The fashion retail sector has been in major developments for more than a decade now. But there are two sides to this: fashion tech and retail tech.
Fashion technology deals with new materials and solutions that support technological infusion into the fabrics and garments of tomorrow; wearable tech, nanotechnology, anything that can make the materials lighter, stronger, easier to clean, sustainable and intelligent.
Retail tech, on the other hand, focuses on how fashion brands can employ innovative technology to augment their retail, such as artificial intelligence and augmented/virtual reality.
In the last 10 years, technology has made it increasingly easier for fashion companies to get online, expanded their reach, giving them the unique opportunity of competing on much larger, or even global scales with the help of cloud technology, e-commerce and social media.
The broad availability of portable POS systems, smartphones, one-touch payment options e.g. Amazon and Paypal helped also.
The evolution of social media, the free shipping strategy and the Internet has shaped the traditional retail landscape into the powerful retail system of modern times.
Retail’s first upgrade started with the transition from local stores to the online world, maturing the overall retail concept into a technology based business. The second rise is in the adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, leveraging innovation and creating market differentiation.
What lies ahead in the future? Easier store pickups, drone deliveries, RFID tags and smart labels, IoT and beacons, magic mirrors and smart fitting rooms, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence.
New, innovative technologies are slowly becoming a commonality in fashion retail, just like the process of ordering from your smartphone, which was almost inconceivable ten years ago.
(Source: WT Vox)