REPORT HOW WILL TECHNOLOGY INFLUENCE FASHION Introduction Technology has had a great impact on the modern world and its influence is especially prevalent in the fashion industry.
This report will investigate the factors of how technology’s influence has shaped the current fashion industry, specifically in consumer’s behaviours and manufacturing processes. look into the themes of. Fashion and Technology Behaviour Social media and online shopping platforms Consumers behaviours 1st step platform : The consumer today is more knowledgeable and educated compared to the past as information is more readily available and easily accessible.
With the use of technology people all around the world are able to connect and share ideas in a matter of seconds, through social media and online blogging platforms. The profile of the modern consumer would consist of characteristics such as Social media has an immense impact in the modern consumer’s trend influence and shopping decisions. Users purchase decisions are influenced by the use of social media, peer reviews and influencer marketing (State of Fashion 2018, page 17) With such a high number of users constantly online (600 million users monthly active users on instagram)(Fernandez, 2017) this could be very beneficial for brands to be able to market through social media, but also gain access to data to assess what users are looking at constantly. Users decision making The age of technology has influenced the consumer’s “purchase journey from a traditional linear model to a complex journey across online and offline touch points”(state of fashion 2018, page ).
The modern consumer is aware of what they want and their first stop would be the online platforms (State of Fashion, page 26). With various online platforms offering similar products, the consumer today would “look to new sources to help them manage their product selection” (State of fashion 2018 pg 44). This could be a disadvantage to brands as the decision making process is a lot longer than it use to be, and impulse buying isn’t as common anymore Benefits to brands Technology has influenced the way in which brands are marketing their products and using their online presence through social media and ecommerce. The focus of the marketing has shifted to the consumer, as they give their seal of approval.
1 As all data is readily available and accessible through social media, brands are able to curate the kind of experience they want their consumers to have. Instagram: Instagram is a valuable tool and source for brands to be able to connect with their consumers on a more personal level. It has the features to ” bridge the gap between the brands and the posts”2, through the tap to view feature. This helps users find information on the post that will then link them to the brand that is featured in the post. “overall strategy is not to reduce the steps in shopping, but reduce the friction between them and make them more connected,” says James Quarles, Instagram’s vice president of monetisation.3 Another useful feature is for the consumers to able to save posts to a private feed that can be used as a virtual shopping list; to help with guides on where to purchase certain products and styling ideas(trends).As to the new Instagram stories feature, this helps to promote things in real time either through posting through the stories or creating a live story which helps followers, and potential consumers see things in real time.
This helps “translate what is happening on Instagram to benefit the brands” 4 Influencers: Influencers are an essential part of social media marketing, as “92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement of traditional celebrity endorsement”5 . Fashion brands should take into account of the engagement that influencers have with their followers to best use that to their advantage. With so many influencers out there brands are able to find influencers that best portray the brand, as they would be able to reach the kind of audience they need for their brand. Influencers are not only benefiting the brands through marketing but are also a “powerful feedback tool for brands to understand their customer”6 Retail or e-commerce As the modern consumer spends a large amount of their time online on social media and the internet browsing different products that brands have to offer, this raises the question of whether this will effect the revenue of physical stores? The rise of ecommerce puts physical stores at risk as it’s a lot easier for consumers to shop and browse online in the comfort of their own home. However this does not dismiss the importance of a physical shop to a brand, as unlike other products consumers would need to physically try on the fashion garments to make the purchase decision. Not only that but also “a store is a great first impression for new customers” says Modcloth’s chief executive Matt Kaness (Fernandez, 2017). Fashion brands should consider different ways on improving a consumers retail experience and draw theminto the physical shop. The traditional retail systems are definitely “shifting from products to experience” (Abnett, 2017) Fashion brands should be “offering memorable experiences that can’t be replicated online” (Abnett, 2017).
Modern consumers today are more experienced driven they have been labelled as “aspirational class” by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett(MONTAGNA and SINGER, 2017). She states that “this aspirational class has replaced the leisure class and that they are defined not by their income level, but rather by their life choices” (MONTAGNA and SINGER, 2017). This shows the rise of the wellness movement which has had a big impact within the fashion industry. Offering in-store events such as fitness classes or investing in VR headsets. “Dior and Tommy Hilfiger have installed headsets in stores, which transport headset-wearing shoppers in pre-recorded catwalk shows.”(Abnett, 2016). Shifting the retail’s concept from a place that holds up inventory to a sample showroom that consumers can come in, try the physical product and then making a purchase and have their item delivered to them.
This will help reduce the brand’s store operating costs and space for inventory (State of Fashion, 2018, pg 17) Personalisation The modern consumer expects a shift in retail and customer service to be more personalised. “Fashion companies will deliver personalisation in many forms – from curated recommendations to communications and story telling that connects individuals.”(state of fashion, 2018, pg 44). Through that consumers expect immediacy and urgency from the brands response to the demand. “Many consumers today expect perfect functionality and immediate support at all times. They are becoming habituated to rapid delivery times as players are constantly competing to expedite products more quickly” (state of fashion, 2018, pg 16). Fashion brands can implement this in many ways, such as using the messaging platform revolution to their favour. Being able to connect with consumers on a more personal level by being connected to them through a platform where their friends and families are and being on the same level.
“This kind of intimacy is incredibly powerful, enabling personal communication threads between brands and consumers that can be leveraged for “anything and everything you want,” said Marcus, Facebook’s head of messenger (Abnett, 2016).culture of communication. This could lead to brands integrating a quick and flawless customer service to personalised content.
In order to implement that system fashion brands would need access to consumers data which is difficult to gain with all the different platforms as they could be perceived as competitors. “Retailers are increasingly aware that they need to build a future based on talking to, listening and forming relationships with their consumers.”(Quinn, 2012) More than 70% of consumers in the US now expect personalisation from online businesses (state of fashion) Consumer data: (add opening sentence) A disadvantage of brands selling their products on online platforms means they are control of the way they merchandise their brand as well as handing over the “increasingly important customer data to the platforms”(state of fashion, 2018, pg 46).
However fashion brands would need to be able to collaborate with the platforms in a way that would benefit both sides so that fashion brands are able to curate the products based on what the consumers are looking at on the platforms and the purchase history.(state of fashion, 2018, pg 47) Consumers are happy to give their data to brands if they feel that their values align with the brand’s (MONTAGNA and SINGER, 2017). “Their future lifestyles will unfold in a culture of communication, collaboration and creation, in which the emergence of partnership branding gives the consumer not only a sense of empowerment, but also a better sense of true value.
” (Quinn, 2012) Virtual and Augmented Reality “Physical retail accounts for 93 per cent of sales today, and even with online growing at fast speed, it will account for 80 per cent by 2025,” states Neves (Conlon, 2017) A way to enhance the modern consumer’s retail experience to get them in store is using new technology innovations such as Virtual and Augmented reality. For example Farfetch’s store of the future aims to link the physical and digital world of retail and be able to enhance the consumer’s retail experience(Conlon, 2017). AR and VR have the ability to personalise an experience which is a good way for brands to be able to connect to the consumer on a more personal level (Jiang, 2017). This supports the theme of “personalisation” that is having a major impact on enhancing the retail experience. Farfetch’s Store of the Future aims to provide retailer’s with data of what is happening in store just as how data is collected through e-commerce.
“It’s the offline cookie that closes the loop, between a great online presence and a complete omni-channel offering and, finally, in-store technology which augments the experience of customers in store and overall” (Conlon, 2017). Apple and Google have both curated a platform for developers to be able to create apps that support and feature augmented reality (Arthur, 2017). The consumers have already experienced using AR through apps like snapchat and Pokémon go, so it would be easy for consumers to accept it in relation to the fashion industry. Being able to add “a layer of emotion through digital – using AR is an opportunity to reinforce brand value through experiential and immersive story telling” (Arthur, 2017). “Brands that tell a story and incorporate an authentic social mission resonate deeply with the modern consumers” (Montanga and Singer, 2017) Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence will revolutionise the way designers, manufacturers and retailers operate in the near future. AI is a software that collates data of what consumers are looking at and what they’re buying in order to aid retailers and fashion brands (Sherman, 2017).
It’s a “deep learning” algorithm that analyses patterns, make predictions and performs certain tasks such as identifying certain trends and finding specific objects in an image. The more data that is presented to the software the more it will learn effectively as it works based on patterns and repetition (Abnett, 2016). “Powered by artificial intelligence and big data, the world’s biggest e-commerce platforms can make an impersonal environment seem highly personal. With tailored products, personalised recommendations, and smarter supply chains, will fashion brands find working with these giants an increasingly persuasive proposition?” (state of fashion, 2018 pg 49) Artificial intelligence will have a big impact on the industry as it “can help turn a large and diverse data set into enriched information that can be used to improve the entire supply chain, from design and manufacturing to sales, marketing and customer service.” (CHITRAKORN, 2017) AI would be able to benefit fashion brands as they see what products e-commerce is selling and analyse customer data to learn the different preferences for different consumers in different countries, even going deeper and analysing which colours or materials customers are buying in a specific country. It also helps to identify trends and social trends through social media(Abnett, 2016). Companies would be able to make data driven decisions, and through AI, would predict whether a new product will become popular or how long a trend will last (Abnett 2016) Customer service: AI would transform retailer’s customer service. Whether in store or online it will improve in ….
rapid response and have a tailored service to its customer (Intel 2018). AI processes a vast amount of data in seconds, such as remembering all of customer’s preferences which is impossible for a human to do. For example Thread, which is an online personal styling service, combines human stylists with machine learning algorithms. The AI would learn what human stylists would think suit an individual.
Then it would look through 200,000 products and makes a judgement on what it would recommend (Abnett 2016). AI “can help retailers make sense of massive amounts of unstructured data to improve and personalise the online shopping experience” says Keith Mercer, Ecosystem manager of Watson (Abnett 2016) Designers Will Artificial Intelligence replace designers? “Fashion designers armed with AIs will be similarly able to come up with radical new ideas: AI will amplify their creativity rather than replace it”says Pedro Domingos, author of the master of algorithm (Abnett 2016) It would aid designers to be able to design what consumers want to wear (Abnett 2016). “What will likely happen, however, is not that AI will completely replace designers, but will become an indispensable tool for them” (Sherman 2017). However, Kenneth Cukier, data editor at The Economist, argues that “AI will absolutely challenge and replace designers”. He states that as designing is trial and error, AI would help by making accurate predictions of what designs would be successful and would take over the repetitive work”. (Abnett 2016) Supply and demand AI is an effective way to be able to help fashion brands align supply and demand to cut costs in waste and unwanted inventory, it will also lower labour cost (Abnett 2016)(intel 2018). As currently fashion brands are working with limited amount of data, and if the prediction was wrong there will be a loss of income, popular items would sell out and unnecessary waste (Abnett 2016).
AI would be able align demand and inform retailers when to do a product drop to help maximise income and increase efficiency. As the fashion industry is trend driven, using data derived from AI, brands would be able to market styles that are likely to be mainstream trends (Abnett 2016). Say something about technology to link with AR Automation Automation has created a turning point in the manufacturing process within the fashion sector. The change of manufacturing process has lead to “a fourth industrial revolution — powered by a constellation of new innovations across the physical, digital and biological worlds, from 3D printing and artificial intelligence to advances in biomaterials — is driving a new wave of change across the economy, with major implications for fashion.
” (Abnett, 2016). Advantages of Automation Supply and demand: Automated digital manufacture would help pushing a greater on demand production that will lead to increased customisation and decreased inventory risk and waste (Sherman, 2017). Manual labour is being effected by automation as robots are now the fundamental part of the distribution process making the orders rapid and more efficient with less human interaction. Which questions the fact that how will this effect jobs, “in some cases, humans will just be a supplement, a double check” (Sherman, 2017).
Brands using automation in manufacturing would result in having “higher quality, higher throughput, and more variation at lower costs” (Sherman 2017) Automation helps reduce the design to manufacturing cycle, which is beneficial for fashion brands as they are able to do more testing and prototyping before producing the product (Abnett, 2016). Automation is advancing progressively such as processes like 3D printing and Smart textiles are an essential part to be able integrate technology and fashion. Jobs and collaboration “distinctions between designer, consumer, stakeholder and shopkeeper are blurring”(Quinn, 2012) 3D Printing Antonio Miyakawa stated that “Technologies will allow us to create products that would not otherwise be produced following the normal process of industrialisation”(Kansara, 2013). Manufacturing 3D printing is disrupting Fashion’s current manufacturing systems methods by enabling companies to be able to create complex products without any specialist machinery (Abnett, 2016). It’s the abilty to be able to create something from nothing and the ability to do it in a short time is what could revolutionise manufacturing in the fashion industry.
“Using technology, researchers are creating individually tailored and uniquely detailed ‘instant’ garments that are designed in 3D on computer, mapped to 3D-scanned body measurements and ‘printed’ out.”(Lee, Du Preez and Jones, 2007). This helps reduce lead times on prototypes which gives the designers and engineers enough time to redo prototypes until the product is near perfection(Kansara, 2013). However, this process is not as cost efficient as traditional manufacturing. 3D printing makes the item cost of producing 1 to 10,000 compared to traditional mass manufacturing techniques.(Kansara, 2013) Although digital fabrication such as 3D printing has enabled brands to be able to create products that would not have been produced using the normal manufacturing process. Supply and demand: 3D printing is much more sustainable as it only needs 3D data files and raw materials to develop the products, and only create customised products according to the individuals design needs, which helps reduce waste and unwanted inventory (Vanderploeg, Lee and Mamp, 2016) This is in relevance to the theme of personalisation that has become more popular this year due to technology and wanting to give consumers a better experience(State of Fashion, 2018) Cost effective: As the deisgn to manufacturing cycle has been accelerated, this has reduced the number of steps which enables a more distrubuted and decentralised product which is cost effective as it reduces the cost in relevance to inventory, manual labour and transport.
(Vanderploeg, Lee and Mamp, 2016) Disadvantages Intelectual property: Intelectual property would be vulnerable as the files can easily be transferred, copied and then printed (Kansara, 2013). New laws would then need to be developed to be able to protect the copyrights to the designers as 3D printing services are easily accessible. Volume: Many 3D printers have a limited build volume, making it difficult to print entire garments or large accessoreis within a signle process. Often they are printed in sections and then assembled (Yap and Yeong, 2014) Smart Textiles and wearable technology The bridge between technology and fashion is a very exciting concept for the 21st century as we are in a generation that cannot live without technology. In the past wearable technology has been rejected by the fashion industry as the concept of integrating both fields was a foreign concept (Intelligent textiles | Lauren Bowker | TEDxBermuda, 2014) As in the past fashion products that integrated with technology were always bulky, tacky and unadvanced, to be able to succeed in this integrated field it has to be seemless (Sherman, 2017). Google’s Ivan poupyrev’s answer to suceeding in wearble technology is “”We had to speak the language in order to close the gap, to reduce this scepticism.
Textile is the only way to do it.” (Sherman,2017) Future of wearable tech is more textiles than wearable garments.(Welcome to Project Jacquard, 2014) “The structure of textiles is the same structure as touch screens” and through that “JACQUARD makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.
Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces” (Welcome to Project Jacquard, 2014) JACQUARD is a project that is collaborated by Google and Levis to produce a garment that has technology integrated into it. With that they have produced the Levis Commuter Jacket that has conductive thread woven into the jacket to have a seamless interactivity surfaces. Welcome to Project Jacquard, 2014) They have integrated the technology so seamlessly that it doesn’t feel like a foreign object, and that it could fit within the existing supply chain (Sherman,2017) Uses: Aims of the jacket: As it’s a commuter jacket it aims to make bike rides side and less stressful by reducing the need to look at the phone screen for directions, time and answering a call (Sherman, 2017) The Jacket is connected to the user’s phone, through a device called the “Jacquard Tag”, will be able receives alerts such as a phone call or pausing a song.
(Sherman, 2017). This will lead to less screen time which benefits the consumers to be more present in their environment, whilst still being connected. The technology is embedded within the fabric to remain seamless and not be considered as a gadget (Jacquard by Google, n.
d.) “The fabric itself is a testament that wearable technology can be beautiful and elegant when it is directly embedded into something” (Sherman, 2017). This is beneficial for brands who are wanting to incorporate the use of technology into their products as it has advanced, become less of a foreign object and can seamlessly fit with the current supply chain. Collaborations: Being able to integrate fashion and technology