to the customer at any time of day, even when I am asleep.
- I utilize AI to analyze data and make suggestions to customers based on their past buying behavior and other data.
- I use AI to automate the shopping process in my eCommerce store so that payment and delivery operations run without any hitches.
Technology has become a necessity for anyone in the fashion space, and this is bound to continue as technology advances. Not all technology is necessary or useful for my business, but some are integral to various business operations. I hope you have gained insights into how you can use technology to meet your client’s needs, thus increasing your bottom line.