From 3D-printed animal skull jewelry to virtual try-ons to business intelligence designed to revolutionize the shopping experience, the combined future of fashion and information technology promises an exciting world for consumers and retailers alike.
Today’s shoppers live with the world literally at their fingertips, a world that changes at internet speed. Not only does the retail fashion industry need technology to attract and retain customers, but successful retailers anticipate the future and harness cutting-edge technologies to their advantage.
We asked experts in the industry what they would like to see on the future fashion IT horizon.
Imagination in 3D printables – VimanasTM Jewelry offers a unique collection of accessories printed in 3D from scans of elegant animal skulls. Taking technology a step further, the company is developing an online, 3D printed custom jewelry platform giving customers freedom to customize designs or design jewelry from scratch.
“We are hoping for more powerful web servers and online design capability that will allow for 3D jewelry models that update quickly and still look realistic. This provides a customization process that is an amazing, immersive experience for customers.”
Dee Fisher, VimanasTM Jewelry
Simplified Global Shopping – Shopping in London for accessories from a designer with a Russian web site? There’s an app for that…or there should be.
“With clients from all over the world, internet surfing on phones with different languages and different alphabets can be tricky. I think the future is in apps that can be used to buy fashion from all over the world without having to look something up online.”
Melanie Payge, Image Consultant
Just what you wanted, right where you are – Business intelligence (BI) transforms data into “Wow, just what I wanted!” moments.
“Imagine that a woman looking for boots online later sees them on display as she passes by a store, because the aggregated search, location, and user behavior data triggered a notification prompting a salesperson to place them there. BI will bring the right product to the right person at the right time. Information monetized.”
Ben Tai, CEO of DrivenBI
Preference Center Marketing – Preference aggregation generates curated product assortments for Amazon-like email marketing for other retailers.
“I would love to see the industry develop more shopping preference centers so that ecommerce could help inform customers of new arrivals in particular categories of interest (brands, colors, etc.). Preferences could curate a specific assortment in a daily feed that can be shopped. With that data, merchants can make more informed decisions about what their customers are looking for.”
Cody Stapleton from Burkes Outlet
Traffic sensors open the door – For brick and mortar stores, it’s all about bringing the customer off the sidewalk and into the store. Technology boosts marketing IQ.
“Retailers will benefit from sensor technology that helps them measure and understand pedestrian traffic inside and outside their businesses, adding a more granular metric to the sales conversion funnel. This will allow them to quantify pedestrians coming into brick and mortar stores based on marketing they see online or on mobile apps.”
Daniel Malak, Motionloft
Making virtual try-ons more personal – Companies like Colorful Eyes are setting trends, allowing shoppers to upload a photo and experience the product on their own features.
“I would like to see more virtual picture upload try-on pages, especially from clothing sites. Customers would feel more comfortable buying fashion items they had already experienced and tried on virtually as opposed to just looking at an image, increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
Stacy Caprio, site creator of Colorful Eyes
Technology Powers the Dream
Italian designer Donatella Versace said once that “fashion is about dreaming and making other people dream.” For forward-thinking fashion retailers, technology powers those dreams, reimagining the design process and connecting businesses with consumers in exciting ways.